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MLS Season Preview: Facts & Predictions

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This year marks the 20th anniversary of the MLS, a league born in the wake of the 1994 World Cup, and it will be the best season yet!

Gyasi Zardes celebrating his opening goal in the MLS Cup Finals
Gyasi Zardes celebrating his opening goal in the MLS Cup Finals
Gary Vasquez

The 2015 Major League Soccer season starts us out with two new teams, a new conference and playoff setup, and new foreign stars ready to make their mark on this young soccer league and soccer nation. This offseason has seen big signings of so many American players abroad; it has been almost like a migration home for all our stars!

It has even been covered on SportsCenter on ESPN, who don’t cover soccer well enough at all. Don’t forget all the foreign stars coming to America to start anew, with Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Kaka, David Villa, and Sebastian Giovinco! With all this set up for us, expect the best MLS season possible!

I feel there will be some great headlines this season. Here are a couple of my speculations and predictions for this season:

Jozy Altidore will score 15+ goals

Now, I’ll explain this one because you Premier League fans are probably thinking, "Has this guy even watched the BPL? Jozy Altidore couldn’t score if he was playing a team of grandmas!" And in the BPL, you are correct, but this is MLS, the domestic league of his home country.

People here love Jozy, it will be a boost for him, and he will be teaming up with fellow American, Michael Bradley, who, when healthy, can give Jozy more chances in one game than he had all last BPL season. Jozy is a back-to-defense type of striker, and the league is a great one for those, being defense isn’t our strong suit. He will get off to a slow start, but I would pick him up in the second half of the season for sure.

Bradley Wright-Phillips will score LESS than 15 goals

BWP had a record-tying goal scoring season in 2014, thanks in part to wonderful assists by The King, Thierry Henry. BWP doesn’t have Thierry anymore, or Tim Cahill who at times opened up room for BWP on headers and such. I just don’t see it folks, sorry.

Orlando City and NYCFC will both make the playoffs

Both the expansion teams will make the playoffs, Orlando behind Kaka’s MVP first season, and NYCFC off a good pairing of goal scoring from David Villa and Mix Diskerud. It also helps that they are both in the Eastern Conference, the weaker of the two, and the playoffs have been expanded to 6 teams from each conference.

Seattle repeat as Supporters Shield winners, Toronto win MLS Cup

Seattle are going to repeat as SS winners because they will be consistent ALL SEASON. Toronto and LA (who I feel are the two challengers) will start slow, LA because they lost the best MLS player ever to retirement, Landon Donovan, and need to fill his shoes. Toronto will start slow as well because they won’t have the chemistry with all the new signings to get a good string of results together until maybe late April or early May, but have the quality in their side to win it all this season.

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Alrighty, here is my prediction of the Conference standings, all by my wonderful imagination! Some or none of this at the end of the season may be true, so don’t take this as fact, but based on last season's performances and the talent available this season, this is how I feel things will end up:

Eastern Conference

  1. D.C. United
  2. Toronto FC
  3. New England Revolution
  4. Columbus Crew SC
  5. New York City FC
  6. Orlando City SC
  7. New York Red Bulls
  8. Montreal Impact
  9. Philadelphia Union
  10. Chicago Fire

Western Conference

  1. Seattle Sounders
  2. Sporting Kansas City
  3. LA Galaxy
  4. Real Salt Lake
  5. FC Dallas
  6. Portland Timbers
  7. Houston Dynamo
  8. San Jose Earthquakes
  9. Vancouver Whitecaps
  10. Colorado Rapids

In conclusion, I feel that the MLS is going to be rocking this season and hopefully it comes to a great end in December! Be sure to join our Yahoo! MLS Fantasy League before the start of the season on March 6!

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League ID: 273
Password: lwfyi15

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Can’t wait to get this league started, and hopefully take home the title! Stay tuned for Week 1 Player Picks next week! Also, thank you for giving me the chance to do this, it is more than greatly appreciated!

Follow me on Twitter for additional updates: @SamuelHouptNMA

Also, if you have any questions about the league or players, leave a comment, I will get back to everyone!