It is officially T-minus 38 days until the March 15th First Kick against LA. While the start of the season is still a far way away, apparently it's close enough to be counting down. And just as teams are under way in preparations for the new season, so are fans, pundits, and pundi-fans (like me!).
And that means power rankings, practically coming out of your ears.
*updated for more POWER!
As we inch closer and closer, we'll all be looking for an outline or ruler to measuring the preseason picture, to figure which teams are in the frame or in the possible playoff picture. However, as this is MLS, it is nearly impossible to predict anything at this stage. Anyone who called a MLS Cup Final of Colorado and Dallas would've received more than few odd looks, but it's still worth it to take a stab at which teams will be contenders for the Supporters Shield.
Here are the latest rankings with regards to the Sounders.
You can definitely expect more rankings to come out in the next few weeks, but don't expect a lot of variation in them, other than the occasional RSL as number one. The important thing to note is that at this point most of the opinions are coming from off-season transfers, and based on who we lost and who we gained. A lot of people seem to grade Seattle fairly well in terms of player moves. Personally, I'm still reserving judgement until after training camp and cuts are made.
One thing I think that few are paying attention to is the rest of the Cascadia group, in Portland and Vancouver. Almost all the rankings so far have the new kids on the block placed squarely in the bottom end. Though Seattle has two years of MLS experience, this season will be the first time in a while that all three teams will be on the same footing. While it's quick to write them off as expansions (lolUnion), I think there could be a surprise waiting to happen, as you know what happens when you bring out the old boys and put them all together again...
Anyhow, the MLS Offside network has been busy lately, which is always fantastic to see. With so many new bloggers, there's lots of good stuff to read up on. Who's your sleeper MLS team flying under the radar?