Home > Philadelphia Union > Philadelphia Union–2010 season predictions–roundtable (of sorts)–part 2

Philadelphia Union–2010 season predictions–roundtable (of sorts)–part 2

This is the second in a two part series. Read part one here.

Our discussion of the Philadelphia Union’s 2010 season continues below.

What will be the most under-reported storyline this season?

Brian: The effect of the World Cup on the MLS season. From May 16 to June 11, all World Cup player will be gone from the MLS as the season continues. That means a month without players like Landon Donovan, Brian Ching, Connor Casey, Robbie Findley, Robbie Rogers, Sacha Kljestan, Jonathan Bornstein, Heath Pearce, Simon Elliott, Andrew Boyens, Duncan Oughton, Roger Espinoza, and Marvin Chavez. Unless every centerback in the USA system gets hurt, I doubt we’ll see any Union players gone for that break. We could see some of the teams less hurt by absences make some major gains during the period, so I’m looking for the Union to make a move during the month.

Kevin: This one is hard. There will probably be something that happens midseason that’s not covered and then ends up being a huge deal. But obviously I can’t predict that now. So I’ll go with this: 2010 will be the biggest season in MLS. Not necessarily in turns of turnout, or media coverage. But I really think this is the year—thanks to the World Cup, and a generally more soccer-friendly media environment—that soccer will be cemented as legitimate, important sport in the mind of the casual American sports fan. It will be subtle, it will happen under our noses—but it will happen, this year.

What will be the most overblown storyline?

Brian: Labor stoppages. The new deal has been signed, all is good in the MLS, the World Cup is around the corner. This should be a cracking season.

Kevin: I think all that whining and moaning about a potential strike (including mine) was probably a good thing, in that it put more and more pressure on the league and players. I think Beckham’s absence will be completely inconsequential to the league and the Galaxy. So for me that has already and will continue to be overblown.

Who will be the team’s breakout star?

Brian: Sebastien Le Toux took a lot of criticism from Sounders fans last season, but I think in his second year in the league he’s really going to shine.

Kevin: Jack McInerney. He may not get a starting role, but he will score some impressive goals off the bench. It’s just what the kid does.

How will the Union finish the season?

Brian: I’m not too optimistic for this first season, quite frankly. This team is built for the future, so I think patience will be key this season. The Sounders have raised expectations dramatically for a first year team, but the Sounders were built much more to compete immediately. I see a sixth place finish for the Union.

Kevin: I agree. The Union will place fifth or sixth in the Eastern conference. That’s an optimistic finish for an expansion side. If they end up higher, then that’s just gravy.

Who will win the East, West, and MLS Cup?

Brian: In the regular season, I see the Columbus winning the East and Real Salt Lake the West. MLS Cup 2010 I see being a Western Conference affair, with Seattle and RSL facing off, with Seattle taking home the cup in just their 2nd year.

Kevin: Columbus in the East, LA in the West. And I hate to say it, but I see LA winning the whole thing this year. David Beckham’s absence, like I said above, will not hurt them that much. And they remain a very good team.

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