End of the year always means times for recaps and predictions going forward. I gave a look at my top moments of the year earlier this week, now it is time to give a few items to look forward to in 2013.
Just like in the recap, these items are in no special order.
- A MLS squad will make the CCL finals. Call it a bold prediction to start off with but I really like the chances of Houston, Seattle or even LA (without David Beckham and even Landon Donovan if he doesn’t return) in the knockout rounds of the CCL next spring. Two squads have Mexican teams in the quarterfinals – which is never easy but if one can find their way out of that round, the bracket is set up for a finals run.
- Landon Donovan isn’t going anywhere. I know he is thinking about what to do next with his career but all he really needs is some R&R this winter. Once he gets his mind straight this winter, he’ll come back refreshed and renewed in the new year. The US National team will still need him and with big qualifiers coming up, he’ll find his way back into the fold with the USMNT and continue to help the Galaxy as they hunt for their third straight title.
- The Galaxy will contend again in 2013. I won’t go as far as to say that they’ll win it all in 2013 just yet but I do think they will be very much in the thick of things as they go for a third straight title – which would put them into the dynasty category.
- Dallas and Philadelphia will be better. Part of me sees these two squads as dark horses going into 2013. Both still have plenty of holes to fill but neither will have a crowded schedule like some of their rivals. Philadelphia needs a playmaker in the midfield still while Dallas just needs to hope that everyone will stay healthy in 2013.
- San Jose will be good but not 2012 good. I see a little bit of a dip in quality out of San Jose in 2013. The talent is certainly still there but this team needs to get younger before they get better in my mind. A lot will be telling about this squad after the SuperDraft and after the transfer window opens up. If they can bring in some quality players to provide the needed depth that they have to get, then you can expect them to contend once again in 2013. I just believe some clubs will be able to handle them better defensively in 2013, but I’ve been wrong about this team before.
- RSL will be back only if Javier Morales re-signs. This is a big one, if Morales goes, RSL will have a tougher time rebuilding in 2013. They need depth in a few key places but if there is no Morales, they’ll have to figure out their midfield shape and situation before they do anything else. Morales is the key to that club right now, which is interesting to say considering how good this club has been as a collective unit in the past. Before, they didn’t rely on one player so much.
- The beginning of the USL/MLS partnership will pay off. I’m confident that this little partnership between the two leagues will do wonders for young players throughout the league. We’ve wrote about it before on here how young players need more minutes to develop, this will certainly do it. Hopefully 2013 will get it going in the right direction.
- Chivas USA will still be Chivas USA. Even with all the changes and things said, I’m not confident that the Goats will really be anything more than what they’ve been in the last couple of years.
- 2013 will be the year of the Young DP. We already have tried a couple and FC Dallas has a good one in Fabian Castillo but the league hasn’t really seen a big gamble of teams going for younger DPs just yet. More teams will gamble on younger DPs in 2013. They’ll come mostly from Central and South America.
- Some actual promising news will come in D.C. or New England. You know where I am going with this but one or both of these clubs will finally get some actual positive news about their stadium hopes. Maybe not as far as shovels in the ground but some stars will begin to align for these two clubs on the stadium front.