The MLS Talk 2012 Season Predictions

The greatest time of the year has finally come.  After weeks of previewing the teams, we are a day away from the beginning of the MLS season.  Looking ahead to 2012, some things have stayed the same (star-powered LA Galaxy, new playoff format again, ESPN games of the week) and some things have changes (new playoff format, NBC Sports Network games, Montreal Impact).  Just like last year, your writers are going out on a limb and makes some predictions prior to the season.  If you remember, our picks from last year were not so great (especially in the individual categories) but we will strive to do better this year and, again, repost these predictions at the end of the season.

On to our picks!  First up are our predicted standings for the season, with the Supporters’ Shield winners in italics:

Daniel Feuerstein

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

Sporting Kansas City Real Salt Lake
New York Red Bulls Los Angeles Galaxy
DC United Seattle Sounders
Toronto FC FC Dallas
Houston Dynamo San Jose Earthquakes
New England Revolution Portland Timbers
Columbus Crew Chivas USA
Chicago Fire Colorado Rapids
Montreal Impact Vancouver Whitecaps
Philadelphia Union

Robert Hay

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

Sporting Kansas City Los Angeles Galaxy
Chicago Fire Seattle Sounders
Houston Dynamo Real Salt Lake
DC United Colorado Rapids
Toronto FC FC Dallas
New York Red Bulls Portland Timbers
Columbus Crew San Jose Earthquakes
Philadelphia Union Vancouver Whitecaps
Montreal Impact Chivas USA
New England Revolution

Earl Reed

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

Sporting Kansas City Los Angeles Galaxy
Houston Dynamo Seattle Sounders
Philadelphia Union FC Dallas
New York Red Bulls Real Salt Lake
Toronto FC Portland Timbers
Columbus Crew Vancouver Whitecaps
DC United San Jose Earthquakes
Chicago Fire Colorado Rapids
New England Revolution Chivas USA
Montreal Impact

As you can see there is some definite difference of opinion.  Starting with the Eastern Conference we all agree that Sporting Kansas City will win the East and all of us have Toronto and Houston making the playoffs.  In the West, Daniel breaks with consensus and has Real Salt Lake passing Los Angeles to take the West.  Besides order of finish, we all have Dallas, Los Angeles, Real Salt Lake, and Seattle making the playoffs with each of us having a different fifth team (or in my case, fourth place team).  As for the newest MLS franchise, despite making so much noise in the offseason, none of us have Montreal above ninth.  We’ll see if the rumored summer designated player signing proves us wrong.

MLS Cup match-up and winner: Each of us took a crack at predicting MLS Cup 2012 and the winner.  Earl sees Seattle hosting Kansas City with Sporting KC pulling out the upset win.  Daniel also has Kansas City winning but they will be hosting second place Los Angeles.  As for me, after pondering all of the possible match-ups with a scrunched brow, I predict Chicago will bring back the glory days and advance to MLS Cup, but they will lose to the host Galaxy.

CONCACAF Champions League: With three MLS teams playing in the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League, our group took a shot at predicting if any of the three would win the CCL this spring.  Earl and I both predict that none of the three teams will win the competition this year while Daniel anticipates a Galaxy victory to give them early season momentum.

Golden Boot:  MLS has some great goal scorers but it seems like the Golden Boot recently has gone to a player that comes out of nowhere.  Despite this we took a crack at predicting this category.  I selected MLS prodigal son Edson Buddle to lead the league in goals while Earl picked FC Dallas newcomer Blas Perez and Daniel chose soccer icon Thierry Henry.

Most Valuable Player: Dwayne De Rosario rode a dominant second half of the season to this award in 2011.  Did any of us picked him to repeat? No.  Earl and Daniel tabbed annual MVP candidate Landon Donovan to take home the award and I picked his Western Conference rival Mauro Rosales.

Newcomer of the Year:  Which of the hyped offseason signings will help their team the most and win recognition for their play?  Again all three of us stuck with the Western Conference.  Daniel and I picked Austrian important and Kasey Keller replacement Michael Gspurning to take home the prize while Earl selected Blas Perez to add another trophy to his trophy case.

Rookie of the Year:  Since this award has one of the smallest pool of potential winners, it is usually a hard one to pick.  Last year’s winner fell into the right situation in a weak year for rookies.  This year, the draft has a consensus top two followed by a pool of good players.  Earl picked the #2 overall pick Darren Mattocks to break through for some playing time in Vancouver.  I selected the #3 pick Kelyn Rowe for New England to make an impact in the midfield.  Daniel went with #4 overall pick Luis Silva with Toronto FC.

Comeback Player of the Year:  Which player in 2012 will return to previous glory?  Daniel went with hometown newcomer Kenny Cooper while Earl picked past MVP David Ferreira.  I am sticking with my 2011 choice for a second year: Branko Boskovic to finally come back from his nagging injuries and finally live up to his promised potential for DCU.

7 Responses to The MLS Talk 2012 Season Predictions

  1. CTBlues says:

    No picks for Supporter’s Shield, what are you letting Charles win?

  2. Earl Reed says:

    Gotta love the Philadelphia Union haters! You guys should go out and punch a cheesesteak or something. Daniel, next year I’m putting Red Bull in the toilet!

    • Charles says:

      You do have to admit there are a lot of question marks. I love
      going with the young US talent, but there are a lot of unanswered
      questions.

  3. Kath says:

    Anyone at MajorLeagueSoccerTalk playing MLS Fantasy this year? I am
    trying out the official MLS fantasy game for the first time. I
    would love some tips from you guys. Your website has some great
    pre-season information. I have also found
    http://www.mlsfantasymanager.com . Any other sites you recommend
    for the novice fantasy player?

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