Wednesday, May 03, 2006

World Cup Impact on MLS??

As the US squad for Germany has been announced, 11 MLS players will be gone from their clubs for most of May and most of June. Realisticly, this covers 6 weeks of matches, so an average of 18 points per team. Based soley on the USA players, not including players being called up from MLS for T&T or Mexico or Costa Rica, I have a feeling that the World Cup callups will have a major impact on the way the league shakes out all the way to August and September.

You will have guys like Donovan coming back to find that his team will most likely have dropped more points than they had before he left and the coaching staff will put some extra pressure for him to bring them out of the hole that they are in. Donovan has shown in their first five matches that if he does not perform well, that team does nothing. Kansas City will most likely will take the most damage in the standings from the callups. As it is, they will be losing their main defender, starting forwards, and possibly Kerry Zavagnin if John O'Brien ends up not being fit. New England has only lost one player, but as with the Galaxy's situation, that one player could be a major factor. Dempsey has been the only guy showing any creativity for the Revs this season. Twellman not leaving has been a blessing for Steve Nicol as he is only losing one of his main offensive threats. Even with Twellman staying on this side of the Atlantic, I feel that New England will struggle through the matches that occur during the Cup.

DC United actually looks like they will be sitting in the best position. Ben Olsen is one of the major parts of the team, but I feel that Peter Nowak will be able to retain most of the composure and strength in the midfield that he had with Benny in the starting 11. I have a feeling that United will retake 1st in the East and keep that spot through the World Cup and then have to get into a 2 horse race for 1st with New England. Red Bull New York were spared the callups, but I am not certain if that is a blessing or not. They look pretty bad now, maybe having several players leave for a while might cause a shake up in the club. They might be able to benefit from the other clubs loses, so that might actually help them win a match. If one of the three keepers goes down and Bruce calls up Meola, you can write off RBNY as they will be losing the only player that has actually done well in any of their matches.

FC Dallas looks as if it will retain its top spot in the West and actually run away with it as they didn't lose a single player to the US squad. With Ching, Donovan and Pope all leaving their clubs in the West, FC Dallas should be able to march forward, padding their lead in the West. Speaking of RSL, talk about kicking a club when they are down. Eddie Pope has been their only bright spot on defense and that is not saying alot. Remove their best defensive player and their coach should start prepping his resume right now, because I don't see them winning any matches during this stretch.

Houston might also be in the "We are gutted losing 1 man" group, as Ching has been their offense this season. His 6 goals have carried them in their wins and when he was on the field against teams that shut him down, the team has been shut down. DeRosario should still be able to create some things, but with the Ching target up front, I see things getting harder for the Dynamo. Chivas USA will not even notice that John O'Brien is in Germany, that is if he stays with the squad, as he really hasn't played for them yet in the league anyway. As Chivas will be losing Suárez, their shakey defense might be an issue.

This year, MLS's season will have a very deep impact made on it by their decision not to halt play for the 1st round. I am predicting that the Supporters Sheild winner will be one of the teams that has the lightest impact on it from the World Cup.


Anonymous john said...

Great analysis. Another reason that the MLS should go to a fall-winter-spring league.

9:15 AM  

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