One Reason Why Each MLS Team Can Win the Cup
Why Each Team Can Win the MLS Cup
The MLS is a league that is continuing to grow more and more competitive as each season passes. This season promises to be one of the most exciting yet. There will be good teams and lesser ones who all have the same goal in mind: to win the MLS Cup.
Firstly, winning ahead of 18 other teams is by no means an easy task. Winning the league before the playoffs depends on how easy or tough a team's schedule is. That team still has to play a home and away leg in the postseason and if they cannot figure out a way to keep their regular season form going, they will face an upset.
Let's take a look at the New York Red Bulls, who won the Supporter's Shield but ended up losing out to the Houston Dynamo in the second round of the playoffs. They were great in the regular season, but since they had to play the Dynamo twice in a week, their holes were exposed by their opponents who had more successful postseason appearances with two titles to their name in addition to two more final appearances against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Now, with many teams surely learning from those errors, they know that they have to constantly change their game plans. Sticking with the same one could definitely come back to bite them in the end when it counts the most.
Let's take a quick look at one reason why each team has a chance to win the MLS Cup.
19. Chivas USA
This is a team that is full of youth who do not know how to play as a team. Well, then came along Erick Torres from sister club Chivas Guadalajara. If he stays on board, the offense of this team will continue to grow strong, and Chivas might find themselves in the MLS Cup final.
18. Portland Timbers
The Timbers almost made it to the MLS Cup final last season, only to lose against Real Salt Lake in the Conference Final. They can use this experience and build on it this year as second-year coach Caleb Porter surely has a new idea in mind to win the West again, and this time to go all the way to the final and win it all.
17. DC United
This team have made crucial signings in Eddie Johnson, Bobby Boswell and Sean Franklin, three players who bring a vast amount of playoff and international experience that will give United a much-needed boost. If they can click, they can use this experience to build a new playing style that can take them all the way.
16. Chicago Fire
The Chicago Fire have hired a new coach in Frank Yallop who knows how this game is played. In addition, they will be keeping Mike Magee, who has won multiple titles and will be the main piece in the offense. If he can get everyone else on board, they can rely on his experience to finally win the title.
15. Seattle Sounders
Marco Pappa made a name for himself in Chicago as the team's main attacking midfielder. Now that he's back in Seattle, if he can influence those around him, this team can score a plethora of goals in the diamond formation to go all the way to the MLS Cup final and win the trophy.
14. Houston Dynamo
The Houston Dynamo do not have much to brag about, but the fact that they have much experience in big games should be enough for them to go all the way once again. This is a new season and they need to rely on their veterans as well as youth to help carry them to another final.
13. New York Red Bulls
This team deservedly won the Supporter's Shield but ended up losing in the conference semis to the Houston Dynamo. This season, with Mike Petke embarking in his second year as head coach, NY will be ready fix those holes and also start scoring when it truly counts.
12. Toronto FC
Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley have both agreed help lead the charge towards a new realistic goal: winning the MLS title. If they can make an instant impact and play consistent soccer, Toronto FC can easily make the playoffs and win it all.
11. FC Dallas
With Schellas Hyndman now gone as head coach, the exciting Oscar Pareja has stepped in to take over a prestigious club. He will most likely rely on his new number 10, Mauro Diaz. With everyone around him ready to play, the team can make a title run as long as they stay healthy and allow Pareja to instill his style of play.
10. Philadelphia Union
Maurice Edu is a central midfielder who played in Scotland, Turkey and England, gaining valuable experience. He is expected to to lead the team to the playoffs with help from the already talented roster around him. If coach John Hackworth can build around Edu and the young attack, this team can go all the way.
9. Montreal Impact
Since they are keeping 37-year-old Italian striker Marco Di Vaio as their designated player, they can expect him to keep on scoring as age is nothing but a number for him. If they play a fearless style of soccer and rely on both their youths and veterans, they can make it all the way to the final and win it all.
8. Real Salt Lake
If Luis Gil plays well and the others around him learn to play with him smoothly, this team can easily make the final again ... and win it this time.
7. Los Angeles Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy now know what needs to be done: start fresh, rely on the captain Landon Donovan and allow the youth to blend in with the veterans to go back to the title game and win the big one once again. They should win it all because they have been there before and have learned form last season's mistakes.
6. Vancouver Whitecaps
Designated player Kenny Miller is 34, but still has a lot to offer in front of the net. As long as they let him lead the way, tighten up on defense and learn the passing game with patience, this team will be able to win the MLS Cup because they have the pieces.
5. Sporting Kansas City
The 4-3-3 under Peter Vermes led this team to the MLS Cup of 2013 as everyone successfully played their roles. They know this league and have the pieces, so with a few tweaks to throw opponents off, they can win it all once again.
4. Columbus Crew
With designated player Federico Higuain knowing this league inside out and his teammates eager for a title run, the Crew need to follow his scoring and play with some heart and passion to go all the way.
3. New England Revolution
This team has the offensive pieces like Jerry Bengston, Diego Fagundez and Saer Sene who can score goals at will. If they play well, they can help boost the team up the standings and win in the MLS Cup final.
2. Colorado Rapids
With a youthful and emerging talent such as Deshorn Brown, the Rapids can finally say they have an exciting attack that can win games by scoring a lot of goals. They can win it all since their attack is made up of youthful prospects who still have a point to prove.
1. San Jose Earthquakes
This team is led by veteran designated striker Chris Wondolowski. He is not the fastest or most crafty, but he has a knack for creating inches of space to unleash rippling shots into the back of the net.