Every year before the MLS season we do an “MLS Predictions” column.
Every year we say the same thing.
“We’re dropping science on ya.”
And then every year at the All-Star break we say the same thing, “We meant humor.”
We’re big on accountability here at TSG and we’re also big on looking back and skewering ourselves on some of the more asinine things we’ve said.
So with that in mind, here’s a breakdown of our how our “prognistaticators” are doing versus their predictions (Part I, here) and some less-than-scientific “observations” (Part II) from the peanut gallery and we round the noon on the season.
Again, the players: Matt Biggerstaff, Jay Bell, Jason Price, Dan Wiersema, Matt-TSG & Jared DuBois
Our pre-season pick review:
MLS MVP: Mauro Rosales (Bell, Matt), Fredy Montero (Dubois), Henry (Price), Wondolowski (Biggerstaff)
Point(s) to: Biggerstaff
The skinny: No contest right now among those candidates. Wondolowski is on a tear and set to break his season-shared (with Carlos Ruiz) game-winning goal mark of nine. He’s also got the Quakes in first. DeRosario–nobody’s pick–is probably neck-and-neck with Mr. Wondoful while Kyle Beckerman quietly is right behind.
Supporters Shield: Real Salt Lake (Bell), Sounders (Price), Galaxy (Biggerstaff, Wiersema), Sporting KC (DuBois, Matt)
Point(s) to: Bell, Matt, Dubois
The skinny: It’s still a wide open race, but RSL, San Jose, DCU and Sporting KC all have a viable claim in now. Still wide open.
Most Improved Player: Ryan Johnson (Price, Biggerstaff), Mwanga (Wiersema), Opara (Bell), Beitashour (Matt), Feilhaber (DuBois)
Point(s) to: Matt
The skinny: From the candidates above, hard not to consider Beitashour the easy victor here [pats self on back heartily]. Other players making the case are fellow SJE brethren Alan Gordon, Justin Morrow and Marvin Chaves to Will Bruin in Houston, Michael Farfan in Philadelphia, Chris Pontius in DC and even Mark Burch in Seattle.
Best Goalkeeper: Rimando (Bell, Price), Kennedy (Matt), Hamid (Wiersema)
Point(s) to: Matt
The skinny: Hard to argue that Chivas USA’s Dan Kennedy and the Columbus Crew’s Andy Gruenabaum haven’t been the cream of the crop between the sticks this year. Hamid is almost there, but he needs to command his box better and has less pressure on him given DC United’s attacking aptitude.
Best Central American player with the first initial “M”: Marco Pappa (Bell, Matt, Price), Marvin Chavez (DuBois), Mr. Andy Najar (Wiersema)
Point(s) to: DuBois
The skinny: Bit of a stunner here, but you have to give the slight nod to Marvin Chavez here over Marco Pappa despite swirling talk of Pappa being Wigan-bound after 2012. Chavez has been just what the doctor ordered in San Jose and he plays defense. That’s where he edges Pappa.
Most Assists: Davide Chiumiento (Bell), David Beckham (Rodius), Landon Donovan (Biggerstaff), Graham Zusi (Matt), Rosales (Price)
Point(s) to: Matt
The skinny: While DeRosario is again the leader in another department here, right after him two dimes down is Graham Zusi. Zusi has been the engine to the Sporting KC attack, but he’ll need some linking help if he wants to keep up the pace in the 2nd half. Rosales, with a few injuries to brush aside, sits within striking distance at six.
Golden Boot: Koevermans (Bell), Boyd (DuBois), DeRo-Henry-Montero (Price), Oduro (Matt), Wondolowski (Biggerstaff)
Point to: Biggerstaff
The skinny: That dude who selected Oduro should be docked a point, no? Oduro has found the net only on the fly over the backline. Boyd has lacked the service and Koevermans is on a floundering Toronto team. Meanwhile, going to be hard-pressed to pass by Chris Wondolowski who just keeps on keeping-on and earning respect.
Best short player: Gil (Biggerstaff), Rimando (Wiersema, DuBois), Lade (Price), Duka (Matt), McCarty (Bell)
Point(s) to: Biggerstaff, Rimano
The skinny: TSG–actually everyone but TSG–knows short people. Spot on with nearly all the selections above.
FINAL POINT TALLY:
Part II shortly…