Friday, March 3, 2017

2017 MLS Season Predictions

While this preview post won't necessarily be as all-encompassing as some MLS preview pieces I have written elsewhere (check out my Twitter feed @MattsMusings1 for that), here I will post my predictions for the major awards, regular season standings and who will end up winning the Cup come December. These are probably going to be very wrong (dang Whitecaps), so laugh at me when the time comes, but here are my predictions for the 2017 MLS Season.

Eastern Conference:

1. Toronto FC
3. New York Red Bulls
4. DC United
5. Columbus Crew
6. Montreal Impact
7. Atlanta United
8. Philadelphia Union
9. Chicago Fire
10. New England Revolution
11. Orlando City

So yes, the expansion darlings who spent all that money and brought in all that starpower won't be making it to the playoffs in year one in my mind, though they're certainly going to contend for it. The best teams in the East are the same as they always have been, and look for the Crew to rebound from their disastrous 2016 campaign. Chicago is also much better, but they aren't quite there yet either. And Orlando still has more building to do if they want to finally make the postseason.

Western Conference:

1. FC Dallas
2. Seattle Sounders
3. Portland Timbers
4. LA Galaxy
5. Sporting Kansas City
6. Real Salt Lake
7. Vancouver Whitecaps
8. Colorado Rapids
9. San Jose Earthquakes
10. Houston Dynamo
11. Minnesota United

The other expansion team won't be as likely to fare well, and most people expect that from Minnesota United based on the way they've built their roster. No one is likely to complain about this immediately, but it still feels likely. Portland will be rebounding big time because of their ability to score, but their inability to keep other teams from scoring will prevent them from being higher up the table. Colorado will end up falling back down to earth, while SKC and RSL will just hold up enough to make the playoffs.


MVP: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)
Golden Boot: Ola Kamara (Columbus)
Rookie: Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland)
Defender: Jelle Van Damme (LA Galaxy)
Manager: Ben Olsen (DC United); Benny Ball reigns supreme!

And as for who wins the Cup, anyone can win it, as evidenced by Seattle being awful until August then getting hot. But for me, it seems that it's going to be the year for FC Dallas, as when they're healthy, they're in another stratosphere compared to the rest of the league. Seattle and TFC are the two teams closest to them, followed by a whole host of others.

Happy season, everyone!

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