Predictions for the 2008 season

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by ravenrooney, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Between doing a little college radio in the mid-80s and owning part of a DJ light and sound party business, I picked up more than a passing knowledge of dance music (or what passed for dance music) in the early/mid-80s.
     
  2. Soccer Doc

    Soccer Doc Member+

    Nov 30, 2001
    Keene, NH
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I grew up going to dances in the 40's and 50's when dancing was still a contact sport. Those were the swinging days of Big Band music (thats when "Miller Time" had an entirely different meaning) :). Nice to know all that fine music is still in vogue among some elements of the younger generation. Just goes to show that not all you young grasshoppers are clueless about what constitutes something being music ;)

    Ya know, we need the season to get here so we can stop all this mindless bloviating. Game; I want MLS GAMES.
     
  3. Midnight Attack

    Mar 13, 2005
    U.S.A|Jamaica|DCU
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As of now...

    East
    (1) DC
    (2) NE
    (3) NY
    (4) Chicago



    West
    (1) Chivas
    (2) Houston
    (3) FCD
    (4) LAG
     
  4. scott47a

    scott47a Member+

    Seattle Sounders FC; Arsenal FC
    Feb 6, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I often enjoy B movies. Therefore ...

    Top Five teams:
    United
    Chivas USA
    Houston
    Fire
    Revs
     
  5. MLS3

    MLS3 New Member

    Feb 7, 2000
    Pac NW
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    West -
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Houston Dynamo
    Colorado Rapids
    San Jose Earthquakes
    FC Dallas
    ReAl Salt Lake
    Chivas USA

    East -
    DC United
    Chicago Fire
    Kansas City Wizards
    New England Revolution
    Columbus Crew
    New York Red Bulls
    Toronto FC

    SS - DC United
    MLS Cup Final - DC beats Houston
    USOC - Chicago beats San Jose
    CCC - Houston wins the CCC and WCC
     
  6. boomersooner027

    May 13, 2004
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    Bahamas

    Picking the exact same top 4 as how it ended last season.....ballsy.
     
  7. JoeW

    JoeW New Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I have a really tough time trying to predict how this season will play out. Here's why:

    1. Too many teams are still massively in flux. Look at it this way: KC, Columbus, TFC, and NE are all rumored to be signing or seriously considering DP players. Each of those teams would have their fortunes altered by adding the right attacking player (and no, I don't mean Messi or Christian Ronaldo). Add Martin Palermo to Columbus and you know that they'd be a rough team to play.

    Plus, I can't believe that Juan Carlos Osorio or Ruud Gullit are basically going to stand pat with what they inherited. And SJ has enough attacking players to go about 8 games in MLS before suspensions and injuries would mean they'd be played defenders on the frontline. NE never had much depth and then they lost a couple of frontline players--they need to add bodies (and I'm sure they will) but the point is, we don't know who they're going to add.

    2. Additionally, the big lesson I got from last year was the importance of depth. And it got even more important this year because even more MLS teams will face fixture congestion issues. The regular season continues to get more competitive (making it harder to coast and field lineups with a lot of reserves or pull your key players early). You have the CCC, the CONCACAF Champions League, SuperLiga, SudAmerica, USOC, and WCQs start up.

    I thought DCU was a deep team last year (and by MLS standards we were one of the 3 deepest in my regard) yet our lack of depth ended up being critical. I think Houston (who don't forget, for the second consecutive year won the MLS Cup without being even the best team in the West, let alone MLS) showed how important depth is if you're going to be a contender for the SS and then be guaranteed a serious run at the MLS Cup as well as other competitions. And right now, very few teams can say that their rosters are set.

    3. Those caveats acknowledged, here are the limited predictions I can make based upon what I do know (or believe will happen):

    --DC United. Quickest to assemble a full team, lots of good talent. But the tendency of foreign players to underestimate both MLS and American players combined with needing to build cohesion and remake the team means that I think DCU will start very slowly. Ultimately, I think the team will do well in foreign competition, probably win the SS again and be an MLS Cup contender. But I look for DCU to struggle in Jamaica and bow out meekly in the next round of the CCC and probably be running 3rd or 4th in the East after the first 2 months of the season.

    --Chicago. I think Chicago (and Denis Hamlett) got a raw deal and this year is going to be tough. There is excitement about Frankowski but I wasn't impressed with what I saw of him in WC play, moving Rolfe to outside mid is a bad mistake (he's a natural born poacher who ;unishes mistakes--kind of a faster version of Twellman), Conde's impact last year was underrated and I don't see this ending well for Chicago regardless of the scenario, just lots of bad karma and ju-ju for a guy (Hamlett) and fans that deserve better.

    --Columbus. I think we see the end of the Sigi Schmid era this season. There is talent on this team. There is depth. Schelotto is a difference-maker. But for 3 years, everyone knew that this team needed a finisher. And the best Herr Sigmeisterburger got was....Andy Herron? This is a team that will look good at times playing sharp soccer. And Schelotto will wins some games single-handedly. But they'll fail to finish. Now all this could change if they add a good finisher. But based on a bunch of factors, my hunch is that the Columbus braintrust will fail to deliver that one critical piece for the third year running.

    --Houston. Great team that is well coached, tough to play, always in the running. I don't think they'll have the depth this year they've had in the past. And I think that means that instead of being good and deep for the playoffs, they're going to have to hope they're lucky (by getting hot at the right moment). It could happen but I don't think it will. I think they'll have a similar finish (2nd in the West) to the past 2 seasons but people will talk about how they underperformed because they didn't win the MLS Cup.

    --San Jose. Okay, it's a cop out because they're expansion team and even though the SJ fans are optimistic b/c they've got a team again and they've got Yallop and a few old Quakes/Clash...we all know where expansion teams end up. But this job is made easier by some picks that Yallop made in the expansion draft to focus on "his players" (like...Pozniak?). They only way they won't finish last in the West and probably MLS is if another team emplodes. TFC struggled to score last year and TFC had far more offensive talent (Ronnie O'Brien and Cunningham) than anything SJ has.

    --Colorado. I think they'll be dangerous and have some hot streaks. Gomez is the kind of field player that the Rapids have NEVER had (even El Pibe wasn't capable of winning a game on his own against the run of play). I think what determines their season is the coach. If they fire Clavijo with at least 2 months left to play, Colorado could be dangerous. If Clavijo stays all season, well then, it's a question of how far Gomez can drag Clavijo and his man management-tactical ineptitude.

    --FCD. I was skeptical of the hiring of Morrow. Consider this a public admission that I was completely wrong. Morrow showed that the man has a plan and the plan works. The second half schedule-congestion of the LAG? That was FCD's first half of the season. And then through in the Denilson cluster-f*&k and it's amazing that Morrow kept that team together. I think they'll do better without Ruiz, I think Coop (despite the upset) will be a standup guy and teammate and perform well, I think that Davino more than covers for Goodson and FCD will take the next step up. Don't know if they'll replace Houston as #2 in the West but unlike last year where FCD was good against everyone but the top 4 teams, this year FCD will be a dogfight that no-one wants to get into and as long as they go into the playoffs healthy and in-form, they'll be a serious contender for the MLS Cup.

    --Chivas. I think by mid-season, if there was a single table, they'd be leading the league. I think they'll also suffer a terrible season-ending collapse. I see Guzan leaving in August (and if I were Preki, I'd rather lose him in January so I can groom 2 new GKs rather than leaving in the last third of the season as you're fighting for the SS and a run at the MLS Cup). In the end, I see Chivas impressing people the first 2/3rds of the season as the most stylish team in MLS, running around everyone, getting impressive results and then bombing out at the end when they lose Guzan (and they don't have Burpo either). Yeah, they'll sign another GK. But Guzano might be the best GK in MLS right now and it's also a team chemistry/defensive organization thing. If Guzan does stay, I put Chivas down to probably win MLS Cup and the SS. But I don't think they have the depth to do much damage in international play.

    --LAG. I'm completely dumbfounded that Gullitt has failed to really remake this team. Oh, they've shuffled a few deck chairs (Klein as a right mid rather than a right back, Albright traded, Babayano acquired). But by my reckoning, this team has a worse defense than it had before (and it was retched last year), Ruiz is going downhill badly, and while yeah, their schedule was tough in the second half but an equal factor was that teams in the new MLS (unless you're RSL or TFC) play a lot of extra games so depth is critical. When I look at LAG I see a team that isn't much deeper than last year's, didn't fix their defensive issues (Cronin for Cannon? A rookie at right back?), still could use someone to play the Makele role ala Real Madrid (no Makele and the Galactics weren't so galactic)--please don't say that Peter Vagenis is that player--and lacks depth on a team that will likely end up either playing extra games or seeing players like Donovan and Beckham play extra games (NT callups, all-star games, etc.). I really don't see LAG doing any better than 4th in the West and that's going to be determined by how bad SJ is and if Clavijo get's fired in Colorado--a real coach replaces him and I think LAG misses the playoffs again. Or if the pieces all fit with RSL.

    The rest of the teams are either too much a work in progress with too many missing pieces. Or, they're teams (like RSL) that I just don't know their new players well enough to predict how they'll do.
     
  8. scott47a

    scott47a Member+

    Seattle Sounders FC; Arsenal FC
    Feb 6, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You have Chivas last in the West???
    What are you smoking down there in Tumwater?
     
  9. Eric B

    Eric B Member

    Feb 21, 2000
    the LBC
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, yet you lose a the same time...
     
  10. Eric B

    Eric B Member

    Feb 21, 2000
    the LBC
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Constant lamentations that too many teams make the playoffs, which either makes regular season matches irrelevant, or that teams don't try in the early part of the season because they know they can just turn it on in September, make the playoffs as a #8 seed, and win two series on the road to make it to the Cup final, which has technically never happened (the 2005 Galaxy would have been a #7 seed.)
     
  11. Bonus_Game

    Bonus_Game Member

    Sep 30, 2007
    San Francisco
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    East:
    1) D.C.
    2) Columbus
    3) Chicago
    4) NE

    West:
    1) Chivas
    2) Houston
    3) Dallas
    4) TFC (moving from east)

    RSL, NYRB and Colorado will all be fighting for playoff spots.

    I don't expect LA, SJ or KC to be in the running.

    Playoffs:
    DC over NE
    Chicago over Columbus
    TFC over Chivas
    Houston over Dallas

    DC over Chicago
    Houston over TFC

    DC over Houston

    Hey, what can I say? I'm a homie
     
  12. jason1551

    jason1551 Member+

    Apr 9, 2003
    Columbus, GA
    Club:
    DC United
    East:

    1. DC
    2. NE
    3. NY
    4. Chicago
    5. Toronto
    6. KC
    7. Columbus

    If Altidore leaves in August, NY drops to 4th or 5th. I could see Toronto and Chicago flip-flopping. I'm not sold on Busch as a starting goalkeeper anymore or Rolfe as a winger. For TFC, it comes down to staying healthy and getting the most out of their internationals. KC and Columbus need some major upgrades to challenge for anything this year.

    West:

    1. Houston
    2. Chivas USA
    3. RSL
    4. FCD
    5. Colorado
    6. LA
    7. SJ

    If Guzan leaves in August, CUSA drops to 3rd or 4th, possibly even lower seeing as how they have no backup keeper. FCD could move up if they get a legit partner for Cooper. RSL will be the big shocker, while LA and Colorado have big issues with offense and defense. SJ suffers the expansion team woes.
     
  13. MLS3

    MLS3 New Member

    Feb 7, 2000
    Pac NW
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What do you think? When I was pulled over by Seattle Police they said "we know how they are in Tumwater with "kids" like you, so we'll let you go this time since your used to it..."...ha


    My predictions were mostly a list of teams with normal team names predicted then all the team names I hate listed below those teams...Somehow doin it that way makes sense to me??
     
  14. krudmonk

    krudmonk Member+

    Mar 7, 2007
    S.J. Sonora
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    You focus on Pozniak like he's the crown jewel of the roster? DENSE...
     
  15. narko

    narko New Member

    Jul 16, 2007
    North Carolina
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Umm...

    New England will NOT be as good as most think they will be.
     
  16. jason1551

    jason1551 Member+

    Apr 9, 2003
    Columbus, GA
    Club:
    DC United
    No, but the fact that Pozniak is considered a key player (and he is if he actually makes SJ's 18 man roster) is not a good sign. A guy who didn't perform well with a lackluster TFC side isn't going to make SJ a playoff team. When he's considered one a "quality" pickup (as evidenced by his selection in the expansion draft), you know your team is in trouble.
     
  17. jason1551

    jason1551 Member+

    Apr 9, 2003
    Columbus, GA
    Club:
    DC United
    They lost Dorman (who wasn't a regular starter) and Noonan (who I think is decent, but not good) and picked up a left-sided midfielder and Albright. So they improved the two weaker positions on their team. If their DP signing (either a forward or a-mid) comes through, they become a legit threat in the East.
     
  18. krudmonk

    krudmonk Member+

    Mar 7, 2007
    S.J. Sonora
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Where the hell do you get this? Are you assuming some kind of pro-Canadian bias from Yallop?
     
  19. JoeW

    JoeW New Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Northern Virginia, USA
    No, I don't think Pozniak is the crown jewel of the roster. I think Cannon is the crown jewel of the roster. He's also probably not the best GK in MLS anymore (I think Guzan is, and Onstad might be better too). We'll just have to agree to disagree on this--I know many SJ fans were very happy with the expansion draft feeling like you almost had a competitive team and may take was that your expansion draft gave you 2, maybe 3 credible MLS starters. Garcia is a good player but I think it's a useful point that Onalfo probably felt he wasn't a difference-maker on their defense or would be easy to replace. I used Pozniak as an example because I think your expansion draft had a couple of guys who fit the category of: good locker room guy, previously coached by Yallop (so no surprises), and not regarded as a very talented player by the other teams/coaches in MLS. I could have easily said Gavin Glinton. Again, agree to disagree but if you compare TFC's roster and SJ's, I think the differences (just in terms of roster) are:
    --TFC was forced to have to rely on a couple of Canadian players (b/c of SI rules no longer in effect) like Roda, Pozniak, etc. who just weren't very good.
    --TFC, despite struggling to score goals for big chunks of the season, has a lot more offensive talent than SJ does at present.
    Now that analysis doesn't take into account the coaches. It also recognizes that SJ isn't done adding players. But expansion teams traditionally struggle in MLS. The exception (chicago) had an SI class of: Mexican NT GK Jorge Campos (who does SJ have that is a current NT player for either the US or Mexico), and than 4 guys from European 1st Divisions--Nowak (an all-time MLS XI), Kubik (probably an all-time MLS XI), Podbrozny, and Kosecki. Let's put this in perspective: RSL in it's entire history has not had ONE SI player has good as any of those 4 (even the lowest level: Kosecki or Podbrozny). And Chicago had phenomenal young American talent (Thornton, Armas, Wolff, Razov) that no other expansion team has ever duplicated in MLS.

    I'm not trying to beat up on SJ. Congrats on getting a team again. Support it well and give Yallop time--he's a great coach. But being an expansion team in MLS is basically a formula for being beat up on.
     
  20. MLS3

    MLS3 New Member

    Feb 7, 2000
    Pac NW
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Like the 98 Chicago Fire...uhhh
     
  21. Buzz Killington

    Buzz Killington Member+

    Oct 6, 2002
    Lee's Summit
    Club:
    Kansas City Wizards
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The exception, not the rule.
     
  22. JoeW

    JoeW New Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I can see you didn't bother to read the post right above your's, the one that included this statement ..."The exception (chicago) had an SI class of: Mexican NT GK Jorge Campos (who does SJ have that is a current NT player for either the US or Mexico), and than 4 guys from European 1st Divisions--Nowak (an all-time MLS XI), Kubik (probably an all-time MLS XI), Podbrozny, and Kosecki. Let's put this in perspective: RSL in it's entire history has not had ONE SI player has good as any of those 4 (even the lowest level: Kosecki or Podbrozny). And Chicago had phenomenal young American talent (Thornton, Armas, Wolff, Razov) that no other expansion team has ever duplicated in MLS."

    My point being: Chicago in "98 was a freakish team. It had probably the best SI class of any MLS team EVER. It probably had 2 players (Nowak and Kubik) who make the all-time MLS Best XI. It had a bunch of young Americans (Razov, Wolff, Armas, Thornton) who went on to long productive careers as all-stars (as opposed to long productive careers as solid players like Jessie Marsch or CJ Brown).

    I'm not trying to rain on SJ's parade here and nominate them for all-time worst MLS team ever. But my argument is that Chicago (which is the ONLY example of an MLS expansion team that didn't go through some serious pain in year one) is incredibly atypical. It's great for the Miami's, TFC's, RSL's, and Chivas' to aspire to win a championship in year one. But what it took for Chicago to do that was an amazing confluence of talent. Is there anyone on SJ's current roster that someone wants to make the argument that he'll eventually rival Razov as a goal scorer? Or even Wolff? Or a field player who'll have a career with the longevity and frequent all-star status as Armas?

    Feel free to disagree with any of those positions or argue that I've underestimated SJ's talent or that Yallop's coaching acumen is worth 5-6 wins alone. But seriously folks, give some better responses than "uh" or "dense." If you don't think Chicago was atypical, that every expansion team should be able to land 4 Americans who spend 7-8 years in the league as big players with 2 of them perennial all-stars, and land 5 SI's, one who starts for the Mexican NT and two additional players make the MLS All-Time Best XI, fine--make that argument. Because that's the kind of talent acquisition that Chicago had in year one. And no other expansion team has ever come close to that. Some of those teams haven't even come close in their HISTORY.
     
  23. krudmonk

    krudmonk Member+

    Mar 7, 2007
    S.J. Sonora
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    The problem with your argument is that it's apparently all based on analysis of offense.
     
  24. JoeW

    JoeW New Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Possibly. I think I mentioned that Chicago also ended up with a guy who is probably an MLS All-time XI on defense (Kubik), a Mexican NT GK (Campos) and another player who had a long, fruitful career with a handful of all-star and MLS XI slots to his name (Armas). And the irony is: Chicago in their first year was #2 in MLS defensively in goals allowed and widely criticized for playing so conservatively, not going forward with numbers, playing for low-scoring games and counters. Let's put it another way: Chicago was the exception on a lot of levels. You don't expect a newly put together defense to end up 2nd in the league--that demands a level of talent, cohesion, experience and confidence (plus offensive support) that a first year team just doesn't have (and TFC, RSL, Miami and Chivas never displayed).

    I could be wrong about my SJ analysis. I've said that a bunch of times. I've also noted that SJ is one of those teams that has to bring in some more bodies--there just aren't enough attacking bodies at this point (regardless of talent). So the team is going to change in it's makeup. But that said, I'm just not convinced that SJ at this point has the same level of talent that TFC had. And that should be sobering for SJ fans b/c TFC obviously had long runs of frustratingly bad play in 2007.

    In any case, this isn't meant to be a "how bad will SJ be?" thread but rather an effort to look at predictions for 2008 across the league.
     
  25. jettacop

    jettacop New Member

    Feb 21, 2008
    Bethlehem, Pa
    FC Dallas! With their new additions and spirit, who can stop them. Plus their neighbor won the MLS, so it is their time!!!:cool:
     

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