MLS Season Preview and Predictions
The MLS season kicks-off Sunday March 6th, and here at MFST our resident soccer expert, Cesar ‘Turtle’ Gutierrez, has answered the burning questions leading up to the first game. Make sure you don’t miss Cesars’ Fantasy Soccer picks, which can help you win a lot of dough.
1. What teams are going to make the MLS Cup playoffs?
1. Los Angeles Galaxy
2. F.C. Dallas
4. Vancouver Whitecaps
5. Sporting Kansas City
6. Seattle Sounders
1. New York Red Bulls
2. Montreal Impact
3. Columbus Crew S.C.
4. Toronto F.C.
5. Orlando City S.C.
6. New York City F.C.
Major League Soccer has always been a difficult league to predict but that’s what makes it so fun to try. The Western Conference continues to look stronger than the Eastern Conference but that doesn’t mean it is less competitive. Los Angeles Galaxy had a very active off-season to overhaul an already stacked roster. I don’t normally think overhauls like these work out well but the core of the roster stayed together and the new faces will have plenty of time to gel over an already long season lengthened by CONCACAF Champions League. The F.C. Dallas roster only got stronger and deeper thanks to their additions but they are playing in three competitions this season which will take a toll on them as well as losing much of their roster to international competitions. Portland will run into the same problems as F.C. Dallas and I won’t be surprised if the second seed will be determined by tie breakers. The bottom three playoff seeds will be constantly changing throughout the season and I won’t be surprised to see one of my three picks get knocked out on the last day. All three teams I picked lost key players over the off-season and will miss out on some during international dates this summer. The Eastern conference didn’t see a lot of important changes this summer for my top four picks. I think the other teams will have a better idea of how to stop Columbus Crew which will keep them from breaking the top two. Montreal Impact kept their strongest while regaining Cam Porter from injury and picking up the underrated Harrison Shipp. New York Red Bulls are still the best on paper and that will stay the same on the field. Toronto F.C. will run into too many injuries and international absences to get them above the fourth seed. New York City and Orlando City are both going to get over the hump they tripped over towards the end of last season. I won’t be surprised to see another team leap-frog N.Y.C.F.C into the final playoff spot but only because of their still horrible defense.
2. Who will win the Supporters’ Shield?
Los Angeles Galaxy
I’ve picked New York Red Bulls or Los Angeles Galaxy to earn the best record since 2010 for good reason because they’ve won four of the past six Supporters’ Shields between them. Both teams weren’t far off in the two years they didn’t win it. I’m going with Los Angeles Galaxy this year for my pick because of their roster changes and how many key players they won’t lose during the summer months. They may not run away with it but it will become more convincing in the late summer months.
3. Who will win the MLS Cup?
We will have a new MLS Cup champion this year with F.C. Dallas finally hoisting the cup in December. Oscar Pareja is a coach who knows how to build a team with the pieces he needs to best implement his plan and this will prove to work as the year closes. They’ll run into some speed bumps in April and then again during their CONCACAF Champions League group stage matches but they’ll finish strong and ride that wave to the title.
4. Who will win the Golden Boot?
Didier Drogba, Montreal Impact
Didier Drogba arrived late in the season last year but lit up the scoreboard during his short stint with a Montreal Impact squad that was vastly improving as the season went on. He’s going to run into some fatigue and injury issues over a long season but I’m positive that the improved roster will help him find the back of the net more than anyone else this year.
5. Who will win MVP?
Mauro Diaz, F.C. Dallas
It’s hard to believe anyone having a better year than Sebastian Giovinco had last year but Mauro Diaz is primed to have a better year than him this year. It took an MVP year from a Dallas midfielder to help to the finals last year and it will have to come again this time around for them to return there. Diaz has had injuries (and possibly personality issues) take a toll on his playing time in past seasons but this year he looks to be all-in for his club. If he can stay healthy, on the good side of his coaching staff, and mesh well with his new teammates then I say no reason for him to not get top honors at the end of the season.
6. What will be this season’s biggest surprise?
Cam Porter was poised to have an amazing season before a freak injury cut his year short early in 2015. I think Porter is going to return from his injury to help Montreal surge up the standings. He may have lost a step or two but he’ll regain it as the season drags on and will become a key cog in the Montreal attack. He won’t replace Drogba but he’ll sure give him a ton of help and he could easily push Dominic Oduro down the pecking order. I doubt he will have the kind of year Kei Kamara had last season but he’s going to turn a lot of heads.
7. What will be this year’s biggest bust?
Ashley Cole looked wildly out of sorts in the Galaxy’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal opener and wasn’t even there for the gruesome second leg. He won’t be able to adjust to the MLS season like Robbie Keane has and he doesn’t have enough in his tank to play the full year. It’s a surprise they spent any money on him at all after the past few years he has had in Italy. At least Los Angeles didn’t spend a lot of money on him because he’ll be replaced in the starting line-up by late April.
8. Biggest name coming in the summer transfer window?
Carlos Vela’s name has been tossed around the past couple years for a transfer to MLS. Money has been the main issue why he hasn’t made the move but I think someone will drop big bucks on him this summer. Colorado was after him this past January transfer window but I won’t be surprised if another team goes calling for him again with a better offer.
https://www.myfantasysportstalk.com/mls-season-preview/https://i0.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/a-12.jpg?fit=738%2C415&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/a-12.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Recent PostsSoccermlsThe MLS season kicks-off Sunday March 6th, and here at MFST our resident soccer expert, Cesar 'Turtle' Gutierrez, has answered the burning questions leading up to the first game. Make sure you don't miss Cesars' Fantasy Soccer picks, which can help you win a lot of dough. 1. What teams...Cesar GutierrezCesar GutierrezCesarmartingutierrez@gmail.comContributorCesar "turtle" Gutierrez hails from San Antonio, Texas but currently lives in the Buffalo, NY area. He has a BA in English-Communication Arts from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas and is a published poet. He lives, eats, and breathes soccer---primarily Major League Soccer. While he has an enjoyment of all sports and is able to talk or write about almost any thing, he'd sooner watch a soccer game before anything else and has been known to drive or fly cross country just for a game. You can follow him on Twitter @namcopunk or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/namcopunk.MyFantasySportsTalk