Posts Tagged ‘mls cup 2011’

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.



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.



By Evan Ream

After three games for most teams (though two to four for some), I feel like there is a decent enough sample size to assess each team’s chances of winning MLS Cup as well as the Supporter’s Shield. I have therefore divided up all the teams into these four categories:

Rebuilding– This team will not make the playoffs this year, they are at least one year and one or more key players away from doing so.

Playoff Contender– not to be confused with an MLS Cup Contender, these teams simply have a good shot at making the playoffs and nothing more; likely a first round exit.

MLS Cup Contender– These are the second-tier teams (such as Colorado from last year) who will almost assuredly make the playoffs, but aren’t quite as good as the top teams. In a four game (or five now) tournament, one of these teams could catch fire and unexpectedly win the cup (like the last two years).

Supporter’s Shield Contender– These first-tier teams have the quality and depth to bring it every night. These teams should finish in the top three or four of the league and have a great chance to win the Supporter’s Shield as well as MLS Cup.


>By Evan Ream, with help from the Intern

Before we get started, if you haven’t checked out any of our individual team previews yet, here they are:
DC United Team Preview
Chivas USA Team Preview
Philadelphia Union Team Preview
New England Revolution Team Preview
Houston Dynamo Team Preview
Toronto FC Team Preview
Chicago Fire Team Preview
Sporting KC Team Preview
San Jose Earthquakes Team Preview
Colorado Rapids Team Preview
Seattle Sounders FC Team Preview
Columbus Crew Team Preview
FC Dallas Team Preview
New York Red Bulls Team Preview
Real Salt Lake Team Preview
LA Galaxy Team Preview
Portland Timbers Team Preview
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Team Preview
Now, the Intern and I are going to predict who will win every major award and trophy along with a small explanation for each. We would love to hear what you guys think as well, let us know.
Individual Awards

Golden Boot:
Evan – Alvaro Saborio is the best goal scorer on the best team. He will benefit from the service provided to him by a stacked midfield especially, Javier Morales. Saborio will be the first player since Landon Donovan in 2008 to score 20 goals.
The Intern – I agree with Evan’s pick of Alvaro Saborio and he looks to be in the best situation to win the award. I think Henry could challenge him though if he cans stay healthy for the entire season. Henry has proven himself to be a top class scorer everywhere he has played and should have a strong year for New York. He will be playing with a strong midfield behind him with Dane Richards and Joel Lindpere on the wings and should get plenty of service.
Evan – I think Landon Donovan will have a monster season and become the second two-time MVP after Preki. Donovan will lead the Galaxy to the Supporter’s Shield once again and have a double-digit goals and assists season. Watch out for Javier Morales in this category as he has as good of a chance as anyone.
The Intern – Landon Donovan. I can’t even make much of a case for that many others. Maybe Freddy Montero in Seattle but Donovan is still the favorite.
Goalkeeper of the Year:
Evan – Nick Rimando should have finished above Donovan Ricketts in the voting last year (though not above Kevin Hartman), and I think the media will finally give him the love he deserves. He has really been playing at a high level the last two years.
The Intern – I really like what Sean Johnson did last year with Chicago and he earned them points the whole season, but the defense in front of him is not strong enough for him to win this award. Since Evan took Rimando, I’ll say Kevin Hartman, who played incredibly in last year’s playoffs. It’s hard for me to see someone besides Hartman or Rimando winning this.
Defender of the Year:
Evan – Tim Ream will be the key player on the New York Red Bulls defense this year as well as the sophomore player that improves the most. Word has it that Ream is being called up for the Argentina and Paraguay games, all but insuring his inclusion for the Gold Cup roster; this could count against him.
The Intern – Despite the tremendous year Tim Ream had last year, I still think he is a year or two away from winning this award, although everyone seems to be going crazy over him (rightfully so) which helps his chances. Ream’s New York teammate Rafa Marquez could win this one though since he will be another major part of the NY back line but then there’s that Omar Gonzalez guy in LA too. This is the toughest one for me to choose because it’s very subjective but I’m going to pick Marquez for this one.
Rookie of the Year:
Evan – Being from Davis, Calif., how could I not pick Jalil Anibaba? Well, because he won’t be better than Perry Kitchen. It took me a while to make this pick, but I think Kitchen will be a first choice starter and lead a resurgent DC United team to the playoffs; making him an easy pick.
The Intern – I like Perry Kitchen for this year as well, mainly because of how strong I think DC will be. Darlington Nagbe is also a candidate for this award and he should get plenty of minutes partnered with Kenny Cooper for the Timbers. If he can provide a legitimate goal scoring threat, the attacking duo of Portland will be able to do some damage and possibly get enough attention for Nagbe to win this award.
Trophy Picks
US Open Cup:
Evan – Historically there are four teams that really care about this trophy. Four-time winners Chicago are terrible and won’t win it, same for the Columbus Crew. This leaves DC United and Seattle Sounders FC who will win it. Seattle want to become the first MLS team to three-peat and will make this tournament a priority.
The Intern – Seattle really seems to care about this trophy and they are one of the best teams in the competition. They should be able to win. That being said, DC will be eager to win a trophy (besides the Carolina Challenge Cup) this year because of all the improvements they made in the offseason and the Open Cup is their best chance to do so.
Supporters Shield:
Evan – As previously mentioned, I think that the LA Galaxy will win the Supporter’s Shield based on their depth in their squad and their star players. I still think Real Salt Lake have the best team, but I think they are involved in too many competitions to win this trophy.
The Intern – It’s really hard to see LA not winning this, but I think RSL and Seattle will be breathing down their necks the whole season and one of them may be able to slide into first place towards the last few weeks of the season.
MLS Cup:
Evan – I think Real Salt Lake will make up for their first round failure last year by taking this trophy for the 2nd time in 3 years. RSL should have won it last year and they know it, they will not make the same mistake two years in a row.
The Intern – Given how literally anything can happen in the playoffs, it’s hard to make this prediction just yet so I’m going to go with a possible outcome that I would enjoy seeing. Seattle. I like the team they have and it would be great to see another first time winner.
This is how I see the table turning out:
1. LA Galaxy
2. Real Salt Lake
3. New York Red Bulls
4. Seattle Sounders FC
5. FC Dallas
6. Colorado Rapids
7. DC United
8. San Jose Earthquakes
9. Philadelphia Union
10. Sporting KC
11. Houston Dynamo
12. New England Revolution
13. Columbus Crew
14. Portland Timbers
15. Chivas USA
16. Chicago Fire
17. Toronto FC
18. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
This is how The Intern sees the table turning out:
1.   LA Galaxy
2.   Seattle Sounders
3.   Real Salt Lake
4.   New York Red Bulls
5.   Colorado Rapids
6.   FC Dallas
7.   DC United
8.   San Jose Earthquakes 
9.   Philadelphia Union
10. Sporting KC
11. New England Revolution
12. Columbus Crew
13. Houston Dynamo
14. Portland Timbers
15. Chivas USA
16. Toronto FC
17. Chicago Fire
18. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
And lastly, some bold predictions:

  • Chad Barrett will score more goals than Chris Wondolowski
  • Steve Zakuani will be the first midfielder to score 15 goals in one season
  • Arturo Alvarez will score 10 goals in all competitions

The Intern’s:

  • We will see at least 10 Stanky Legs this year.
  • Contrary to Univision announcer Pablo Ramirez, opposing defenses will not like that Boon-boo-ree, especially if it’s part of a four-three-three.
  • Hopeful thinking: Kasey Keller wins a championship to end a remarkable professional career.

Predictions for tonight’s opening match:
Evan Ream: LA
Will Robinson: Draw
The Intern: Draw
Nick Gallaudet: LA