MLS Season Preview Pt. 2: The Hopeful

Ken FossAnalyst IMarch 27, 2008

New York Red Bulls

Key Acquisition(s)

Zack Thornton

Key Loss(es)

Ronald Wattereus, Clint Mathis, Demo Kovelenko, Markus Schopp

The New York Red Bulls were good early last year, but faded late because they failed to score goals.

But this is the year Altidore will break out. He has been streaky, but as the second full-time striker, he should have at least 15 goals. When paired with Angel, who will contribute 22 to 25, they should make the best tandem in MLS this year.

The real problem is in the back.

Can Parke, the last pick in last year’s draft, really be the man back their? If he can, then a solid playoff team will follow. If not, a leaky defense could signal a fall out of the post-season and the end of the line for their coach.


Playoffs, 4th overall


Real Salt Lake

Key Acquisition(s)

A new, soccer-specific Stadium, Dema Kovalenko, Matias Corboda, Kenny Deuchar, Matt Borchers

Key Loss(es)

Alecko Eskandarian

RSL has fortified itself with good young talent. Players like Kyle Beckerman and Robbie Findley should have great seasons.

But their transformation into a potential playoff team really stems from leaving their monstrously bad, almost unplayable stadium behind. Look for a surprisingly strong RSL side this year. 



Playoffs, sixth overall


Chicago Fire

Key Acquisition(s)

Thomasz Frankowski, Patrick Nyarko, Brandon Prideaux, Andy Herron


Key Loss(es)

Matt Pickens, Ivan Guerrero 


Chicago went deep last year, but that will not happen again.

The Fire has holes at some key spots and the back line is getting older. Besides that, there is no goalkeeper to speak of.

While the team will regress, it still should have a very solid season and one of its better years offensively. Watch for a 4-3-3 this season. 


Playoffs, 7th overall


Columbus Crew

Key Acquisition(s)


Key Loss(es)

Andy Herron, Marcos Gonzalez


This team is poised to take a step back this season.

Columbus will rely on its stable of older players, such as Schelotto, Hejduk, and Moreno. They were active in the foreign market and tried to get some younger talent, and they will look to make additions later in the season.

But at least for now, the Crew’s season hopes look bleak.



No playoffs, 11th overall, sub-.500 record

Toronto FC


Key Acquisition(s)

Kevin Harmse


Key Loss(es)

Kenny Stamatopoulos, Ronnie O'Brien


The Toronto faithful were great last year, but their team was not. And this off-season, things only got worse.

But they have a stud in Maurice Edu, and they will look to add some talent around him to improve for next season.


Dead last, 14th overall