predictions

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Revisiting PST’s preseason Premier League predictions

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Back in August, we asked our staff to pick its 1-20 table and answer a bevy of roundtable questions.

[ MORE: Atleti wins Europa League ]

The crystal ball ain’t so crystal clear.

The table

— Five of six writers had Manchester City lifting the Premier League trophy, with Nick Mendola’s (me) audacious 90-point total the closest to City’s actual 100 points. Kyle Bonn picked Manchester United to win the league.

–Nick Mendola’s (me) equally audacious prediction that Burnley would finish 20th with 18 total points has had him apologizing on this page for months. Way to go, numbskull.

— No one called more than one relegated team correctly. Swansea had three people pick it for the drop, while I was the lone one to tab West Brom. JPW and Andy Edwards failed to name a single relegated team.

— Who had a team finishing the most spots higher than they did? JPW and Andy Edwards had 16th place Southampton finishing 8th. I had eventually relegated Stoke in 11th, while JPW had them 10th, and Andy Edwards had them 7th!

— Chelsea’s fifth place finish was a surprise to everyone; Only JPW had them finishing lower than second… in third.

— Surprised Arsenal finished in sixth? Kyle Bonn, Andy Edwards, and Matt Reed aren’t.

The roundtable

— We asked who’d go the further in the Champions League, and JPW was the only one to name Liverpool (although he hedged in a bit by saying the Reds and Man City).

— We asked who’d score the most league goals between Romelu LukakuHarry Kane, Alvaro Morata, Alexandre Lacazette, or Sergio Aguero? Four correctly went with Kane, with Kyle Bonn wrong with Lukaku and this humble writer wrong with Lacazette.

— We asked which Premier League player would feel worst about his decision to leave his previous PL club, and we were all wrong (except perhaps JPW’s choice of Wayne Rooney, but that’s debatable). Dan Karell said Virgil Van Dijk, Matt Reed said Nemanja Matic, and I said Kyle Walker. All are probably quite happy with the manner of their seasons.

— We asked who’d fare better between manager Marco Silva, Frank De Boer, or Mauricio Pellegrino. They were all fired, though Silva’s departure was least his fault. So JPW wins again.

— We predicted who’d get fired first. The winner was Frank De Boer, but we all named men who’d get the sack. Craig Shakespeare (JPW), Paul Clement (me), Marco Silva (Matt Reed and Kyle Bonn), and Mark Hughes (Dan Karell).

— We asked which newly-promoted club will finish higher. Four of the five said Newcastle, with someone trying to hide his bias by saying Brighton.

— We asked who’d finish highest and lowest of this group: Southampton, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Leicester City.

Leicester finished highest and West Brom finished 20th. Dan and I correctly tabbed Leicester, while four of us correctly pegged the Baggies as the lowest.

— As for who would get promoted from the Championship, so far we’re 1/12. That could move to three if Dan and Kyle are correct in picking Fulham. Matt tabbed Cardiff City.

Picking the 2017 Confederations Cup

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The Confederations Cup leapt into American consciousness in 2009, when the United States knocked off Spain in the semifinal before losing a two-goal lead in the final against Brazil.

The Yanks didn’t qualify for the tournament in 2013 or this year, but the Cup is the top legit tournament in international football this summer and will attract the eyes of many as Russia gets its dress rehearsal for next summer’s World Cup.

[ MORE: Southampton sacks Puel ]

Both groups present tricky prediction choices. Group A has talented but injury hit Mexico and the hosts, while Cameroon’s strong form asks questions of Chile and Germany.

Here’s how PST sees it all going down.

Group A

  1. Portugal
  2. Russia
  3. Mexico
  4. New Zealand

The read: EURO champion Portugal takes care of group, while hosts Russia sneak past superior but injury-hit and travel-weary Mexico. New Zealand is in a tough group.

Group B

  1. Germany
  2. Chile
  3. Cameroon
  4. Australia

The read: The Germans find good footing with an early match against Australia, while Chile beats the Socceroos on the final day after a pair of draws. Don’t look past Cameroon, which only has one loss in the last year. That was a 3-2 defeat in France.

Semifinals

Germany over Russia
Chile over Portugal

Final

Germany over Chile

MLS 2017 Predictions: PST picks the standings

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Here goes nothing.

Predicting Major League Soccer standings is a dicey proposition, though this year there seems to be some consensus.

[ MORE: MLS Week 1 preview ]

The same clubs will race for byes in each conference, another group will battle for a playoff spot, and a third will wallow near the bottom.

Our staff, led by editor Joe Prince-Wright, weighs in here. Read how Matt Reed, Andy Edwards, Nick Mendola, and Kyle Bonn think it will all go done.

JPW Nick Mendola Andy Edwards Kyle Bonn Matt Reed
EASTERN CONFERENCE
EASTERN CONFERENCE
EASTERN CONFERENCE
EASTERN CONFERENCE
EASTERN CONFERENCE
1. Toronto 1. Toronto 1. Toronto 1. Red Bulls 1. Toronto
2. NYC 2. NYC 2. NYC 2. Toronto 2. Atlanta
3. Red Bulls 3. DC 3. Red Bulls 3. Atlanta 3. Red Bulls
4. Montreal 4. Atlanta 4. Orlando 4. DC 4. NYC
5. Philadelphia 5. Chicago 5. DC 5. Montreal 5. Montreal
6. Atlanta 6. Red Bulls 6. Chicago 6. NYC 6. Philadelphia
7. Orlando 7. Columbus 7. New England 7. Orlando 7. Columbus
8. DC 8. Philadelphia 8. Philadelphia 8. Philadelphia 8. DC
9. New England 9. Montreal 9. Montreal 9. New England 9. New England
10. Chicago 10. Orlando 10. Atlanta 10. Chicago 10. Chicago
11. Columbus 11. New England 11. Columbus 11. Columbus 11. Orlando
WESTERN CONFERENCE WESTERN CONFERENCE WESTERN CONFERENCE WESTERN CONFERENCE WESTERN CONFERENCE
1. Seattle 1. Seattle 1. Dallas 1. Dallas 1. Dallas
2. Dallas 2. Dallas 2. LA 2. LA 2. Seattle
3. LA 3. LA 3. Vancouver 3. Seattle 3. Portland
4. KC 4. Colorado 4. KC 4. Portland 4. Vancouver
5. Portland 5. RSL 5. Seattle 5. Colorado 5. Colorado
6. Colorado 6. Vancouver 6. Portland 6. Vancouver 6. Minnesota
7. Vancouver 7. KC 7. RSL 7. KC 7. KC
8. RSL 8. Portland 8. Colorado 8. RSL 8. LA
9. San Jose 9. Houston 9. Houston 9. San Jose 9. Houston
10. Minnesota 10. San Jose 10. Minnesota 10. Minnesota 10. San Jose
11. Houston 11. Minnesota 11. San Jose 11. Houston 11. RSL

MLS playoff preview and predictions: Western powers favored by staff

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One of the best seasons in the history of Major League Soccer reaches its second season come Wednesday in Texas.

FC Dallas and Vancouver will wage a one-night battle for the right to face the Supporters Shield-winning Seattle Sounders, and Thursday will see New York and Sporting KC square off to determine who gets a pair of matches against East-winning DC United.

It should be a blast, with match-up intrigue everywhere and beginning right away. Let’s get into said storylines before we get a quartet of predictions from our staff.

[ MLS: Power Rankings | Season awards ]

The drama starts right off the bat with Sporting KC putting its hopes of repeating on the line with a big city battle against New York in what could be Thierry Henry’s last game in Major League Soccer… and maybe even ever.

New York is also still searching for its first MLS Cup title, and that holds true for New England as well. Can Gregg Berhalter continue to work his magic, or are the playoffs the end of his remarkable turnaround in Columbus? And DC United, worst to first and still alive in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup after last season’s unlikely run? Most excellent.

In the West, many are anticipating a Seattle and Los Angeles final, but will someone step in the way of that ratings bonanza? Dallas has been brilliant at home but will have to get past a Vancouver Whitecaps team that at times has looked like a team of destiny. Between Carl Robinson and Oscar Pareja, it’s hard to say for sure which first-year boss has done a better job.

And then there’s Real Salt Lake, battle-tested with veteran savvy. Who could rule them out?

Knockouts
Joe Prince-Wright: DAL over VAN, NY over SKC
Nick Mendola: DAL over VAN, NY over SKC
Mike Prindiville: VAN over DAL, NY over SKC
Duncan Day: VAN over DAL, KC over NY
Kyle Lynch: DAL over VAN, NY over SKC

Conference semifinals
Joe Prince-Wright: NE, NY, LA, SEA
Nick Mendola: NE, NY, LA, SEA
Mike Prindiville: NE, NY, LA, SEA
Duncan Day:  NE, DC, LA, SEA
Kyle Lynch: NE, NY, LA, SEA

Conference finals
Joe Prince-Wright: LA over SEA, NY over NE
Nick Mendola: LA over SEA, NE over NY
Mike Prindiville: SEA over LA, NE over NY
Duncan Day: SEA over LA, DC over NE
Kyle Lynch: LA over SEA, NY over NE

MLS Cup
Joe Prince-Wright: LA over NY
Nick Mendola: LA over NE
Mike Prindiville: SEA over NE
Duncan Day: SEA over DC
Kyle Lynch: LA over NY