If you’re an MLS fan, no doubt you have been subjected to lots of meaningless season previews and prediction panels. Nothing says this-is-a-sign-of-how-journalists-are-killing-journalism than mail-it-in season previews and predictions based on wobbly logic. So great to write stuff that’s shelf life dies so quickly.
(Yes, I have written my fair share of season previews. And hated doing them. Nothing is worse than making someone paid to write stories to come up with lists and rankings. Ugh. But a Toronto FC player did once have my Toronto Sun spread taped to his locker — after I picked the Reds to finish last — so there’s that.)
Why do we keep boring our readers with season previews? Will we ever learn? Last season, only two teams — the New York Red Bulls and FC Dallas — picked up wins in more than 50 per cent of their games. And neither of those sides made it to the MLS Cup final. Four points separated the No. 2 seed from the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference. How do you possibly handicap a league where excellence is defined by earning far less than an average of two points per game? It’s like trying to pick your favourite shade of white.
Simply put, this is a league that, despite the introduction of Designated Players, hasn’t moved away from parity. Those so-called game-changers haven’t really changed the games all that much. They’ve given us the illusion of bringing great change to MLS, but in fact Drogba and Kaka and Giovinco and Keane only fit right into the the league’s law of averages — even if they do offer highlight-reel entertainment.
To put it bluntly: MLS is always a crapshoot. It has been like this in the past, and it will be like that again.
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