Will 2011 see Landon raise an MLS Cup during the David Beckham era, or just another individual award for greatness?
While Roster Compliance Day isn't until Tuesday, when teams will have to have 30 or fewer players under contract for less than their budget limit (that's what the league calls the salary cap) the predictions really can start. For the most part there won't be surprising additions to squads (except for #TheTrialist maybe) and so the staff here has compiled our predictions for how the season should turn out, at least in our humble opinions. We lean Sounders of course.
Here's the league wide chart.
|MLS Cup||Shield||US OC||MVP|
|Jeremiah||Red Bulls||Salt Lake||Sounders||Morales|
|malcontentjake||Red Bulls||Sounders||DC United||Alonso|
Looking at the MLS Cup most of those who picked the New York Red Bulls did so becasue they should have a slightly easier path with their first round match-up against the second worst wild card round winner. A full season of Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez should help them as well. Dizzo changed from the Los Angeles Galaxy when the Playoff format was announced. Sidereal and myself both have went with the Los Angeles Galaxy; with their more experienced defense, Juan Pablo Angel joining David Beckham and Donovan in attack and Juninho playing more forward they should be a threat.
For the Supporters Shield Jeremiah loves Real Salt Lake who made a run last year and has that amazing home-field advantage. The rest of us went Seattle, which may seem a bit homer, but Seattle is seen by much of SBN as a challenger. The Shield is about depth, and last I check Seattle could go 18 deep with starting quality players, maybe more.
The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is the "third major" or "first minor" but Seattle is recognized by many as a team that values the tourney beyond the rest. Last year saw DC United fight hard for the Open Cup as they had been eliminated, jake expects them to follow that path again but with a better team in an effort to be We Win Trophies - again.
Landon Donovan is always a threat to win the MLS MVP (only winning in 2009, but with 1 other appearance as a Finalist) and so most of us went with the chalk. Jeremiah's pick of Javier Morales is likely due to him being the fuel to a run by a great team with a stunningly effective offense. Jake picked Osvaldo Alonso due to "my man crush and homerism" but it is quite rare for MVPs Finalists even to be not-CAM/Forward/Wingers with only 2 of the last 21 Finalists not from prime offense positions.