Preseason predictions are like crazy college drinking stories: Everyone's got one, they aren't as interesting as the teller thinks they are, speculation often replaces facts, names and faces get mixed up easily, and they always have a tendency to seem ridiculously dumb in hindsight. Like that ever stopped anyone. This year the common thread in nearly every Major League Soccer preseason prediction column: There are a ton of questions. Will New York get that new stadium bounce? How will Houston thrive without Stuart Holden? Can Guillermo Barros Schelotto carry Columbus on his rapidly aging Argentinian legs? Will Seattle suffer a sophomore slump? Can Curt Onalfo do for DC United what he couldn't do for KC? Will the international influx boost the Wizards or will they falter from the start?
Those are just the six questions I could think of off the top of my head. Every team has at least two question marks. It's the MLS. That's what happens. Of course, everyone with a WiFi connection and platform believes they have the answers. They don't. I don't. Like that's going to stop me from putting together the first weekly The Full 90 Completely Unscientific Power Poll and Playoff Expectation Guide. Since I don't know anything beyond what I've read from the writers who don't know anything either, I'm going to use a method that's just as likely to be successful as any other. I'm making my preseason predictions based on how cool the team uniforms are.*
*Once the games begin, we'll actually have something concrete to pontificate about.
1. DC United.
Black and red. Simple. Concise. Effective. I even like the shirt sponsor. 2. Columbus Crew.
I'm a sucker for yellow and black. Crisp, clean remodel for '10/'11. 3. Real Salt Lake.
Best away kit in the MLS. Even if I have no idea who the sponsor is. 4. Los Angeles Galaxy.
Ignore what name might be on the back, they are very nice looking. Especially the home kit. 5. Philadelphia Union.
Great logo, iffy color scheme.
6. San Jose Earthquakes.
The most premiership-ish kit in the MLS. I'd pick one up, but I don't have 10 friends I can convince to join me for a great opportunity to purchase them in bulk. 7. Kansas City Wizards.
Not a fan of the weird blue patch on the sleeve of the away kit. 8. Chivas USA.
Fewer stripes, angular design for '10/'11. Big improvement. 9. New England Revolution.
A collar? Really?
10. Toronto FC.
Again with the collars?
11. Colorado Rapids.
Home maroon is nice, away baby blues aren't. More collars. This isn't golf is it?
12. New York Red Bulls.
Who wouldn't love having two gigantic red bulls charging each other on the middle of your torso?
13. Chicago Fire.
I was always more of a Circuit City guy myself. 14. Houston Dynamo.
Two words: Chester Cheetah. 15. FC Dallas.
Horizontal hoops? No thanks.
16. Seattle Sounders FC.
These would be awesome, if it were 1996 and we were all going to candy flip and hit up a rave. All right, sarcastic listing aside, here are my actual predictions. I just couldn't resist. (* = playoff team)
- 1. Columbus*
- 2. New England*
- 3. Chicago*
- 4. Kansas City*
- 5. Toronto*
- 6. New York
- 7. DC United
- 8. Philadelphia
- 1. Seattle*
- 2. Real Salt Lake*
- 3. Colorado*
- 4. FC Dallas
- 5. Houston
- 6. Los Angeles
- 7. Chivas USA
- 8. San Jose
I think Seattle will win it all over Chicago in the finals, but Colorado is my sleeper. The fight for the final playoff spot will be a dogfight between KC, Toronto, New York and FC Dallas. Maybe 4 points separates the whole lot. Enjoy the first kick tonight. And feel free to hold me to these predictions.