MLS Mid-Season Team Previews – Part 1

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The MLS season is in full swing, with 20 teams battling it out for MLS Cup glory. Bradley Heath gives us in depth analysis on the Seattle Sounders, Toronto, Vancouver Whitecaps, Portland Timbers and Montreal Impact’s season’s so far. 

 

 

Seattle Sounders

 

Pre – Season Prediction:

1st in Western Conference (MLS Cup Winners)

Mid Season Prediction:

2nd in Western Conference (MLS Cup Winners)

Reason for change:

Originally, the Sounders were predicted to continue their fine form at the top of the MLS. With hot strikers such as Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, it was thought that the Sounders would be red hot once again. The team seemed to gel nicely however the lack of investment in the transfer market seemed to hinder the side. With rivals such as LA Galaxy adding players like Giovani Dos Santos and Steven Gerrard; they have closed the gap or even overtaken the emerald city Sounders. With a recent string of defeats, it is hard to see the Sounders catch up to the high flying Galaxy and their other Western Conference Rivals.

 

 

Toronto FC 

 

Pre – Season Prediction:

2nd in Eastern Conference

Mid Season Prediction:

3rd in Eastern Conference

Reason for Change:

Originally, I thought that Toronto were going to put up a fight for the Eastern Conference Championship however it has not panned out that way… With summer additions such as Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore, Toronto look to solve their striking issues. The recent addition of Michael Bradley in the centre of the park has also added to the Toronto FC midfield. However, it has not turned out that way for Toronto. They currently sit 4th in the Eastern Conference and with the high flying D.C United and new additions such as Orlando and New York, Toronto don’t look like having a title challenge anytime soon.

 

 

Vancouver Whitecaps

 

Pre – Season Prediction:

4th in Western Conference

Mid Season Prediction:

4th in Western Conference

Reason for change:

The transfer window saw Vancouver bring in mostly Latin American talent, with a few big names. Things are going rather well for the Whitecaps, they currently sit in 3rd place behind LA and Seattle in the Western Conference. While they were never predicted to do much, they have certainly turned a few heads with their current place in the league. Their future looks bright as the executives have recently placed more emphasis on the development of the club and it’s players. While 3rd place is not bad at all, I do see them unable to hold onto that spot and dropping into 4th.

 

 

Portland Timbers

 

Pre – Season Prediction:

5th in Western Conference

Mid Season Prediction:

5th in Western Conference

Reason for change:

The fans over in Portland sure do make a lot of noise, but the football club not so much. I do have a soft spot for the Timbers but realistically, I do see them barely clinching a playoff spot. Being up in Portland it is harder to attract the stars like Orlando, New York and Los Angeles, and  the transfer market did show that. They signed relatively unknown players and are continuing to struggle in the Western Conference. With sporadic results and an unexciting team, I do see them just clinching a playoff spot.

 

 

Montreal Impact

 

Pre – Season Prediction:

6th in Western Conference

Mid Season Prediction:

8th in Western Conference

Reason for change:

 Montreal fans don’t have much to cheer about right now… The team currently sits 8th in the Eastern Conference, 2 places from bottom and 2 from a playoff spot. The team acquired mostly from the domestic MLS in the transfer window but they have payed the price. The team has no real ‘stars’ and the team does not really have an element of working extremely well together. Football/Soccer has never been the most popular sport in Montreal in addition. Those aspects along with indifferent owners, it is safe to say that the Impact will finish in the lower end of the table.

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