It is that time again, the new season is here and I will make my annual Bold MLS Season Predictions.
Last year I did alright in some predictions, and pretty poorly in others. In years past I’ve always thrown out a few random predictions to mix things up a bit so this isn’t just another predictions post out there. You may like what I say or think I’m crazy, either way I try to have a bit of fun with this each year.
I’ll start off with some early awards predictions, followed by some random stat predictions, and finally the season outcome I see happening.
Early Award Predictions:
Below are some predictions for each end-of-season award. I left a few off that I really don’t care about, why we vote on things like the Ref of the year is still beyond me. I’ll give you my top three for each.
- Jimmy Neilsen (Sporting KC) – He was dominant in 2012, I see no change going into 2013 with him.
- Michael Gspurning (Seattle) – He is going to go neck and neck with Neilsen this year too.
- Nick Rimando (RSL) – The dude is always in the thick of things for top keeper, 2013 will be no different.
- Matt Besler (Sporting KC) – I have some doubts that he’ll be with the club the entire season but if he doesn’t get sold this summer, I think he’ll get the top defender award.
- Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) – As long as he stays healthy this entire season, he will be right in the thick of things for this award, and possible some others.
- George John (FC Dallas) – He’s healthy, has a team that is healthy and I see big things out of him under his new contract this year.
- Someone we don’t know – Yeah, with summer signings coming in, I see this award being won by someone not in MLS right now.
- Diego Valeri (Portland) – The DP looked good in preseason, I think he’ll be the early frontrunner here.
- Claudio Beiler (Sporting KC) – I have high hopes for him this season. Look for him to lead SKC to the top of the East.
- Peter Vermes (Sporting KC) – I think KC has a chance to be really special this year.
- Sigi Schmid (Seattle) – Another big year for the Sounders ahead.
- Dominic Kinnear (Houston) – He always has Houston right in the thick of things.
- Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) – The LA Homegrown will impress this season and score a few nice goals in the process.
- Andrew Ferrell (New England) – The number one overall pick will be a big impact player for New England this season.
- Kyle Bekker (Toronto) – Don’t sleep on the Canadian this season here, he’ll do very well for Toronto.
- Graham Zusi (Sporting KC) – A big year for Zusi and SKC is ahead.
- Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) – As he goes, so will LA.
- David Ferreira (FC Dallas) – If he stays healthy all season long, expect big things out of Dallas for the former MVP.
Next MLSer to move to Europe:
- Matt Besler (Sporting KC) – I think he could be the next to go, which will cause some issues in KC.
- Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) – Between the MLS season and the Gold Cup, Gonzalez will shine enough to get more attention overseas.
- Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo) – He’s young, and will score a ton of goals this year. Clubs overseas will begin to drool over him.
2012 WVH Bold Predictions:
- MLS will get 4 clubs in CCL knockout stage after this fall’s group stage – LA, SKC, Vancouver, and Houston all reach the knockout stage. San Jose stumbles due to injuries unfortunately.
- A MLS club will win the USOC – Not a stretch but go a head and bet on a MLS club winning it again, my money is on a dark horse team like FC Dallas or Real Salt Lake to take the crown this year.
- Four clubs add DPs this summer – More teams will gobble up Young DPs and a couple older ones as well. Toronto, LA, NY all are going to add ones, but Portland, Chivas, Dallas, Columbus, and D.C. all add DPs. Colorado finally also takes the DP plunge.
- A couple more Yanks return home – Just a hunch as always we’ll see a couple names return to MLS. Seattle and Portland with high allocation order rankings are hungry for it to happen.
- The 20th club will be announced…and it will be New York. I see the Queens stadium finally getting done. It will be a struggle but it will happen.
- But a deal with Orlando comes up as well…yes team number 21. I had this last year and I’m putting it out there again for this season. Orlando will become a MLS squad by 2015. Just count on it.
- A late run this season will help…RSL – I see Jason Kreis’ club struggling early on in the season but some where late in the year things will click and they’ll clinch the 5th spot in the West.
- Golden Boot winner will be…Robbie Keane (LA) – While Chris Wondolowski is an easy pick, I think he’ll be going head to head with Keane this season. Both hit the 20 mark but Keane edges Wondo out with a late goal on the final week to get to 21 goals.
- Brad Davis will lead the league in assists – I’d say he’ll get 18 assists this season. Big offensive season ahead in Houston.
- US will not win the Gold Cup – The B squad will come in second.
Eastern conference order of finish: Sporting Kansas City, Houston Dynamo, DC United, Chicago Fire, New York Red Bulls, Columbus Crew, Philadelphia Union, Montreal Impact, New England Revolution, Toronto FC
Western conference order of finish: Seattle Sounders, LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes, FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake, Portland Timbers, Vancouver Whitecaps, Colorado Rapids, Chivas USA
Darkhorse clubs: Dallas and Columbus
I think Dallas will be better than most expect them to be this season while Columbus could be anywhere in the East if all the right players stay healthy and contribute.
Bonus selection: Portland – They’ll be fun to watch under Caleb Porter.
Supporter’s Shield Winner: Seattle Sounders
Notes: Not having CCL games to deal with late in the year will be huge for this group. They’ll be healthy and deep enough on their roster to compete for 34 games.
MLS Cup Winner: Seattle Sounders
Notes: Call me crazy but I think it is their year. Though I’m not sleeping on the Galaxy to get a three peat, it could happen as well.