Nostra-dumbass Rides Again . . . The Unified MLS Table

So, here we are at last. I've stuck my neck out on the East and West, and now I'll make an absolute fool of myself by taking the completely unnecessary step of piling everything together in a single table and calling the playoffs (assuming I've understood the playoff format correctly--that's what all the E2 and W3 jazz is about, in case you were wondering).

1. DC United (E1)
2. Chivas USA (W1)
3. Houston Dynamo (W2)
4. New England Revolution (E2)
5. Chicago Fire (E3)
6. Kansas City Wizards (WC-E)
7. FC Dallas (W3)
8. Real Salt Lake (WC-W)
9. New York Red Bulls
10. LA Galaxy
11. Columbus Crew
12. Colorado Rapids
13. Toronto FC
14. San Jose Earthquakes

Everything is, of course, subject to change based on signings and injuries and such, but the way I see it now . . . The big dogs are DC, Chivas, and Houston, with the Revs sniffing around their heels. All four are locks for the playoffs unless they have massive injury bugs or completely fall apart. The Fire, KC, and Dallas all have the potential to either be up there with the front runners or to completely self-destruct and end up outside the playoffs, but I tend to think of them all as competent teams with enough horses to get the job done.

Next up come RSL, the Red Bulls, and Lalas' Abomination. Much like the Fire and Dallas, I think that the Red Bulls and LA could also be teams that have everything come together and push on into the playoffs. But a more likely scenario (barring MLS HQ's incessant meddling) is that they miss out after a battle royale amongst themselves and RSL for that #8 spot when their defenses crumble. Columbus and the Rapids will both have decent runs during the season and will promise much at times, but as has happened so often before, they'll fall short at the final hurdle. And down in the cellar, TFC will keep the organized but impotent Quakes company.

In the playoffs, DC will win an epic pair of matches against KC and advance to meet their nemesis, the Fire, who will win the first leg against a flagging Revs side easily, and hang on in a second leg marred by three red cards. Out west, Chivas will struggle to break down RSL, but Eskandarian will pop up in extra time in the second leg to haunt his former side. The Goats will move on to face Houston, which will dispose of their cross-state rivals as they start to get that playoff juggernaut look about them again.

In the conference finals, DC will finally get past a suspension-hampered Fire, while Houston will dominate against the Goats. But a combination of El Guzano and poor finishing will cost the Dynamo, as Chivas advance after PK's. The MLS Cup final will almost be a duplicate of the Western Conference final, as Guzan once again stands on his head (assuming he's not in Europe yet--gulp!) and keeps United out until prodigal son Santino Quaranta sets up the Godfather of Goals, Jaime Moreno for the winner late in the second half. DC celebrate the double as Jaime gets to hold the Cup aloft just days prior to announcing his triumphant retirement from the game.

Wishful thinking? Probably. But it sure would be a nice story, wouldn't it? Don't forget to come back and laugh at me round about October or November when DC are slogging away in mid-table, the Galaxy are destroying the league with their "sexy football", and the Guzan-less Goats are heading for the golf course a month too early. But before you start laughing, make your own predictions (in the comments or on your own blogs) so that we can compare, contrast, and commiserate in eight months.

Nostra-dumbass--signing out!

1 comment:

  1. No, DC will get past a seriously POed Revolution team while we DC fans laugh in their faces with a 4-2 scoreline, while Chivas beats up a worn-thin Houston while struggling with scores and ending up 1-1 and 2-1, 3-2 aggregate. Finals include the fierce and fabulous DC matched with a rocketing Chivas to produce a DC 3-2 victory.

    The Fire is OUT this year. Galaxy's "sexy football" can shove it where it hurts. The Red Bulls can have all the well wishing they want (which they won't get) but they won't pull a dang thing off. RSL and Rapids will be the sneaky little stars this season. Toronto and San Jose will wallow in misery at the bottom (although you gotta love those TFC fans). If there's anyone I haven't mentioned, they probably aren't worthy of my attention.