MLS 2020 Preview

By: Jon Nelson

MLS KICKIN IT. Can Seattle Repeat in 2020??

MLS 2020: Can Seattle Repeat…??? 


The short answer is: Until their issues at the back are addressed, no… And when one of your stars is getting treatment for tendinitis in a muscle it sounds longer-term than one may think. 

Other questions out west have to do with the LAFC defense and how head coach Bob Bradley will address the late pre-season trade of Walker Zimmerman to Nashville and how that affects his back line as well. South of downtown, LA Galaxy will have Chichirito as an instant Golden Boot nominee. But can their defense keep matches from going 5-4 every week…? 

Here’s a tip for you… 

Don’t be surprised if 2 or 3 of the top 5 scorers are first-year players. Carlos Vela, Chichirito, Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez, Columbus Crew’s Gyasi Zardes, and Sporting KC’s Alan Pulido are who I’m looking at off the top of my head. 
A healthy SKC side should be a pain in the backside for everyone out west… 

Portland and Minnesota United should be a part of the top 5 discussion out west as well with teams like Real Salt Lake, San Jose, and FC Dallas looking at the bottom of the seeds. 
Will Nashville SC be a part of the playoff talk…? I think they’ll be highly competitive down the spine of their club, but the talk will be around scoring and head coach Gary Smith to get those answers from players like David Accam, Daniel Rios and Hany Mukhtar.
In the east, the top should be the same- NYCFC, Atlanta United, and Toronto FC. But the early questions at BMO around Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and, now, Pablo Piatti will give head coach Greg Vanney some pause. Is Nick Deleon the answer…? We’ll see in the short-term and it could mean that the Reds will have to climb the table starting mid-season to be top 3.
NYCFC and Atlanta United will be involved in CONCACAF Champions League and should get out of Round 1. But the deeper the run means having roster depth that will see you through multiple competitions. Will first year head coach Ronny Deila and second year coach Frank DeBoer, respectively, have that choice to try and accomplish something an MLS side has never done in winning that trophy…? It will come down to match-ups, health, and a little luck for both. 

Also in the east, look for Philadelphia, New England (with Bruce Arena around for a full season now), the revamped Columbus Crew under Caleb Porter, and DC United to chase the remaining playoff spots. Orlando City, under new head coach Oscar Pareja, should improve as they still chase their still first-ever post-season berth and their new friends to the south in Inter Miami (which we can still call them for now) will be a part of the discussion.

Keep an eye on a couple of teams- Red Bulls and FC Cincinnati- for the wrong reason. It’s been a long pre-season for both. 

Play on! 2020 is here!