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hamsamwich
Post #1
Sunday February 22, 2015 3:54pm

Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts: 3,212
I have been waiting for the season to get close to start this thread. This will be a team preview section done by the users of this forum. We have plenty of MLS teams represented on here, so this will let us all get an idea of the other teams.

This would be a good place for lurkers to make their first post.

I will do mine for chicago later tonite when I get home from work. I hope we can get at least 10-15 MLS teams in this section. And for those MLS teams like the galaxy with more than one regular poster, you guys can do separate ones. Remember, these are just fan previews so nobody is right or wrong.

Mojofc
Post #2
Sunday February 22, 2015 5:28pm

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 966
I guess I'll go first.

Atlanta

Defensively I feel this will be on of the top teams in the league and expect them to allow very few goals. There will be no standout players and I expect no usmnt callups from this squad but I stand by my assumption of being on of the teams with the fewest goals allowed.

Offensively I'm not sure we see many goals from this team which will be very disappointing considering the defense. Expect them to finish with a goal difference very close to 0.

Coaching: I don't expect many roster blunders, very few fans will question the starting XI. We should see great progress in the next 5 years with this club.

Playoff hopes: while I don't feel they will make the playoffs this season, they do have a chance considering half of MLS make the playoffs.

Future: I expect this team to be considerably better as the team develops, expect 2017 to be their breakout season.
Rain, rain, go away Come again another day - USMNT, MUFC
2tone
Ten-Towns
Post #3
Sunday February 22, 2015 7:41pm

Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts: 10,445
Atlanta doesn't come into MLS until 2017.

Seattle:

Shored up their defense with the additions of Andres Correa and Tyrone Mears at both outside back positions.

Look for Damien Lowe to partner Marshall in central defense.

US U-18 FWD Victor Mansaray has been impressive during preseason. He is a name to remember for the future of Seattle and the USMNT. He could get some meaningful first team minutes this season.

Concerns: Seattle still lacks a bit of offensive thrust on the wings. Could be remedied if Kevin Parsemain can stay healthy this season.

My season prediction for Seattle:

Seattle claim second place in the West behind SKC in the regular season.

Seattle wins the west trophy in the play-offs and finally make MLS cup.

Seattle versus New England in MLS cup. Seattle wins off of an Oba brace.

Mojofc
Post #4
Sunday February 22, 2015 9:28pm

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 966
Ha 2tone, was all a joke hence them not having any goals scored against them and for them ending in a goal differenxe of 0. 'expect 2017 to the their breakout season'.

Cheers.
Rain, rain, go away Come again another day - USMNT, MUFC
2tone
Ten-Towns
Post #5
Sunday February 22, 2015 10:42pm

Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts: 10,445
Damn you got me. I didn't really read your post. Just kind of glimpsed at it. That's what I get.

tylercocinas
Post #6
Sunday February 22, 2015 11:07pm

Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts: 1,151
DC United:

DC will likely be dealing with some absences heading into the first few weeks of the season. Luis Silva has not played a match during the preseason, Espindola is suspended the first 6 matches of the MLS season, and Eddie Johnson is out with a heart issue.

The overall makeup of the squad remains the same but the key addition of the offseason was Markus Halsti from Malmo FF. He will pair with Perry Kitchen in central midfield in the spot that was previously maned by Davy Arnaud.

The squad is very excited about the addition of rookie Miguel Aguilar, and if they're to be believed, he could compete with Nick DeLeon and new addition Michael Farfan for minutes off the bench once he gets acclimated to MLS play. Until then I expect United to rely on the two veterans.

This is also an important year for younger players Collin Martin, Conor Doyle, and Michael Seaton. Martin prefers to play in an advanced midfield role but because of DCs flat 4-4-2 formation he'll probably be a CM or wide player if he does get on the pitch. Seaton and Doyle are competing with a pretty crowded group of forwards (Jairo Arrieta, Johnson, Silva, and Espindola) but with DC playing in CONCACAF Champions League again this fall, there will likely be opportunities for them to show they're ready to step up, but it's on them to take advantage if and when those opportunities arise.

Until DC gets both Espindola and Silva back, Chris Pontius will probably play in the forward line with Espindola in CCL, and one of the above mentioned forwards in MLS while Espindola serves his suspension, and Silva is still out.

Defensively it will be Birnbaum and Bobby Boswell in central defense again this year. LB Taylor Kemp came into his own last season and will be expected to continue improving this year as well. Sean Franklin will hold the fort at RB with Chris Korb being the utility fullback on the bench.

NE looks to me like the early favorite in the East so I think DC finishes between 2nd and 4th.

skangles
DC
Post #7
Sunday February 22, 2015 11:31pm

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 5,441
Nice DC United overview tylercocinas. I agree with everything you said so I'll just add a few additional thoughts:

Whilst many teams have made big splashes this off season, DC United is following a stay the course strategy. There will be a lot of talk about the league improving with all these signings and DC United is the control group in these discussions.

The two main storylines for me are:

  • Hamid was not sold in January. This is huge for DC United, especially in the CCL. However, Bill is out of contract after this season so DC United has a three options.

    1) Sell Hamid in the summer to a European for a nice payout
    2) Sign Hamid to an extension (likely DP money)
    3) Go all out for a championship this year and let Hamid leave for nothing in January.

    I think Hamid will move this summer which means Andrew Dykstra may the main man the second half of the season

  • Will EJ ever play again and if so when? Lots of uncertainty around EJ's heart issue at the moment. It's difficult to predict his role with the team until his health situation is resolved.


I also really like the Halsti pickup. I think that will be one of the better under the radar signings this season.

rainORshine
Post #8
Monday February 23, 2015 6:27am

Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts: 2,097
NYRB

ok, im not a RB fan but my devotion to kljestan has me exploring their prospects. would love to hear what actual RB fans think

petke's sacking and failure to secure a DP over the off-season has a lot of RB fans doubtful about the club direction and ambitions. some seem to be speculating that Red Bull may be looking to pull out of their MLS investment soon....

despite some (relative) success last couple of seasons i never thought too much of petke. that said, not sure if marsch is much of an upgrade. bob bradley 2.0 if he turns out to be good

without a big signing hard to see this roster taking a legit shot at an MLS cup

G: robles is solid enough i suppose, maybe even above average

CB: maybe the biggest area of concern with essentially all new options. i actually think ronald zubar has the potential to be a dominating MLS CB. but looks he will partnered with either French 2nd division journeyman perrinelle or still-raw/young andrew jean-baptiste. early success/failure may depend on how quickly this partnership forms

OB: pretty solid with miller and duvall. lade in support

CM: sacha joins mccarty. mccarty is solid if unspectacular. with henry gone offensive output of this team may depend largely on kljestans abilty steer the attack. hermann award winner leo stolz may be able to contribute immediately in CM role or as an AM

AM: obviously gap left by henry is huge. sam is underrated - thought he was one of the better MLS wingers last season. dane richards brought back to challenge zizzo on the left. both somewhat underwhelming. felipe martins may turn out to be highly effective with better supporting cast than in montreal. luyindula getting a little long in the tooth

F: BWP solid scorer but needs to be fed. no proven back-up - looks like mike grella will get first crack

overall, potentially pretty solid starting 11 but very little depth and light on star power. may grab a play-off spot but may find rough sledding in improving eastern conference

admsghs27
Post #9
Monday February 23, 2015 6:56am

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 6,060
La Galaxy

Defending Champs need i say more....

Same team coming back for the exception of the Legend.
Only major addition Steven Gerrard if we get 1 good year from him we should compete for MLS cup once again. I think Zardes will be our team MVP this year and have a breakthrough year i expect the same from Keane but i think this will be his last year with Galaxy well at least as a DP. I predict a western semis appearance this season at least, not sure if we can repeat again.

chris_thebassplayer
San Jose
Post #10
Monday February 23, 2015 9:40am

Joined May 2013
Total Posts: 1,516
Quakes baby

The Quakes kick off the season with the return of Dom Kinnear and the long awaited opening of their own stadium. Both should give the Quakes a competitive bounce after finishing the prior season last in the West. They also added forward Innocent Emeghara as their third DP.

Unfortunately, Kinnear has to put together a competitive team with the subpar players GM John Doyle brought in over the last couple seasons and some cast off MLS players, Nyassi, Wynne, and Barrerra, added in the off season. I do think Barrerra will be quite good though. With Kinnear at the helm, the Quakes picked Dmid Fatai Alashe from Michigan State with the fourth overall pick. The pick was puzzling to most fans as there were already three Dmids on the roster, but clearly signaled a need to eventually upgrade that area.

Kinnear is still sorting through the roster in the preseason with little indication of the midfield starters or preferred formation. Although he did play a base 4-4-2 with two Dmids against the Sacramento Republic a few days ago. Lenhart has yet to see the field in preseason. Kinnear is taking a slow approach with Lenhart due to his offseason knee surgery.

With Lenhart doubtful to start the season a potential away line up might be 4-2-3-1

.........Wondo..........
Salinas...Garcia.....Emeghara
........Pierazzi...Koval.......
Stewart...Bernardez...Goodson...Wynne
...........Bingham..........

Potential home attacking formation would be 4-4-1-1 diamond

.....Wondo......
.......Emeghara
Barrera...Garcia....Salinas
...........Pierazzi........
Stewart...Bernardez..Goodson...Wynne
...........Bingham.............

Bingham is the new starting keeper. Early signs are encouraging he will be able to handle MLS comp. Defensive depth is paper thin, there is a big drop off from the starters. The Quakes are hopeful that Wynne can handle RB, but distribution is a problem.

On offense the Quakes still need a true target forward to make everything else work. It remains to be seen if they can produce enough attacking pressure with the smurf attack. Most of the attackers are fairly short. Hopefully it will eventually be Lenny up top with Wondo underneath and Emeghara using his blazing speed as a flank mid attacker.

Bottom line, I think it is a slow process building the competitiveness of the team. By the end of the season the Quakes will be fighting tooth and nail for the last playoff spot. For that to happen the aging back line will need to hold up.

If all else fails we still have the largest outdoor bar in North America.

hamsamwich
Post #11
Monday February 23, 2015 1:10pm

Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts: 3,212
Good responses guys- outdoor bar huh? Nice.

Chicago Fire:

Last year was horrible, with an MLS record 18 draws, at least 10 of which were due to the greatness of our best player, Sean Johnson. This year, by default will be better. Frank Yallop has brought in many new faces.

GK: Sean Johnson, Jon Busch, Alec Kann - Sean is a great one. Hardest worker on the team, imposing size, good with the fans, in short, the total package. He's got the broad shoulders to handle the criticism and pressure that comes with being a keeper. Jon Busch is well known for his keeping over the years, but also served as a mentor to young Sean years ago, and it's good he has returned to take over the job as I will discuss later. Kann can actually be good IMO.

D: The big problem was our defenders with the exception of returning RB Lovel Palmer, who will start again. Two of these three CBs will start (Eric Gehrig, formerly of Crew; Jeff larentowicz (c), properly moved back from midfieldast year; Brazilian import Adailton)... I am still skeptical of the CBs, they must be better. Our standout signing this year for me is unknown Trinidad LB Joevin Jones, who is getting a big boost of confidence from the coach. He's got speed and quality, apparently. Bench: the 3rd CB, Greg Cochrane, Doody, Chris Ritter.

M: usually playing with 2 cms, these guys are our cleanup crew. Attacking will be done by the attackers and wingbacks for the most part. Razvan Cocis and the ultra hard working Matt Watson are expected to start with Chicago hometown kid Michael Stephens being the third midfielder upon his return from stabaek in Norway. Chris Ritter will be 4th in line here as well as defense. I expect larentowicz will stay at CB. The hard working Brazilian Alex returns to give us options for creativity further back, and young 18 year old Collin Fernandez (us ymnt) may actually see some time but I see him getting loaned to our new affiliate, StLouis.

Attack: the club has spent money!!! We are deep up top with the returning Quincy Amarikwa joined up at striker by new signings Kennedy Igboaninike (from Sweden, he's Nigerian) who is very fast, and Guly do Prado, the Brazilian from Southampton saints. The attacking midfielders may be even deeper. Shaun Maloney from Wigan joins up with Harry Shipp to give us guys that like to play the #10 role. David Accam (from Sweden as well, he is a Ghanaian), has moves and speed to go with a high number of goals for a winger. Returning from injury is Mike Magee (April-May) as well as Patrick Nyarko (May-July).

Season storylines: Sean Johnson spent the offseason training at Hull City after doing this at Birmingham and Everton the last three years. It's time he get transferred, and so the Fire signed veteran Jon Busch, so after July I fully expect Johnson to be somewhere in England and Busch starting. Harry Shipp must beat out veterans for time, but if the offseason is any indication he is ready for it, "in the best shape of his life" (are you listening Jurgen? Shipp=dedication to greatness). For those who haven't seen him, Harry has great touch and passing, a true #10. It will be fun and interesting to see him play with a much more skilled team this year.

Outlook: the team on the field looks good, but this one is all about the fans. Owner Andrew Hauptmann is persona non grata around here, he has alienated the fan base. Hence the reason for all the money spent in the offseason. I will give Hauptmann credit for some things (many new practice facilities and great youth programs among others), but I am fair. Many hate the man. If the fans and team come together, the ability is there for a top 3 finish in the east. The centerbacks will make or break our season. Welcome to chicagos hometown defender, Eric Gehrig, Lots of pressure on you, Larentowicz and Adailton. With good play from them it will be a good season. #3 in the east is my prediction.

MSantoine
Post #12
Monday February 23, 2015 2:18pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 3,723
Revs:

GK: Bring back Shuttlesworth who proved to be more than adequate in net.

Def: Loss of Soares will hurt but he was arguably their weakest defender. Expect Farrell to make a leap to push for US callup on non-FIFA dates.

MF: Jones will miss time with his injury but when he comes back him and Nguyen form a dynamic pairing that play to each others strengths. Rowe will look to bounce back and work his way back up the MLS ladder.

Attackers: The rich get richer. Swagudelo has so much to prove. Diego should improve with his buddy back in tow. So many attacking options they should never fall into much of a slump.

Outlook: May be in a better position due to other teams stepping back then actually stepping forwards themselves. DC will have a hectic schedule and didnt add many new pieces. NYRB took an obvious step back. Toronto has such a mismash its hard to judge what they'll be. Two new expansion teams. SKC moved to western conference. Throw in the fact that they failed to qualify for CCL and have a good enough bench to rest guys during US Open cup weeks. Top two finish should be expected and they should have their sights set at #1 and a shield. Anything less than Eastern Conference Finals appearance will be considered a failure

skangles
DC
Post #13
Monday February 23, 2015 3:28pm

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 5,441
Hamsamwich, do you see Larentowicz as a capable CB? I thought he was used there last year in an act of desperation? The Fire to me are the biggest wild card this season. You've made so many changes that I have no idea what to expect. I didn't realize all of the attacking options you now have. Might you move an attacking piece to boost your defense as the season progresses?

I don't see either Johnson or Hamid going to England of they move. Johnson has 5 caps, Hamid has 2 and neither are Juergen's first or even second option at this point. I can't imagine how that would suffice for a UK work permit. Both players would be much better off finding suitors from mainland Europe.

MSantoine, I thought there was a chance that Soares would be back after his Hellas Verona deal failed to materialize. Last I heard he was still trying to find a team in Italy but the Revs were an option. Has that door shut or did he sign elsewhere? I haven't kept up in a few weeks.

hamsamwich
Post #14
Monday February 23, 2015 3:45pm

Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts: 3,212
No I'm not sold on Jeff larentowicz at all, but yes he was better as a CB than as a midfielder. I would expect Gehrig and larentowicz to start, but I'm hoping that Adailton is a real player and he will take the job. I doubt we get rid of any of the attackers... Nyarko offers pace and assists whereas Magee is mr chicago and can get the goals. I think that upper management needs to make a statement and they will add if anything, not subtract. This is a pivotal year for Mr Hauptmann. Indeed I believe that Chicago and NYCFC are true wild cards. I will say in the three preseason games (Norwich, QPR, Stabaek), we've yet to let in a goal. I forget to mention rookie CB Matt Polster, who should be mentioned as a player who could make a difference second half of the season. He was drafted high, but who knows until they play. Frank Yallop has the tools to make a run, but we will see what happens.

Big injuries for DC early, it's always important to get out to a good start.

BG6
Post #15
Monday February 23, 2015 5:59pm

Joined May 2014
Total Posts: 88
Original post from skangles

MSantoine, I thought there was a chance that Soares would be back after his Hellas Verona deal failed to materialize. Last I heard he was still trying to find a team in Italy but the Revs were an option. Has that door shut or did he sign elsewhere? I haven't kept up in a few weeks.


Soares signed today for Viking in Norway. He also trialed briefly for Bradley but it wasn't in the cards for either side.

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