How To Win The EastBy: Brian | March 11th, 2011
What will it take for your Eastern Conference Club to lift the MLS Cup? For most of these clubs it will take nothing short of a miracle to outlast the stronger Western Conference, but they can’t be counted out. After all, how many predicted MLS Cups for Colorado and RSL the last two years?
Chicago – For Chicago to turn around the sinking ship they have to rely on the Uruguayan imports Gaston Puerari and Diego Chaves. Reuniting the friends and former teammates is a well calculated strategy that just might pay off.
Columbus – Wow, I still don’t get the strategy of purging themselves of veteran leadership but we will see if they can find some offense to accompany their typically stingy defense. If highly touted prospect Dilly Duka gets a chance, he might team up with Eddie Gaven to create some consistent offense.
DC United – When DC United is good, the MLS is a better league. DC is the closest thing MLS has to a “storied club” and we need them to be competitive. Dax McCarty and Andy Najar provide a midfield combo that would make any fan base excited.
Houston – The temporary Eastern Conference Dynamo are facing the reality of aging stars and unproven youth. How much do Ching and Davis have left in the tank? The stage is perfect for Will Bruin to make a big splash in Houston.
New England – The Revs look a real mess to me but they have a solid core to build on. Any hopes of making the playoffs rests in the continued development of Kenny Mansally who has the potential to be a very good MLS player for many years.
New York – Henry, Rafa, Little Rooney…the star power is there but it will take solid play from both Tim Ream and Mehdi Ballouchy (my favorite Moroccan player ever!) to make the Red Bulls a championship contender.
Philly – Personally, the Union were a pleasant surprise for me last season. Most of the credit for that goes to the dominant play of Sebastian LeToux. Below average goalkeeping last season plagued Philadelphia so look for the addition of Faryd Mondragon in goal to be key in having a successful season.
Sporting KC – Usually respected, rarely feared, KC has got to be thinking they can be the next Colorado Rapids. If this is to happen, Teal Bunbury will be the reason. I see nothing but greatness in the future of this 21 year old rising star.
Toronto – In order to erase the epic 2nd half collapse of the 2010 season, Toronto will need to find some help for de Guzman and De Rosario. If this is to happen it will come from an unexpected source because their roster is not very strong on paper. Sorry, Toronto fans, looks like you need the “de connection” to carry you through another season. Besides, either way, you have great fans!