15 Bold Predictions for the 2014 MLS Season
15 Bold Predictions for the 2014 MLS Season
Major League Soccer's regular season is set to kick off on Mar. 8 beginning with a match between defending champions Sporting Kansas City taking on the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field.
MLS' offseason and preseason provided fans with much entertainment and many roster moves. Likewise, the regular season will be must watch between the games on the field, player moves off the field and coaches on the hot seat. Some teams will rise to the occasion and others will disappoint at the end of the regular season.
On the player level, some will show why they are among the league's best while others will not repeat their respective stellar 2013 campaigns. During the offseason, some MLS teams secured the rights to USMNT players, and fans will want to see how their play translates during their time on their respective MLS teams. However, not all of them will shine on their respective teams.
With a new season comes a new draft class that has dominated the discussion since the MLS combine. A handful of MLS Rookies will be worth watching during the season as they impact their team's play. Additionally, these rookies will need to integrate into the team's existing chemistry and fight for a spot on their team's game day roster.
Overall, the 2014 MLS season will be must watch sports action. Here are 15 bold predictions for the 2014 MLS Season.
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15. Sigi Schmid Fired Midseason
The Seattle Sounders will struggle in 2014. Head coach Sigi Schmid won't be around to lead the team through October.
14. Clint Dempsey Scores Under 10 Goals
The USMNT forward came to Seattle last year and struggled in MLS. This year, his struggles continue and he scores less than 10 goals.
13. Michael Bradley Nets 15 Assists, 10 Goals
Designated Player Michael Bradley took the league by storm coming to MLS and Toronto FC. He will lead the team this season and score 10 goals while assisting on 15 others. He'll make opposing defenses look like Swiss cheese.
12. Deshorn Brown, Dillon Powers Repeat Stellar Rookie Seasons
Dillion Powers and Deshorn Brown finished first and second in the 2013 Rookie of the Year voting last year, respectively. This season their dominant rookie seasons will carry over into 2014, and fans will be asking "what's a sophomore slump?"
11. Mike Magee Struggles with Chicago Fire
2013 MLS MVP Mike Magee took the league by storm. However, he will struggle this year.
10. Jermain Defoe Scores 15 Goals
In addition to bringing in Michael Bradley, Toronto FC acquired striker Jermain Defoe. Well, the USMNT forward will succeed from game one and score 15 goals throughout the season.
9. Patrick Mullins Non-Factor for New England Revolution
Remember when people said Patrick Mullins is better than Steven Neumann? Well, Neumann was drafted before Mullins, and both are on the New England Revolution. Therefore, fans will be able to see who turns out to be the better MLS player. However, Mullins will be a non-factor for New England this year.
8. Toronto FC Wins Eastern Conference
With Ryan Nelsen finally holding true to his word and bringing in solid transfer targets, including Michael Bradley, Jermain Defoe and Julio Cesar, Toronto is stacked. Additionally, their stacked squad will help the team finish atop the Eastern Conference standings.
7. Sporting Kansas City Misses Playoffs
Defending MLS Cup winners Sporting Kansas City will not repeat in 2014. Furthermore, they will fail to reach the playoffs as well due to their goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen's retirement from MLS.
6. Portland Timbers Win Supporters' Shield
In addition to winning the Western Conference, the Portland Timbers will win the 2014 Supporters' Shield behind Caleb Porter's leadership and attention to his team's tactical excellence.
5. Zac MacMath Breaks Shutout Record Again
In 2013, Philadelphia Union GK Zac MacMath broke the MLS shutout record with 12. This season he breaks the record again behind a solid Union back-line and leadership within the pipes.
4. New England Revolution Earn Playoff Spot
With smart offseason trades and draft day picks, the New England Revolution are ready to compete in 2014. As a result, they will indeed compete and beat their opponents to earn a playoff spot come season's end.
3. Steve Neumann Wins Rookie of the Year
Reading United and Georgetown star Steve Neumann will shine in his rookie season. He'll do so well that he will earn 2014 MLS Rookie of the Year honors.
2. Jack McInerney Wins Golden Boot, MVP
Jack McInerney had an up and down 2013 season. However, his fortunes change in 2014 and his confidence up top will lead him to new heights. As a result, he will win not only the Golden Boot, but also the 2014 MLS MVP award.
1. Philadelphia Union Win MLS Cup
In the past the Philadelphia Union front office has made many "head-scratching" moves. However, this offseason was different. From signing three midfield designated players, including Maurice Edu, to drafting players that filled team needs and stealing Austin Berry in a trade from the Chicago Fire, the Union are ready to succeed on paper.
This will translate over to the field as a cohesive midfield unit propels the Union to their first ever MLS Cup as the team celebrates their fifth season. Get ready to doop (cheer), Philadelphia fans. This is your year to lose.
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