A Walk Down Memory Lane… Reviewing the Previews

One thing we are not afraid to do here at MLS Talk is to take a look back on our predictions and previews to highlight what we got both awesomely right and so terribly wrong.  Now that the 2012 MLS season is well over and the 2013 preseason is in full swing, I thought it would again be appropriate to take a look back at our March prediction post.  While our thoughts on the final standings and MLS Cup winners overall were not too bad, the individual award predictions had a few hilarious items (admittedly mostly by me).

Feel free to congratulate, gloat, and ridicule in the comment section, but also share one or two predictions you had personally at the beginning of the season.  What did you get exactly right or hillariously wrong?


Daniel Feuerstein

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

Sporting Kansas City Real Salt Lake
New York Red Bulls Los Angeles Galaxy
DC United Seattle Sounders
Toronto FC FC Dallas
Houston Dynamo San Jose Earthquakes
New England Revolution Portland Timbers
Columbus Crew Chivas USA
Chicago Fire Colorado Rapids
Montreal Impact Vancouver Whitecaps
Philadelphia Union

Robert Hay

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

Sporting Kansas City Los Angeles Galaxy
Chicago Fire Seattle Sounders
Houston Dynamo Real Salt Lake
DC United Colorado Rapids
Toronto FC FC Dallas
New York Red Bulls Portland Timbers
Columbus Crew San Jose Earthquakes
Philadelphia Union Vancouver Whitecaps
Montreal Impact Chivas USA
New England Revolution

Earl Reed

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

Sporting Kansas City Los Angeles Galaxy
Houston Dynamo Seattle Sounders
Philadelphia Union FC Dallas
New York Red Bulls Real Salt Lake
Toronto FC Portland Timbers
Columbus Crew Vancouver Whitecaps
DC United San Jose Earthquakes
Chicago Fire Colorado Rapids
New England Revolution Chivas USA
Montreal Impact

Daniel did pretty well in his standings although he was way too bullish on Toronto and undersold San Jose drastically.  Earl was also very high on Toronto and thought his hometown team would take the next step this year to secure a good playoff spot.  As for me, I did ok in the East (except for Toronto over NY) but my West was off.  No one had San Jose finishing in the top three, much less having the best record.

MLS Cup match-up and winner:  This category was my one bright spot, as I had Los Angeles lifting the MLS Cup (albeit after beating the Chicago Fire). Daniel also predicted the Galaxy playing in the championship, but losing to Kansas City.  As for Earl, he drank the Pacific Northwest juice and had Seattle as the MLS Cup host city, only to see Kansas City walking out with the Cup.  

CONCACAF Champions League: We made this a prediction as three MLS teams had advanced late into this competition.  Daniel had faith in the Galaxy to win it all, while Earl and I lacked faith in any of the three teams.  Those lacking faith were rewarded with a correct prediction.

Golden Boot:  A quote from the preview:

MLS has some great goal scorers but it seems like the Golden Boot recently has gone to a player that comes out of nowhere.

Of course because I wrote this the best goal scorer over the past three years not only won the Golden Boot in a route but broke a record doing so.  But what can you expect from a guy who picked Edson Buddle to score the most goals in the league?  Earl picked FC Dallas newcomer Blas Perez (#19th overall) and Daniel chose soccer icon Thierry Henry (#5 in 2012).

Most Valuable Player: Dwayne De Rosario rode a dominant second half of the season to win this award in 2011.  Did any of us picked him to repeat? No.  Earl and Daniel tabbed annual MVP candidate Landon Donovan to take home the award and I picked his Western Conference rival Mauro Rosales.  Of course we were all three wrong (see previous paragraph).

Newcomer of the Year:  Our biggest mistake in picking this award was not being able to pick in July.  Midseason pick-up Federico Higuain was the 2012 winner but at least Daniel and I picked finalist Kasey Keller replacement Michael Gspurning. Earl again predicted Blas Perez to add another trophy to his trophy case.

Rookie of the Year:  Who the favorite was to win this award varied by week during the 2012 season.  Earl picked the #2 overall pick Darren Mattocks to break through for some playing time in Vancouver.  I selected the #3 pick Kelyn Rowe for New England to make an impact in the midfield.  Daniel went with #4 overall pick Luis Silva with Toronto FC.  And we were all three wrong.

Comeback Player of the Year:  Arguably the hardest category to predict, my fellow writers went with good, solid choices for the award.  Daniel went with New York’s Kenny Cooper while Earl picked past MVP David Ferreira.  For the second year in a row I picked Branko Boskovic to come back from his nagging injuries and finally live up to his promised potential for DCU.  At least he played this year.

4 Responses to A Walk Down Memory Lane… Reviewing the Previews

  1. gbewing says:

    You guys did pretty well actually. In retrospect no one liked San Jose in the west. I am not slamming that but would be curious to your take on what you didn’t see preseason compared towhat you think elevated their great season?(outside Wondolowski of course) Benardez was a big piece for me

    • Robert Hay says:

      gbewing -

      I can speak for myself. Here is the preview I did for the Quakes http://majorleaguesoccertalk.com/2012/03/03/mls-preview-12-san-jose-earthquakes/. Two money quotes:

      “Off the field the team has a lot going on but on the field this is a sneaky good team. This winter Yallop and the front office rebuilt the team to be speedier on the wings with the goal of creating more scoring chances for Chris Wondolowski and the other forwards. Unfortunately, in the stacked Western Conference this team could be much improved but have little to show for it in the standings.” The analysis on SJ was right, but the West was not as dominant as I had anticipated.

      “Here is the key to the season: four of the team’s first seven games are against teams that did not make the playoffs in 2011, while seven of the first eleven games are at home. If San Jose can get out to a strong start and weather a stretch this summer with six of seven games on the road against playoff contenders, then this team can slip into the final Western Conference playoff spot.”

  2. Charles says:

    Kudos for having the balls to do this.

    Robert, your picks in the East were not ok, they were very good, completely shaking it up from last year and outside of excluding NY, nailed it.

    The offseason is killing us, let 2013 begin.

  3. Jeremy says:

    This is pretty good - I am currently working on a posting for the soccerist blog that looks at how other news organizations did. Grant Wahl and a guy on Big Soccer do the best job out of that group - it will posted in a day or so.

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