In Part 2 of our Season review/previews, Charlie Wright gives us the lowdown on how the Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy and New England Revolution’s campaigns have gone so far.

 

Chicago Fire

 

Pre-Season Prediction:

To finish 5th in the Eastern Conference

Mid-Season Prediction:

To finish 10th in the Eastern Conference

Reason for change:

Disappointing is probably the most valid word to describe Chicago Fire’s season in the MLS so far. After a regrettable campaign last year, the Fire spent pre-season recruiting wisely by bringing in lots of new faces such as Pacey striker David Accam, Shaun Maloney from Wigan and goalkeeper Jon Busch. Unfortunately the new signings haven’t made a blind bit of difference, as the fire sit bottom of the eastern conference a few points adrift of NYCFC and Montreal. They’ve already lost 11 games this season, only picking up 5 wins along the way, which ultimately leads to my next question in ‘where will they finish’. The answer is quite simple, each game the starting eleven remains the same, and they get the same results and remain bottom. Tactically Frank Yallop needs to change things around otherwise, unquestionably they will finish bottom of the conference.

 

 

 

Colorado Rapids

 

Pre-Season Prediction:

To Finish 9th in the Western Conference

Mid-Season Prediction:

To finish 10th in the Western Conference

Reason for Change:

It’s been turbulent for Colorado fans over the past 2 years. Making the play-offs consistently year after year, Pablo Mastroeni gets appointed and their fortunes have suddenly drifted south. Finishing last season in 8th position in the west, little has changed as the Rapids find themselves bottom of their conference with a mere 4 wins to their name so far this season. Goals haven’t been the biggest factor in their struggle this year, it’s been the amount they’ve had put past them, with 19 goals against leaving them with a -1 goal difference. Perceptibly Pablo was looking to acquire experience in pre-season with the additions of Irishman Kevin Doyle from Wolves and defender James Riley on a free, however the signings haven’t generated any real contribution with results still not going their way, so it could be a worrying last 3 months for them. Initially I thought they could have done much better, but I can’t see them finishing anywhere but afoot of the standings in the west.

 

 

 

Houston Dynamo

 

Pre-Season Prediction:

To finish 6th in the Western Conference

Mid-Season Prediction:

To Finish 7th in the Western Conference

Reason for change:

In the 6 months since my original prediction, sadly for Houston nothing has changed performance wise. Currently, the oranges sit in 8th position in the Western Conference, an entirely new conference since their establishment 9 years ago. By mid-April the Dynamo had only conjured up 2 wins since the start of the campaign, showing early indications that it could be a worse season than expected, 9-10th place finishes some had them down for. They have a top striker in Will Bruin which must be excruciatingly annoying for them as he has the ability and goals, just not the service. Wrapping up 16 points in the last 13 games, I’m afraid their play-off hopeful campaign looks dead and buried already, especially as they’re playing football against some of the best teams and players in the entire MLS. However, Houston Dynamo have a great fan base and for me, they could well just spur their team onto a few more victories, which is why I predict for them to finish roughly 7th place.

 

 

 

LA Galaxy

 

Pre-Season Prediction: 

To finish 3rd in the Western Conference and MLS Cup runners-up

Mid-Season Prediction:

To finish 1st in the Western Conference and MLS Cup champions

Reason for change:

The Los Galactico’s were faced with the strenuous task of filling the vacant midfield role, in which club veteran Landon Donovan played at the heart of for 9 years. They successfully landed themselves Liverpool talisman Steven Gerrard, however the Californian side had to wait 6 months before he actually arrived in Los Angeles this July just gone. So the mission of replacement was sorted, just not for half the regular season, where LA made an unconvincing start to their 2015 campaign picking up just 3 wins in their opening 10 games. None the less, this did not damper opinions as LA are a strong team with depth and lots of ability, attracting global superstars such as Gerrard and even more recent Giovanni Dos Santos. Ultimately, it shows a statement of intent and with this I still feel, with 3 months left of the season, Galaxy will improve daily due to the new arrivals and the sole core of the already existing squad. Without a doubt they’ll reach the MLS Cup final, whether they win it or not is another question as there are teams similar to them across the MLS that are just as hungry as Bruce Arena’s men. For me, I can only see them topping the Western Conference and prevailing as champions once again.

 

 

 

New England Revolution

 

Pre-Season Prediction:

To finish 1st in the Eastern Conference and MLS Cup runners up

Mid-Season Prediction:

To finish 4th in the Eastern Conference and Play-Off knockout round

Reason for change:

After a devastating finale to last season, the Revolution were looking to hit back and go one step further. There would be no reason why they couldn’t as they managed to keep the core squad from the previous campaign, offloading only 5 deadwood players. In great fashion, they went 9 games unbeaten from March until the end of May, showing glimpses of brilliance with Charlie Davies scoring frequently. However, since the early signs of promise, the New England club have managed to conjure up a mere 7 points from a possible 39, placing them loosely in the play-off places. Formidable 12 months ago, forgettable you could say now. All in all I still think Jay Heap’s men will stabilize results in the coming weeks and nail themselves in the play-offs.

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