Unitedmania Prognostications 2009: Eastern Conference

Same as before, Unitedmania’s brainstaff take a stab at how the 2009 MLS season will play out in the East. First a few notes about each team, then our picks as well as a few choice comments afterward.

Key moves in Eastern Conference:
Chicago Fire:
Additions – Baggio Husidic
Losses – Stephen King, Diego Gutierrez
Columbus Crew:
Additions – None
Losses – Brad Evans, Ezra Hendrickson, Stefani Miglioranzi
DC United:
Additions – Christian Gomez, Dejan Jakovic, Malawi Ange N’Silu, Ben Olsen maybe healthy!
Losses – Marcelo Gallardo, Gonzalo Martinez, Gonzalo Peralta, Zach Wells, Ivan Guerrero, Joe Vide, Lightning Rod Dyachenko
KC Wizards:
Additions – Santiago Hirsig, Adam Cristman, Matt Besler
Losses – Carlos Marinelli, Ivan Trujilo, Tyson Wahl, Kerry Zavagnin
NE Revolution:
Additions – Michael Videira, Kevin Alston
Losses – Michael Parkhurst, Adam Cristman, Khano Smith
RedBull NY:
Additions – Mike Petke, Dominic Oduro, Khano Smith, Jeremy Hall
Losses – Gabriel Cichero, Diego Jiminez, Jeff parke, Mike Magee, Chris Leitch, Dave van den Bergh
Toronto FC:
Additions – Dewayne DeRosario, Adrian Serioux, O’Brien White, Sam Cronin, Stefan Frei, Pablo Vitti
Losses – Carlos Ruiz, Hunter Freeman, Tyrone Marshall, Julius James, Todd Dunivant

Mike Chris Martin Jimmy
1 Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago
2 Columbus Columbus Columbus DC United
3 DC United DC United Red Bull Columbus
4 NE Revs   Toronto DC United Toronto
5 Red Bull Red Bull NE Revs Red Bull
6 Kansas City  NE Revs  Toronto NE Revs
7 Toronto Kansas City Kansas City Kansas City

Amazingly, for the first time ever there was remarkable consensus as we all picked the Fire and Crew for first and second. Chicago had one of the better defenses in the league and will have Brian McBride for the full season to no doubt boost their weaker offensive output. The Crew are also virtually unchanged from the Supporter’s Shield and MLS Cup winning team. Not difficult to think they will ride that confidence well into this season too as long as they stay healthy.

Chris and I think DC will slide into third, mostly because we’re unabashed homers, but also because the team will score a lot of goals to hide most of the deficiencies of a very young defense. That, and being able to focus on MLS with their streamlined schedule as compared to the past two years of 45 plus games per season. Martin has been drinking the Red Bull cool-aid and threw them in as another of his usual off the wall guesses.

Martin came to his senses and has United squeaking into the playoffs in fourth, while Chris thinks DeRosario and a lot of young talent will help Toronto squeak into the playoff realm. I think Nichol in NE always finds a way to maneuver through MLS and he’ll do the coaching performance of his life to keep the Revs from totally sliding into obscurity as all of us agree their cumulative player losses over the past few years, especially Parkhurst this off-season will take its toll.

Chris and I also agree that Red Bull will somehow cobble together another one of their almost good enough seasons as usual, while Martin has the Revs dropping down into fifth.

Finally, in the last two slots, we all have KC scraping the bottom of the barrel, but Chris and Martin have them rock bottom, as they simply did nothing in the off-season to inspire any faith that they will be any better than they were this past year. I think Toronto will be a bit worse than KC as DeRosario makes their offense better, but they had an appalling defense last year and did nothing to address that. Plus, all the changes in the roster could really spell trouble in finding a rhythm especially as the questions swirl about Carver’s coaching ability. Chris has the least faith in the Revs as he has them dropping into the relegation zone.

So, there you have it. Surely its a sign of the apocalypse that we all agree so closely.

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