It's hard to believe that the long, dreary MLS offseason is about to come to a close. I'm so glad that the league is kicking off with a full slate of matches, compared to years' past when a only a pair of teams played on opening weekend. In an effort to provide a short and sweet taste of what's to come in 2007, here's 20 words or less on each MLS club, listed by the fictional single table that so many crow about...
Top of the Heap
Houston Dynamo: The returning champs are the class of the league. They play attractive ball, and will repeat in '07.
DC United: Emilio, Gomez, and the newly-acquired Fred lift the four-time champs to the MLS Cup once again.
LA Galaxy: Beckham notwithstanding, a re-energized Donovan and newly acquired Jaqua will make LA tough to beat. Cannon+LA=weird.
Chivas USA: El Lobo will lift the goats higher this season. Sophomores Klejstan and Bornstein will power Chivas to a playoff series win.
Tough to Face
Chicago: The Devil will make the difference this summer. Mapp and an experienced defense will make Bridgeview a tough place to win.
FC Dallas: The offensive firepower of Ruiz, Cooper, and Mina will provide the scoring, but the midfield is a question mark.
New England Revolution A bit of a step back without Dempsey. Who knows whether Shalrie Joseph will produce? The core is still strong.
A Year Away
New York Red Bulls: The club has improved, but the big question is offense. Look for van Den Burgh to step up. Playoffs again for NY.
Kansas City Wizards: We're still waiting for the new ownership to do something to improve the franchise, which lost Josh Wolff. Boring.
Colorado Rapids: New unis and new digs does not a compelling club make. Nico Hernandez is a good player on a poor team.
Columbus Crew: HeyDude and the young'uns on a club that's years away from making serious noise. We miss you, Eddie G!
Relegation (just kidding)
Real Salt Lake: Adu will bring pop, but RSL won't get the production from Hall-of-famers Pope and Kreis to win often.
Toronto FC: Fan support will carry the northern newbies to a last place finish in season one. Esky will be a sparkplug at BMO.
Everyone's in first place for a few more days! Enjoy opening weekend, everyone!