Last season I was two-for-five, which I will gladly take. With a year on the beat, can I go a perfect three-for-three? (Don’t @ me in October if this is all horribly wrong.)
1. Toronto FC, again: Listen, Toronto is the best team in MLS history. It won the domestic treble last season — the Canadian championship (the U.S. version of this is the Open Cup) and Supporters’ Shield along with its league title. The team has a shot at not only defending those but adding a fourth in the CONCACAF Champions League. The club could totally do it. With stars such as Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco and Michael Bradley still at their prime, Toronto is going to be pretty hard to beat.
2. LAFC makes the playoffs: The new expansion team has made some money moves this offseason, as Cardi B says. While not quite as splashy as the Loons’ 2017 expansion rival Atlanta, the other SoCal team’s starting XI looks like it could stack up with the best in the league. Also, I’m on the Bob Bradley redemption hype train. He’s the coach who led the only expansion team to ever win a MLS Cup in its first season — the 1998 Chicago Fire. And I want to see him and his newfound hipster fashion succeed, OK?
3. Eighth is enough: Without a Designated Player-level signing this offseason, an Adrian Heath-led United team finishes eighth in the 12-team Western Conference. A lot of people aren’t expecting much more than last year, but a year of experience is bound to generate better results. With surprise drop-offs last season from teams such as the LA Galaxy, United has the potential to sneak up the standings a bit but not enough to make the playoffs. Next season, in the new stadium, feels like the scripted time for that, anyway.