MLS Mid-Season Team Previews – Part 3

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In our 3rd instalment of our MLS Mid-Season Previews, Charlie Russell keeps us up to date with Columbus Crew, Philadelphia Union, FC Dallas, San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake’s opening 6 months of the season.

 

Columbus Crew

 

Pre-Season Prediction:

3rd in Eastern Conference – MLS Cup Semi Finalist

Mid-Season Prediction:

2nd in Eastern Conference – MLS Cup Semi Finalist

Reason for change:

The Black and Gold’s coach Gregg Berhalter has got the crew playing a much more possession-based system as seen throughout European football. Berhalter wanted to get his side playing some of the most attractive football in MLS and he has almost done that. Kei Kamara will play a major part in Crew’s MLS campaign after being selected for the 2015 MLS All Star team who will face Tottenham on 29th July.  Kamara will also bring goals to the side as the Crew relied on their midfield last time round with goals coming from Federico Higuain, Justin Meram and Ethan Finlay. If the side can adapt to Berhalter’s European system then the Crew will be a big force in the Eastern Conference, yet again.

 

 

Philadelphia Union

 

Pre-Season Prediction:

6th in Eastern Conference  –  MLS Cup Semi-Finalist

Mid-Season Prediction:

7th in Eastern Conference

Reason for change:

There hasn’t been much change around Philadelphia Union as the side looks very similar to the one which finished the 2014 campaign 6th in the Eastern Conference. Union will be aiming to get into the Play-offs this time round, as seven points was all that prevented the side from making an appearance last year. Philadelphia are currently in 7th place, eight points off the second spot in the Eastern Conference (23rd July 2015). If Philly do manage to make the Play-offs this will be their first appearance since 2011. Although former Rangers man, Maurice Edu stands out for Union I still think they will just miss out on the Play-offs once again.

 

 

FC Dallas

 

Pre-Season Prediction:

1st in Western Conference – MLS Cup Winners

Mid-Season Prediction:

1st in Western Conference – MLS Cup Winners

Reason for change:

Dallas are currently smashing up the Western Conference as they are sat in 1st place one point ahead of Galaxy with two games in hand (23rd July 2015). The MLS Cup will be close this year, but my two finalists are FC Dallas and DC United. The fact that Dallas and their players have overcome injuries will play a major part in this season’s campaign. After they became the first victim of MLS’s switch to using away goals in order to decide a winner for playoff series, Dallas will be hungry for success and therefore will most likely stride to victory this year.

 

 

San Jose Earthquakes

 

Pre-Season Prediction:

8th in Western Conference

Mid-Season Prediction:

9th in Western Conference

Reason for change: After finishing last in the Western Conference last season, San Jose need to improve. They lost the most matches in the clubs history last season which reflects the disappointment of their season. Dominic Kinnear has come in as head coach following eight seasons as manager of the Houston Dynamo. Kinnear is a highly respected manager in the MLS and he could turn the Earthquakes luck around. Things may be too early for a massive chance at SJ but in the near future I can see the Earthquakes rising up the Western Conference table.

 

 

Real Salt Lake

 

Pre-Season Prediction:

7th in Western Conference

Mid-Season Prediction:

7th in Western Conference

Reason for change: Salt Lake will only just miss out on the MLC Cup this season. They are not performing like they did in 2014, with a third place finish. This may be through the notable losses of players such as Robbie Findley and Carlos Salcedo. They have made up for this with experienced players in their ranks, like Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando and Alvaro Saborio for example. The 2015 season may be a disappointing one for Real but they will continue to work hard and aim for an MLS Cup place next year.

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