The good, the bad, and the very, very ugly.
|Over the years I’ve scored fewer and fewer points on this thing, probably cause I keep going more and more out on a limb (read: silly/crazy/loony) with the predictions. But what the heck, that’s the whole point of this bit. There are 100s of normal predictions out there, what’s the fun in that?
|So here they are, my annual fearless, and likely useless, predictions…. with a final score.
|5 and 1/2 POINTS.
|Better than last year by 1/2 a point.
|Twenty Fearless Predictions for 2008
|(For recreational purposes only)
|Halfway though the season with LA in the crapper, Beckham will give his “Him or Me” ultimatum demanding Alexi Lalas be fired and for the team to be built with a bunch of average talent and role players instead of three massive egos. AEG Honcho Tim Leiweke will have a “come to Jesus” meeting with Landon Donovan, Don Garber, and Quakes owner Lew Wolff to convince Landon to waive his no-trade clause “for the good of the league” so LA can send him to San Jose for a package of allocation and players. Gullit will be pissed off he wasn’t invited to the meeting and will quit LA for William II.
|– LA sucked, Lalas fired, Gullit resigned, Beckham is going on loan (who knows if he’ll be back), and Landon is going to Europe. That’s a point. 1 POINT
|FC Dallas will hire a Technical Director and it will not be one of the two most likely candidates Schellas Hyndman or Dave Dir. A TD is the trend in MLS and HSG will follow up their hire in Columbus with one in Dallas. The name the Hunts pull out of a hat is going to surprise many people, including me.
|– Ellinger’s not officially Technical Director, but he’s Schellas’ assistant for the purpose of scouting and managing league rules. That sounds like a TD. I’m taking it. 1 POINT
|This summer Lee Nguyen will finally see the light and return home to sign with MLS (Benny Feilhaber however will not). Nguyen will want to come to FCD, but because FCD has no high ranking allocation he’ll go to RSL or LA. FC Dallas will trade Marcelo Saragosa, green card in hand, and a partial allocation to get Lee.
|– Not yet. 0 POINTS
|West Finish: Chivas USA, Houston, FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake, Los Angeles, Colorado, San Jose. Chivas USA will win the West as Houston starts slow and finishes second. FCD will also come out slow, a midseason signing rallies them into 3rd passing RSL in the last month of the season. With San Jose in the west RSL makes the playoffs edging out LA, Colorado, and Chicago from the East.
|– That was fairly close with the only real miss being FCD. But that’s Hitch’s fault for changing coaches. 1/2 POINT
|East Finish: Kansas City, DC United, New York, New England, Chicago, Toronto FC, Columbus. I just got a feeling about KC this year, I love what they are doing there. DC is involved in too many other competitions and Gallardo is too selfish a player to get DC to the top of the table. Angel and Altidore are too good and once Osorio gets the defense right they will start to peak in the second half. NE slumps this year, they’ve just lost to much, but still makes the playoffs. Chicago just misses out as Blanco is the most fouled player in MLS, TFC is still a mess, and the Crew downright awful.
|– I almost got it completely backward. I think I underestimated the minor league field syndrome in KC. 0 POINTS
|Chivas USA will be MLS Cup Champs. Dallas finally knocks out Houston in a shootout when Sala saves on Mulrooney’s 5th attempt, but then losses to Chivas USA out in LA. Red Bull upsets DC and then beats KC in KC to advance. Chivas with the home ice take MLS Cup 2008.
|– Houston did get knocked out, but not even close on Columbus. 0 POINTS
|FC Dallas will be US Open Cup Champions. Hitch is committed to buying those USOC home games and Morrow’s young team, let by resilient Cooper and Thompson, is good at knock out games.
|– What can I say, this year was a mess in Dallas. 0 POINTS
|Chivas (Guadalajara) will win the SuperLiga. Their virtual home support throughout the tournament will carry them to the title as all the Mexican teams take the SperLiga even more seriously than last year.
|– Wow, a MLS team won it? Cool. No points though. 0 POINTS
|Curt Onalfo is your MLS Coach of the Year. He leads KC to first place in the East, despite playing in a minor league stadium.
|– No. 0 POINTS
|The Rookie of the Year will be Eric Brunner of the Red Bulls. It’s going to be a three horse race between Brunner, Anthony Beltran in Salt Lake, and Chance Myers in KC. I’m giving Brunner the nod as he’s a natural fit for the LCB spot in the 3 man NY back line. He’ll also score a couple nice goals on headers.
|– Brunner left NY when they stiffed him on a senior contract, thus derailing my pick. Myers and Beltran had nice seasons. But no points for me. 0 POINTS
|Brian Ching will be Comeback Player of the Year for Houston. This is the year Ching finally stays healthy and he’ll score 15 goals in all competitions. Ronnie O’Brien will finish second for CPOY and would win the award if San Jose front line was not so horrific.
|– How in the world did I not predict Cooper? Idiot. 0 POINTS
|Jozy Altidore will be sold for $10 million to AC Milan. Altidore will be one of three players AC Milan buys with the money they get for selling Kaka to Real Madrid.
|– Sold to Villarreal for $10 Million.Bingo. 1 POINT
|Taylor Twellman will win the Budweiser Golden Boot for the Revs. He’s pissed he didn’t get sold and will come out firing on cylinders to get that transfer. It’s a contract year, and you know what that means.
|– Nope, Donovan with 20. Injures killed Twellman’s numbers, at this point we just have to hope he plays again. 0 POINTS
|Ante Razov will be MLS MVP. Like Emilio last year over Angel, the best player for the best team usually gets the nod. Twellman will score more, but Chivas will be better than the Revs and Razov will add all those assists.
|– No. 0 POINTS
|Jimmy Conrad will be Defender of the Year for the City. The Wizards will be very tough to score on this year and Conrad is the prime form of his career.
|– He is the clear DOY for me, It’s a joke he didn’t win. Best defender on a team of inexperienced and poor defenders, team captain, almost their leading scorer. Hell he arguably could have won league MVP. Hell with it, I’m taking the point. 1 POINT
|Chivas USA will win the Supporters Shield. Razov and Gallindo will do it again and lead Chivas USA to the regular season title. San Jose in the West to help pad the point total doesn’t hurt either.
|– Who the heck saw this Crew turnaround? If you say you did you’re lying. 0 POINTS
|Brek Shea will start 10 games for FCD, mostly in the latter half of the season. He’ll get time at left wing and left wingback; including USOC play he’ll score four goals.
|He would have without the injury and coaching change. C’est la vie. 0 POINTS
|With time running out on the season, Morrow will talk HSG into signing a DP in the second transfer window, Australian target striker Mark Viduka. Keegan will be signing players right and left for the Magpies, thus Viduka will be surplus to requirements at Newcastle. Morrow tired of watching Cooper, Ricardinho, and Alvarez play anywhere but in the box will not be able to resist the massive target striker.
|– Morrow got fired instead. Schellas brought Cunningham, same principle but not close enough. 0 POINTS
|Halfway through the MLS season, right about the time Schelotto vanishes, Brian Bliss and Sigi Schmid will begin referring to each other as “the coach” and “the director” in the media. Bliss will start looking for a new coach and will name himself interim coach when Sigi is fired late in the year.
|– Schelotto sure as hell didn’t vanish. Should have written this about LA or TFC instead. 0 POINTS
|There will be no expansion announcement this year. I wanted to predict St Louis and NY2 would make the 17th and 18th team, but were still two years from Philly entering the league, so it will take a few years for those other two locations to land teams. Hell the Mets have to get their stadium in place first.
|– As of the end of the season there is a list of seven bids but no team has won yet. Before you say Philly, that came in February of this year prior to when I made my predictions. 1 POINT