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Ship's Log, Feb. 19: Predictions season

Last Updated
4 min read
Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

A general consensus is forming from those that follow MLS as a league – they think the Seattle Sounders stayed good and maybe even got better. There's also a consensus that LAFC is either stable or slightly worse. As for the rest of the West — again a general consensus — it's not great. Betting markets have Houston third in the West, with LAFC getting respect. As a reminder the betting markets goal is to make money off of the bettor, not necessarily predict the results.

Preseason predictions are folly. But they are a folly we tend to enjoy.

It's been two years since the Sounders were playing for a trophy. Even though they finished second last season, they weren't a finalist for hardware. And hardware is history.

You should expect them to compete in 2024. These Sounders are built for the long season and for the secondary competitions. The best way to win an MLS Cup is to host it, so finishing high in the overall standings is vital.

Realistically this is a team that could and probably should fight for the Supporters Shield based on the fact that they’re in the Western Conference alone. A weak West and a tough East could give the Sounders an edge in competing. – Harrison Crow at American Soccer Analysis

Twelve of 17 MLS staffers selected the Sounders to win the West. Four see a second-place finish and one has them third. No one predicted they’d finish lower than that.

The Leagues Cup bracket? Seattle has one of the easiest groups.

Whatever happens with MLS entry into the Open Cup, the Sounders youth movement is likely, finally, strong enough to go toe-to-toe with other teams doing the same (see 2023, Defiance).

You should be confident, not cocky.

There are holes. It's a league with lots of holes for every team.

But let go of worry and doubt. Enjoy the ride.

Pedro de la Vega looks special. Raul Ruidiaz has a glow to his presence we haven't seen in ages. Cristian Roldan is now a wise sage. There's a potential for multiple Olympians. Several HGPs have been rumored to be collecting big transfers now that they're healthy and of age to transfer. Others are getting rewarded with massive contracts.

On top of all that there's space in the budget to add more when they know what they need and what's available.

Predict greatness. Expect it. Because that's what we are.

– Dave

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Catching up on Sounder at Heart

Did you step away from the computer over the weekend? Here are our latest stories.

Nos Audietis will be doing a live podcast recording on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at Project 9 Brewery in the Maple Leaf neighborhood (it was originally scheduled for Feb. 13 but had to be moved). The show should run from 7-8 PM, but they are planning to do a little trivia that will start at 6:30 PM. This is doubling as a fundraiser for BF Day Elementary's fifth-grade science field trip, with 10% of sales helping fund the endeavor. There are no tickets required and this is a first-come, first-served seating situation, but if you'd like to pre-purchase a pint so that we have a better idea of how many people to expect, you can do so here.

Looking back at the weekend's news

Everything else you need to know.

MLS and PRO found 66 replacement refs after the PSRA voted against the "best and final" offer from PRO. A majority of the replacements have never worked with these players before. The first match features Inter Messi, putting added pressure on the league and PRO to figure out what they are doing.

MLS said to be “holding the US Open Cup hostage”. If you thought everything was solved when USSF denied MLS' request to cheapen the tournament this news is surprising.

MLS rosters: Plans advancing for “potentially increasing investment”. Could MLS roster rules change prior to the summer transfer window? Potentially.

MLS commissioner Garber Q&A: Capitalizing on Messi mania. The Commissioner doesn't promise more salary spending, nor participation in the Open Cup.

Season Previews: LAFC,  New England, Seattle. The West's two horse race previewed at a single link.

Seattle Sounders 2024 MLS season preview. (Backheeled)

Seattle Sounders FC 2024 Season Preview |

João Paulo, from the Seattle Sounders, talks with Território MLS and projects the year 2024 - Território MLS.

Minnesota United close to naming Manchester United assistant Eric Ramsay as head coach: Sources. The Loons may name a head coach before the season starts.

Welcome to Five Stripe Final. Rob and the voices that founded Dirty South Soccer left SB Nation. They're on their own now and need support. Yes, that means there are zero MLS blogs left on the platform.

Why 2024 is a make-or-break year for Atlanta United's Gonzalo Pineda

Despite budding rivalry, USL and MLS Next Pro are helping each other on the field.

Football behind the curtain — the mysterious world of the game's most secretive national team. Learn more about the North Korean women who might make the Olympics.

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