Category: MLS Season Preview

Kreis and Reyna have painstakingly put the inaugural NYCFC squad together.

PST predicts Major League Soccer’s 2015 standings; Do you agree?


MLS gets underway this Friday, and Pro Soccer Talk is ramping up its coverage of the United States’ top flight with a series of preview posts on the season.

Today, we enlisted six of our writers to boldly proclaim who will finish where come the Fall.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS previews for 2015 ]

There are some bold predictions from our staff, with every writer apart confident that Jason Kreis’ MLS expertise combining with City Football Group’s millions to land the first-year club in the postseason.

The fortunes for fellow expansion side Orlando are more varied, with only Duncan Day seeing Kaka and Co. in the playoffs.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Out West, things are little more predictable, excepting my lack of faith in Caleb Porter’s Timbers and Kyle Bonn pegging Real Salt Lake to finish second. I’d like to point out that it’s not anti-PDX bias that has me dropping the Timbers; I had them in sixth before last season and don’t feel they are much better off, especially with Diego Valeri coming off major surgery and missing some time.

So what do you think?

ProSoccerTalk’s 2014 MLS Prediction

JPW Nick Mendola Andy Edwards Kyle Bonn Kyle Lynch Duncan Day
1. New England 1. New England 1. Columbus 1. New England 1. Toronto 1. NYC
2. Toronto 2. Toronto 2. Toronto 2. Toronto 2. New England 2. Toronto
3. DC United 3. DC United 3. New England 3. DC United 3. NYC 3. New England
4. NYC 4. NYC 4. DC United 4. NYRB 4. Columbus 4. Columbus
5. NYRB 5. Columbus 5. Philadelphia 5. NYC 5. NYRB 5. Orlando City
6. Chicago 6. Chicago 6. NYC 6. Columbus 6. Chicago 6. DC United
7. Columbus 7. Philadelphia 7. NYRB 7. Montreal 7. Orlando City 7. NYRB
8. Montreal 8. NYRB 8. Montreal 8. Chicago 8. DC United 8. Chicago
9. Orlando City 9. Montreal 9. Orlando City 9. Orlando City 9. Philadelphia 9. Philadelphia
10. Philadelphia 10. Orlando City 10. Chicago 10. Philadelphia 10. Montreal 10. Montreal
1. LA Galaxy
1. Seattle
1. Seattle
1. Seattle
1. LA Galaxy 1. LA Galaxy
2. Seattle
2. LA Galaxy 2. LA Galaxy
2. RSL
2. Seattle 2. Seattle
3. KC
3. Vancouver
3. FC Dallas
3. KC
3. KC 3. KC
4. RSL
4. RSL
4. KC
4. LA Galaxy
4. Portland 4. Portland
5. Portland
5. KC
5. Portland
5. Vancouver
5. FC Dallas 5. RSL
6. Houston 6. FC Dallas 6. Vancouver 6. Portland 6. Houston 6. Vancouver
7. FC Dallas 7. Portland 7. RSL 7. Houston 7. Vancouver 7. Houston
8. Vancouver 8. Houston 8. San Jose 8. FC Dallas 8. RSL 8. FC Dallas
9. San Jose 9. Colorado 9. Houston 9. San Jose 9. San Jose 9. San Jose
10. Colorado 10. San Jose 10. Colorado 10. Colorado 10. Colorado 10. Colorado

Top 10 returning players in Major League Soccer for 2015

Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Lamar Neagle, Jaime Penedo

As we continue our build up to the 2015 Major League Soccer season, here’s a look at 10 players who could be the top returners this season. Ranking them from 10-1, here it goes…

10 — Obafemi Martins, Seattle Sounders

All the flips…

9 — Tony Tchani, Columbus Crewsource:

Probably has a future with the USMNT if he matches last season’s output.

8 – Osvaldo Alonso, Seattle Sounders

The hard-nosed agitator gets it done.

7 – Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls

Scored 28 goals last year. How much of a hit will he take with Sacha Kljestan in and Thierry Henry out.

6 – Darlington Nagbe, Portland Timbers

Possibly the most overlooked star in MLS.

5– Omar Gonzalez, LA Galaxy

Again, without the World Cup hiatus, his numbers will be otherworldly.

4– Lee Nguyen, New England Revolution

He earned those MVLee chants last year.

3 – Michael Bradley, Toronto FC

Head on up to BMO Field and watch the man work. In a non-World Cup season with help from a healthy Steven Caldwell, Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore, it’s game on.

2 – Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounderssource: AP

Some are going to tell you teammates Alonso and Martins deserve a shout here, but Dempsey gives you far better attack than the former and far better possession than the latter.

1 – Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy

Until he gives a single sign that he’s lost a step, he’s the man… even before Stevie G hits Hollywood.

On the fringe: Gyasi Zardes (L.A.), Matt Hedges (Dallas), Diego Valeri (Portland), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose), Bill Hamid (DC), Kyle Beckerman (RSL), Graham Zusi (KC), Federico Higuain (Columbus), Jermaine Jones (NE), David Ousted (Vancouver), Chad Marshall (Seattle), Dom Dwyer (KC).

Making the case for the Eastern Conference as a better option

Joze Altidore
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On Wednesday morning, our own Andy Edwards will tell you a tale of Western Conference dominance. He could probably sleepwalk through the post (though he won’t because he’s got moxie).

That’s because the narrative for Major League Soccer fans — and especially media — over the past few years has been one of Western dominance, and now the conference is gaining two of the best franchises in league history: Sporting KC and the Houston Dynamo.

[ RELATED: All of PST’s MLS previews for 2015 ]

But hold on a second. What fun is there in following the narrative? Sure the Sounders are the reigning Supporters Shield winners and the Galaxy won yet another MLS Cup, but there’s been a wild influx of new, powerful faces (and teams).

1) Toronto FC

The Reds boast two of the most important U.S. players in Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, two players who — for better or for worse — have returned to America from the biggest leagues in the world while still in their prime. And the playoff-free club added an active Italian international in crafty attacker Sebastian Giovinco. Frankly, this is a club which, if successful on the field, will earn and keep the eyes of even the hardiest of Eurosnobs.

2) Expansion of interest

The idea of two brand new MLS clubs being able to dart into the league and make the playoffs would seemingly make the opposite point: that the weak East can be in play just by virtue of money. Part of that is true: being able to afford Kaka and David Villa is a pretty big asset for Orlando and New York City, respectively.

But Orlando has built a fervent fan base and championship reputation in Florida, while New York City FC orchestrated an MLS contender with one of the league’s best composers in Jason Kreis. Both clubs did very well in free agency and the expansion draft, and both picked up assets in the SuperDraft. When I was a kid and the San Jose Sharks and Florida Panthers arrived in the NHL, those new shiny teams were cool. The thing about those teams, though, is they were lousy. Neither of these squads will be basement dwellers in the East.

[ BOOKMARK: MLS standings | stats | schedule ]

source: AP3) Resurgent Revs

New England boosted Jermaine Jones from Chicago and never looked back, taking the favored Los Angeles Galaxy to the brink in MLS Cup. Now the whole gang is back, and youngsters like Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez and Andrew Farrell are a year older and a year wiser. With a rearguard that includes Jose Goncalves in front of Bobby Shuttleworth (right), and Lee Nguyen working his MVLee magic, New England is fun nearly every week.

4) New York vs. New York

This ties into point No. 2, but NYCFC has walked into the Big Apple like it owns the place (Haven’t you heard? Mix “hates the Red Bull”. The new boys have all the momentum, while Red Bulls fans are wondering what the heck is going on after an offseason of upheaval. By the time the first New York Derby gets cooking at Red Bull Arena on May 10, will NYCFC have a bunch of casual New York fans ready for conversion?

There you go, Edwards. Your move.