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A Walk Down Memory Lane… Reviewing the Previews

One thing we are not afraid to do here at MLS Talk is to take a look back on our predictions and previews to highlight what we got both awesomely right and so terribly wrong.  Now that the 2012 MLS season is well over and the 2013 preseason is in full swing, I thought it would again be appropriate to take a look back at our March prediction post.  While our thoughts on the final standings and MLS Cup winners overall were not too bad, the individual award predictions had a few hilarious items (admittedly mostly by me).

Feel free to congratulate, gloat, and ridicule in the comment section, but also share one or two predictions you had personally at the beginning of the season.  What did you get exactly right or hillariously wrong?

Standings

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

Daniel did pretty well in his standings although he was way too bullish on Toronto and undersold San Jose drastically.  Earl was also very high on Toronto and thought his hometown team would take the next step this year to secure a good playoff spot.  As for me, I did ok in the East (except for Toronto over NY) but my West was off.  No one had San Jose finishing in the top three, much less having the best record.

MLS Cup match-up and winner:  This category was my one bright spot, as I had Los Angeles lifting the MLS Cup (albeit after beating the Chicago Fire). Daniel also predicted the Galaxy playing in the championship, but losing to Kansas City.  As for Earl, he drank the Pacific Northwest juice and had Seattle as the MLS Cup host city, only to see Kansas City walking out with the Cup.  

CONCACAF Champions League: We made this a prediction as three MLS teams had advanced late into this competition.  Daniel had faith in the Galaxy to win it all, while Earl and I lacked faith in any of the three teams.  Those lacking faith were rewarded with a correct prediction.

Golden Boot:  A quote from the preview:

MLS has some great goal scorers but it seems like the Golden Boot recently has gone to a player that comes out of nowhere.

Of course because I wrote this the best goal scorer over the past three years not only won the Golden Boot in a route but broke a record doing so.  But what can you expect from a guy who picked Edson Buddle to score the most goals in the league?  Earl picked FC Dallas newcomer Blas Perez (#19th overall) and Daniel chose soccer icon Thierry Henry (#5 in 2012).

Most Valuable Player: Dwayne De Rosario rode a dominant second half of the season to win 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.  Of course we were all three wrong (see previous paragraph).

Newcomer of the Year:  Our biggest mistake in picking this award was not being able to pick in July.  Midseason pick-up Federico Higuain was the 2012 winner but at least Daniel and I picked finalist Kasey Keller replacement Michael Gspurning. Earl again predicted Blas Perez to add another trophy to his trophy case.

Rookie of the Year:  Who the favorite was to win this award varied by week during the 2012 season.  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.  And we were all three wrong.

Comeback Player of the Year:  Arguably the hardest category to predict, my fellow writers went with good, solid choices for the award.  Daniel went with New York’s Kenny Cooper while Earl picked past MVP David Ferreira.  For the second year in a row I picked Branko Boskovic to come back from his nagging injuries and finally live up to his promised potential for DCU.  At least he played this year.