By Evan Ream

When Vancouver Whitecaps FC acquired Sebastien Le Toux for allocation money this morning, a lot of eyebrows were raised in MLS circles in the United States and Canada. Despite finishing last in goals in 2011 with just 35, the Whitecaps already have two double-digit goal-scorers on their roster in Camilo (12 goals) and Eric Hassli (10). They also spent their last two first-round draft picks on forwards: Omar Salgado (no. 1 overall) and Darren Mattocks (no. 2). Their roster is rounded out with passable reserve forwards Atiba Harris and Long Tan.

I understand that the 4-3-3 is becoming popular in MLS, but will a front line of Camilo, Hassli and Le Toux be enough to make up for a defense that finished third-to-last in goals allowed with 55? Vancouver is starting to remind me of another certain Canadian team when it comes to their team building. Though they are trying to right the ship by signing veteran defenders, their approach doesn’t really make sense when their two marquee signings – Jay DeMerit and Lee Young-Pyo – are both on the wrong side of 30. Vancouver may have a decent team, but they are following in the footsteps of Toronto FC.

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By Brent Pella

A look at a few trending topics in the NBA community as the lockout season continues through winter:

“Good Lo’dy wo’dy / I just took more shots than Kobe”

Big Sean didn’t need to search too far to find a metaphor with the word ‘shot’ involved.

Kobe Bryant’s shooting habits are one of the most talked about caveats of the Lakers squad this season. Bryant has taken 292 shots through 12 games so far this season, and averages a Jordanesque 24.3 attempts per game. People continue to bash his shooting, while others say it’s the only way L.A. can score.

Fortunately for this argument, numbers don’t lie.

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By Evan Ream

I’m genuinely excited for this game, as I am for all MLS Cups, even if something predictable happens. I started watching MLS Cup in 2004 and have never been treated to a bad game. Even the worse games of the seven I have watched live went to overtime. I don’t think this game will be bad, I think it will actually pretty much mirror the best one I have seen: MLS Cup 2008.

The Galaxy will start off strong and get a goal in the first half – Robbie Keane is my pick to get it – and cruise to halftime leading 1-0. After the half, one of the Dynamo’s 394702347230 six footers will equalize setting up a dramatic finish in which Keane will score twice after the 85th minute. Yes, I’m predicting the first hat-trick in MLS Cup history. I think Keane is on really good form and will exploit the Houston backline with smart runs.

Houston still has a chance in this game, but I think that they just don’t have enough quality. They will probably have to score two or three goals on set pieces to win this game, and with Brad Davis out, I just don’t see that happening.

Prediction: L.A. Galaxy 3 Houston Dynamo 1

MVP: Robbie Keane

By Evan Ream

This Sunday, the L.A. Galaxy will take on the Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. to decide who will win the 16th MLS Cup. This is the second of two team previews. You can find the L.A. Galaxy preview here.

Overview

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By Evan Ream

This Sunday, the L.A. Galaxy will take on the Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. to decide who will win the 16th MLS Cup. This is my first of two team previews.

Overview

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Current Year’s Record

Dylan: 74-56

Evan: 85-45

Nick: 72-58

Will: 82-48

OAK at SD
NO at ATL PIT at CIN STL at CLE DEN at KC BUF at DAL JAX at IND WAS at MIA
Dylan SD no pick NP NP NP NP NP NP
Evan SD NO PIT CLE KC DAL JAX MIA
Nick SD ATL CIN STL KC BUF IND MIA
Will
SD ATL PIT STL DEN DAL IND MIA
ARI at PHI
HOU at TB TEN at CAR BAL at SEA DET at CHI NYG at SF NE at NYJ MIN at GB
Dylan NP NP NP NP NP NP NE GB
Evan PHI HOU CAR BAL DET SF NE GB
Nick PHI HOU CAR BAL CHI NYG NYJ GB
Will
PHI HOU CAR BAL DET SF NE GB

Current Year’s Record

Dylan: 66-50

Evan: 78-38

Nick: 66-50

Will: 76-40

 
NYJ at BUF
SEA at DAL ATL at IND MIA at KC TB at NO SF at WAS CLE at HOU CIN at TEN
Dylan NYJ DAL ATL KC TB SF HOU CIN
Evan BUF DAL ATL KC NO SF HOU TEN
Nick BUF DAL IND KC NO WAS HOU TEN
Will
BUF DAL ATL KC NO SF HOU TEN
 
NYG at NE
STL at ARI DEN at OAK GB at SD BAL at PIT CHI at PHI    
Dylan NE ARI OAK SD PIT PHI    
Evan NE ARI OAK GB PIT PHI    
Nick NE ARI OAK GB PIT PHI    
Will
NE STL OAK GB PIT PHI