A couple of weeks ago, I was wondering how to do my predictions for 2020 and started the thought process on how to come up with a unique way to look at the upcoming season.
What if every game of the season for every team in the league was predicted in its own context? The history between each team over the last couple of years, off-season roster movement, travel, games in close proximity taken into consideration with the famous three games in eight days weighted appropriately, rivalries, coaching changes, known injuries (as of February 25th, 2020), trends and a fair amount of randomness that typifies Major League Soccer.
What would each team record look like? What would the standings resemble? What would be the playoffs bubble number? Would the traps and pitfalls of the calendar stand out? Which team would contend for the Supporters’ Shield? The East? The West?
A couple of weeks and a few sleepless nights later, I have the answers to all these questions.
I will start by going team-by-team with their predicted record, point tally and final projected standing in their respective conferences on October 4th, 2020. If applicable, I will highlight possible traps or impressive sequences that stood out during the analysis of the data collected. I will finish by giving you a couple of miscellaneous predictions based on my analysis of the data collected and my experience.
2nd Eastern Conference – 60 points
18 wins, 7 draws and 9 losses.
During the process, it became obvious that Atlanta’s schedule to start the season might be the easiest in the league. I predict they go unbeaten for the first six weeks of the season with a record of 4 wins and 2 draws to start the regular season. I also noticed a pattern of back-to-back victories repeating itself 5 times over the course of the season.
Chicago Fire FC
12th Eastern Conference – 38 points
A tough schedule and limited training time with the entire roster due to late additions do not bode well for the first six weeks of the 2020 season for Chicago.
11th Western Conference – 39 points
Unfortunately, the momentum gathered late last year under Robin Fraser will not carry over to 2020. A predicted 7-game winless streak in June and July will make the playoffs a difficult target.
7th Eastern Conference – 44 points
A single point will separate the Crew from their contenders NE and RBNY and in the playoffs, they could be dangerous.
5th Eastern Conference – 49 points
The post-Rooney era will be served with a side of playoffs
13th Eastern Conference – 30 points
2021 can not come soon enough for Cincinnati. A five-game losing streak between Game 19 and Game 25 will test the patience of fans and staff.
7th Western Conference – 48 points
Bubble team in the Western Conference, Dallas will beat Minnesota to the line by 1 small point.
12th Western Conference – 38 points
Sometimes it’s a case of not being lucky and just falling short, over and over and over again. I predict 10 of their 16 losses will be by one goal.
10th Eastern Conference – 40 points
There will always be challenges for an expansion team, the tardiness in building the coaching staff and the number of unknowns in their identity as a soccer team does worry me. At least in the east, you play Orlando, Chicago, and Cincinnati quite often.
5th Western Conference – 50 points
A good season, a positive atmosphere and a decent production by Chicharito.
1st Western Conference – 67 points
Vela, Vela, Vela, Velaaaaaaaaaaaa. MVP.
8th Western Conference – 47 points
Heartbreak city, missing the playoffs by 1 point. Another positive step in the right direction. Any given year, 47 points is enough to make the playoffs, sadly not 2020.
6th Eastern Conference – 45 points
No Piatti, no problem. A better season than anticipated with the emergence of Quioto and Binks. Luis Binks, rookie of the year, newcomer of the year and here is my bold prediction, defender of the year.
13th Western Conference – 35 points
Expansion, closer to Minnesota than Atlanta.
New England Revolution
8th Eastern Conference – 43 points
Missing the playoffs by a point is cruel, playing in Foxborough also.
1st Eastern Conference – 62 points
Ronny Deila will not shake things up, Heber will score and New York will be blue.
New York Red Bulls
9th Eastern Conference – 43 points
Players leave but are not replaced. The window is closed and still no MLS Cup. That’s so Metro.
Orlando City SC
11th Eastern Conference – 39 points
How to solve a problem like Orlando?
4th Eastern Conference – 53 points
The metamorphosis from irrelevant to a contender continues. Jim Curtin is a great example of what stability can bring to your club. Well done Philly. I even predict an 11-game unbeaten streak in June-July-August for the Union.
6th Western Conference – 49 points
The Valeri saga will leave some traces, but things will fall back into place come playoff time. I also predict three victories to start the year for Portland.
Real Salt Lake
9th Western Conference – 44 points
Unfortunately, the wall comes at you fast, and for RSL, it’s here.
San Jose Earthquakes
4th Western Conference – 50 points
This year, other teams will not figure The Professor out and San Jose will punch way above their weight.
2nd Western Conference – 61 points
21 wins! But the disappointment of their early CCL exit will cost them a couple of points early and the Supporters’ Shield.
Sporting Kansa City
3rd Western Conference – 50 points
Slow and steady wins the race, or finishes 3rd in the Western Conference. SKC will be a team nobody wants to face in the playoffs.
3rd Eastern Conference – 56 points
Injuries. That is Toronto FC’s true opponent in 2020.
10th Western Conference – 44 points
Out of the playoffs, but not by much. Fun team to watch, Cavallini will be a revelation for some. Progress and positivity in Vancouver.
1-NYCFC 62 points
2-Atlanta 60 points
3-TFC 56 points
4-Philadelphia Union 53 points
5-DC United 49 points
6-Montreal Impact 45 points
7-Columbus Crew 44 points
8-New England Revolution 43 points
9-New York Red Bulls 43 points
10-Inter Miami 40 points
11-Orlando City SC 39 Points
12-Chicago Fire FC 38 points
13-FC Cincinnati 30 points
1-Los Angeles FC 67 points
2-Seattle Sounders 61 points
3-Sporting KC 50 points
4-San Jose Earthquakes 50 points
5-LA Galaxy 50 points
6-Portland Timbers 49 points
7-FC Dallas 48 points
8-Minnesota United 47 points
9-Real Salt Lake 44 points
10-Vancouver Whitecaps 44 points
11-Colorado Rapids 39 points
12-Houston Dynamo 38 points
13-Nashville SC 35 points
Supporters’ Shield: LAFC
MLS Cup: NYCFC
MLS Cup Finalists: LAFC vs NYCFC
Golden Boot: Carlos Vela, LAFC
MVP: Carlos Vela, LAFC
Coach of the Year: Ronny Deila
Defender of the Year: Luis Binks
Newcomer of the Year: Chicharito
Rookie of the Year: Luis Binks
Lamar Hunt US Open Cup: Inter Miami
Voyageur’s Cup: Vancouver Whitecaps
Every 2020 MLS Regular Season Games Predicted
What are your predictions?