With a third of the MLS season gone, and the two-week summer break coming up in the wake of Copa America and the Euros, we predict which two teams will compete for the MLS Cup in December.
With a third of the MLS season gone and the two week Copa America break coming up, I thought it would be fun to look at who I think is going to be representing each conference in the MLS Cup in December.
THE EAST: Philadelphia Union
Okay, so not really a surprising pick in the eastern conference as I’m choosing the team at the top of the table, but I do think that their rise from ninth in the table at the end of last season to being tops now should not be looked at as a fluke.
I’ve had the good fortune to be able to watch a lot of their games this season (thanks MLSLive) and after they were able to go to Colorado (whose top of the table in the west) on Saturday after playing in Orlando three days before, and get a point in a 1-1 tie as Brian Carroll scored in the second minute of stoppage time, I knew they were legit.
Their back line is solid, with Fabinho providing veteran leadership and possible Rookie of the Year Keegan Rosenberry at right back who has exceeded all expectations, as he has gone up against some of the best MLS has to offer (Keane, Kaka, Gerrad, Lavin) without any hesitation at all. They have players up top in CJ Sapong, Chris Pontinus, Seba Le Toux, and Tranquillo Barnetta (what a name) who can create opportunities and put the ball in the back of the net. Not to mention, Andre Blake has been superb in goal up to now, and will play with Jamaica in Copa America giving him some valuable experience.
They have a lot of chemistry as a group and play with heart. I like the Union to continue full-steam ahead and represent the Eastern Conference in December.
THE WEST: LA Galaxy
Though fifth in the table at the moment, I like the galaxy to represent the Western Conference. They just have so much talent and depth throughout their roster, its easy for me to see them sliding into the playoffs as a low seed and turning up the heat in their play.
Obviously the big names of Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrad, and Giovioni Dos Santos are who come to mind when you think LA Galaxy, but they also have solid players all throughout the back line. Van Damme, Robbie Rodgers,and Ashley Cole all provide strong support for Dan Kennedy, who’s been good in goal. Nigel de Jong and Emmanuel Boateng are experienced in the midfield and can both fall back and help the defense, and move up to create opportunities for those guys previously mentioned. Also, Mike Magee and Gyasi Zardes get goals up top.
I just like the depth of the Galaxy and the experience their players have to get it done come playoff time. One final thing, maybe (Oh god please) they’ll have Zlatan?
THE WINNER: Philadelphia Union
All aboard the hype train. What can I say, I’m an optimist. Even though I just spent a whole paragraph praising the Galaxy for their experience and my thinking that they’ll put on the playoff push, I can’t help but root for the little guys. What do you guys think? Who do you have winning the cup?