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2017 Big D Soccer staff predictions

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Our staff came together to predict the upcoming season.

Noah Riffe

It is once again time for our annual staff predictions that are sure to go very wrong. Very. Very. Wrong. But in all seriousness, we are excited for the new season to start so, enjoy our annual season predictions!

We also asked our partners at the 19th Minute Podcast to join us in sharing with us their predictions as well!

FC Dallas predictions

1. What excites you most about the upcoming season?

Nathan Hill: New players and new expectations

Cody Gammon: All of the Homegrown players, watching them float into the team will be awesome.

Jason Poon: Integrating more HGPs into the system and seeing how Oscar Pareja will prepare this team for the playoffs.

Ben Loyd: The potential for an historic season. I know last year was the most successful year in club history, but a 'treble' of MLS Cup, US Open Cup, and the Supporters' Shield would have been the first such accomplishment in league history. Is CCL in the mix? If so, what about the FIFA Club World Cup? The times are heady in Frisco.

Jack Rouse: Seeing if the newcomers provide the depth and posses the quality to bring home the MLS Cup.

Jared Tilley: Seeing the new players come in and contribute as well as seeing the young guys make the jump in quality.

Jack Hazzard: Cristian Colman

Phil Luetchford: This is the best and deepest squad Dallas has ever seen. We are going to the semi-finals of CCL. We should be a top-two team in the West. I'm looking forward to winning CCL, MLS Cup, or both!

Jose Carmona: Pareja putting his foot on the gas. You get the sense that Pareja finally has the type of team he's been trying to build since taking over in FCD. It excites me that Pareja will finally show MLS, that last season, was just the tip of the iceberg. Watch Pareja unleash the "Hounds of War" on MLS, sit back, and enjoy the devastation they leave in their wake.

Scott Hiney: Getting to see Kellyn Acosta play in a more central midfield role really excites because I still think he's one of the league's best-kept secrets because of Gruezo's ability. I'm also very excited to see how the outside backs shape up, especially if Reggie Cannon works into the rotation.

Mohammad Bushnaq: FC Dallas focusing on MLS Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League. I think the Hoops have another chance to bring back some silverware this season. You know they will be defending the USOC with everything they have, but I am really excited about the fact that the Supporters' Shield is now a thing of the past and the ultimate prize, MLS Cup, is in the sights of this leadership team.

Preston Wetherington: I am excited to see how Colman will form partnerships with the rest of the front line. I'm hoping for a lot of goals.

Drew Epperley: Just about everything. I mean it. From the new additions, more Homegrown players, stadium improvements, stadium renovations that remain on-going, Oscar Pareja's consistent improvement as a head coach, Fernando Clavijo's consistent improvement as a technical director, all the way to every little damn thing that is going on with this club. Yeah. I'm excited.

Kenny Price (19th Minute): Two word. Cristian. Colman.

Brandon Huckabee (19th Minute): The focus that the team is putting on being the 1st team in MLS to win CCL. Talking to Fernando and Oscar you can tell how important that is to them. Also really excited to watch the attack this year. Love the new pieces they have added and the diversity those players bring to the attack.

Walter Alexander (19th Minute): Colman and his partnership with Maxi


2. What worries you the most going into the season?

Nathan: Mauro doesn't return

Cody: How creative will the 4-4-2 be?

Jason: CB depth is a little worrying in the experience department.

Ben: That civilization collapses thus impeding FC Dallas from winning at least another two trophies.

Jack R.: A Diaz-less team could be one dimensional and fail to create opportunities and score goals.

Jared: Apathy. With the way the FO went out and spent money and brought in quality players, if the team ends up fading and not winning MLS cup, I'm worried the keyboard warriors will turn on the team again.

Jack H.: Loadedup schedule

Phil: With several incredible young talents on the team, I'm worried about losing a player or two to Europe. Teams are probably ringing Fernando's phone around the clock for guys like Kellyn Acosta and Walker Zimmerman.

Jose: The health of the team. Nothing derails your season like injuries to key personell. While I believe FCD has gotten deeper as a team, I also believe that the league will be tougher all around.

Scott: My biggest worry is that the midfield will be disconnected from the attack because the team isn't used to playing without Diaz specifically and an attacking midfielder in general. My hope is that Acosta will develop quickly, but only time will tell.

Mohammad: The health of Mauro Diaz. The Magician was incredible, to say the least, last season, but was unfortunately hurt in the last game of the season. Achilles injuries can be pretty difficult to overcome, so I am just a little worried about him not being anywhere near his own self if/when he comes back to training and the first team.

Preston: I'm worried a little about our lack of depth in CB. We need our two to stay healthy, otherwise there is a massive drop off in talent.

Drew: Injuries are always a worry for me with this bunch and knowing that Mauro Diaz at best won't be back until June is still a cause for concern. My gut tells me he really won't be healthy until at best August or September, which may not be the worst thing either.

Kenny (19th Minute): European teams coming after Kellyn or Carlos in the summertime.

Brandon (19th Minute): Right now CB depth is worrisome. One injury to Hedges or Walker is bad news with the current roster.

Walter (19th Minute): Mauro not coming back at 100%


FC Dallas predictions

Name Who will be FCD's Golden Boot winner in 2017? Who will be FCD's top defender in 2017? Who will be FCD's Team MVP in 2017?
Name Who will be FCD's Golden Boot winner in 2017? Who will be FCD's top defender in 2017? Who will be FCD's Team MVP in 2017?
Nathan Michael Barrios Matt Hedges Maxi Urruti
Cody Colman Hedges Acosta
Jason Cristian Colman Hernan Grana Matt Hedges
Ben Cristian Colmán. When he rounds into form, he's going to be a nightmare for MLS defenses. Frisco will have to change the name of the street on the south side of the stadium. Walker Zimmerman. He's going to get capped, and he's going to get sold in the offseason. There's your tiebreaker with Hedges. Fernando Clavijo. He's built the deepest team in MLS history. All hail the architect.
Jack R. Urruti's goal tally was decievingly low last season. With his first season under the belt, there's no reason he can't push 13 goals. Matt Hedges is not only Dallas' best defender, but the best centerback in the MLS. With Diaz starting, Hedges often gets overlooked; goals aren't as sexy as clean sheets. But this year Hedges consistency will not be underappreciated.
Jared Maxi Urruti. Matt Hedges - The best defender in the league. Kellyn Acosta. With Mauro being out, Kellyn is going to be the connector in the midfield. He will be asked to do a lot of work, going box to box. Defensively, Kellyn is already really steady in the midfield. Now, add Lamah and Colman, he should have a lot of time on the ball going forward which should allow him to have a sexy stat line at the end of the season.
Jack H. Urutti Hedges Diaz
Phil Cristian Colman. That's why we paid over $2M, right? Walker Zimmerman. The guy was an absolute monster against Arabe Unido, winning every ball in sight. If he can improve his passing, he will be elite. Kellyn Acosta. The Year of Kellyn has officially begun.
Jose Colmán (15 goals), he'll be a force in MLS, and lead the highest scoring team in the league. Zimmerman. You get the sense that Zim still hasn't reached his peak. He'll elevate his game to another level this season, defensively and offensively. Acosta, he's going to be tasked with raising his contributions in the attack, and will come up spades. Acosta will threaten to become the youngest MLS MVP in history.
Scott Cristian Colman Walker Zimmerman Kellyn Acosta
Mohammad Colman will edge out Urruti but it will be close. Let's say Cristian outdoes Maxi by 2-3 goals in all competitions. Zimmerman and Hedges are easy picks. You guys enjoy while I predict boldly. I am all aboard the Grana bandwagon. He will be Defender of the Year. Kellyn Acosta will be masterful and a member of the central midfield will be the team's MVP come season's end.
Preston Cristian Colman Walker Zimmerman Walker Zimmerman
Drew Cristian Colman Walker Zimmerman Carlos Gruezo
Kenny (19th Minute) Maxi Urruti. He should be there to get some easy goals from his hustle and Colman's touch. Walker Zimmerman explodes onto the national scene this year. MLS All Star and Best XI. Kellyn Acosta.
Brandon (19th Minute) Colmán Walker Zimmerman Kellyn Acosta
Walter (19th Minute) Urruti Hedges Colman

MLS Predictions

1. Biggest story (non-FCD related) you're following.

Nathan: Atlanta's competitiveness

Cody: Chicago has some decent pieces barring injury. A turn around seems possible for them.

Jason: Expansion, which cities will get a team.

Ben: US Men's National Team, although that could be chock full of FC Dallas subtext with Acosta, Hedges, and Zimmerman as well as the U17 and U20 World Cups this summer. The US needs 2 positive results in March, or I'm wasting my time learning Russian (or am I???).

Jack R.: Atlanta United

Jared: Does Honda come to Seattle in the summer? He could be a real came changer for the league and possibly tip the power balance.

Jack H.: Mix Diskerud

Phil: The Expansion Teams. Atlanta looks to be a real playoff threat. Can Minnesota stay out of the cellar?

Jose: The Expansion of MLS. I find all the expansion talk fascinating, all the jockeying for positions, and the eventual team building.

Scott: I really want to see continued improvement in each team's tactical ability, playing smarter formations and game plans (avoiding parking the bus, crossing-only attacks, etc.) because that'll really lift the level of competition and fit the rapidly-improving crop of players in the league.

Mohammad: How will the new expansion teams fare? Will Atlanta's higher-spending approach outdo Minnesota's more tempered, homegrown, and even Scandinavian, approach? Will either of them make the playoffs this year?

Preston: Atlanta United. Everything about it has been incredible.

Drew: The growth of this league as a whole is always big for me but really, it is expansion...which is good since the next question is all about that.

Kenny (19th Minute): I grew up in Atlanta for a little while as a kid. I can't wait to see how they fare on and off the field. Plus they got the #9 I wanted for FCD in Kenwyne Jones.

Brandon (19th Minute): Can't wait to see what happens in Atlanta. They are pushing the limits of the league and I love it.

Walter (19th Minute): Gio?


MLS Predictions

Name Which expansion cities will get in? Who will win league MVP Who will win the MLS Golden Boot? Playoff prediction the Eastern Conference: Playoff prediction the Western Conference: Who will win the Supporters' Shield? Who will win MLS Cup?
Name Which expansion cities will get in? Who will win league MVP Who will win the MLS Golden Boot? Playoff prediction the Eastern Conference: Playoff prediction the Western Conference: Who will win the Supporters' Shield? Who will win MLS Cup?
Nathan Sacramento, Detroit, Nashville, Charlotte Giovinco Michael Barrios 1.Toronto 2. NYRB 3. Montreal 4. NYCFC 5. Orlando 6. Atlanta 1. FCD 2. Portland 3. RSL 4. Seattle 5. LAG 6. SKC FC Dallas FC Dallas
Cody Sacramento, San Antonio Nicolas Lodeiro David Villa 1. NYCFC 2. NYRB 3. Toronto 4. Montreal 5. New England 6. Philadelphia 1. FC Dallas 2. Seattle 3. LA 4. Colorado 5. Portland 6. Vancouver FC Dallas FC Dallas
Jason St. Louis, San Antonio, Indianapolis, Cincinnati David Villa Dom Dwyer 1. Toronto FC 2. New York Red Bulls 3. Montreal Impact 4. Philadelphia Union 5. New England Revolution 6. Orlando City 1. Seattle Sounders 2. Sporting Kansas City 3. Portland Timbers 4. FC Dallas 5. Real Salt Lake 6. Vancouver Whitecaps Seattle Sounders FC Dallas
Ben San Diego, St. Louis, Nashville, Cincinnati Sebastian Giovinco Giovinco 1.Toronto 2. NYCFC 3. Chicago 4. Columbus 5. New England 6. Atlanta 1.FC Dallas 2. Seattle 3. Portland 4. Spork 5. Galaxy 6. Vancouver FC Dallas FC Dallas
Jack R. Sacramento, Indianapolis, Raleigh/Durham Giovinco David Villa 1. Toronto 2. NYCFC 3 Red Bulls 4. Columbus Crew 5. Montreal Impact 6. Atlanta United 1. Seattle Sounders 2. FC Dallas 3. LA Galaxy 4. Portland Timbers 5. Sporting Kansas City 6. Real Salt Lake Seattle Sounders FC Dallas
Jared San Diego, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis Giovinco David Villa 1. Toronto 2. NYRB 3. NYCFC 4. NE Revolution 5. Atlanta United 6. DCU 1.Seattle 2. FCD 3. Portland 4. SKC 5. Vancouver 6. LAG Seattle Sounders Toronto FC
Jack H. Sacramento, St. Louis, Cincinatti, San Diego Sebastian Giovinco David Villa 1. Atlanta 2. NYRB 3. NYCFC 4. Phila Union 5. Toronto 6. Columbus 1. Dallas 2. Galaxy 3. Rapids 4. Sounders 5. Portland 6. Sporting Dallas FC Dallas
Phil Sacramento, St. Louis, San Antonio, Cincinnati Sebastian Giovinco Nemanja Nikolic 1. Toronto FC 2. New York Red Bulls 3. NYCFC 4. DCU 5. Columbus Crew 6. Chicago Fire 1. Seattle Sounders 2. FC Dallas 3. Portland Timbers 4. LA Galaxy 5. Houston Dynamo 6. Sporting Kansas City Toronto FC FC Dallas
Jose Sacramento, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Cincinnati Lodiero Jozy Altidore 1. Toronto 2. NYRB 3. NYCFC 4. DCU 5. Philly 6. Montreal 1. FCD 2. Seattle 3. SKC 4. Colorado 5. LAG 6. Portland FC Dallas FC Dallas
Scott Sacramento, St. Louis, Nashville, Cincinnati Nicolas Lodiero Cyle Larin 1. Toronto FC 2. NYRB 3. NYCFC 4. Montreal Impact 5. Philadelphia Union 6. DC United 1. Seattle Sounders 2. FC Dallas 3. Portland Timbers 4. LA Galaxy 5. Sporting KC 6. Colorado Rapids Toronto FC FC Dallas
Mohammad Sacramento, San Diego, St. Louis, San Antonio Ignacio Piatti Jordan Morris 1. Montreal Impact 2. New York Red Bulls 3. Toronto FC 4. New England Revolution 5. New York City FC 6. Orlando City SC 1. Seattle Sounders FC 2. FC Dallas 3. Los Angeles Galaxy 4. Portland Timbers 5. Houston Dynamo 6. Vancouver Whitecaps Montreal Impact Montreal Impact
Preston Sacramento, Detroit, Indianapolis, Cincinnati Giovinco Giovinco 1. Toronto 2. NYRB 3. NYCFC 4. Atlanta United 5. Montreal Impact 6. Chicago Fire 1. Seattle 2. FC Dallas 3. Colorado 4. Portland 5. LA Galaxy 6. Vancouver Toronto FC Dallas
Drew Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Charlotte Sebastian Giovinco David Villa 1. Toronto FC 2. New York Red Bulls 3. DC United 4. NYCFC 5. Columbus Crew 6. Atlanta United 1. Seattle Sounders 2. FC Dallas 3. LA Galaxy 4. Sporting KC 5. Portland Timbers 6. Colorado Rapids Toronto FC FC Dallas
Kenny (19th Minute) Sacramento, Cincinnati, Charlotte Nicolas Lodeiro Cyle Larin 1.NYCFC 2. TFC 3. PHI 4. CLB 5. CHI 6. ATL 1. SEA 2. POR 3. SKC 4. FCD 5. VAN 6. HOU NYCFC FC Dallas
Brandon (19th Minute) Sacramento, Tampa Bay, Nashville, Cincinnati David Villa David Villa 1. Toronto 2. NYCFC 3. NYRB 4. Atlanta 5. D.C. United 6. Montreal 1. FC Dallas 2. Seattle 3. LA 4. Portland 5. Vancouver 6. Houston Toronto FC Dallas
Walter (19th Minute) Sacrament, San Diego, Cincinnati Giovino BWP 1. NYRB 2. Toronto 3. NYCFC 4. Atlanta 5. New England 1.FC Dallas 2. Portland 3. Seattle 4. RSL 5. LAG 6. Vancouver FC Dallas FC Dallas