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From the Mouths of Madness: 2015 season predictions

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Clip-n-save these prognostications for eventual mockery - so long as you add yours in the comments, smart person

One thing's for certain: the staff of Hot Time has a lot of faith in the New England Revolution. I'm sure that isn't going to blow up in our faces. With that and no further ado, our wild-ass guesses as to final outcomes for 2015:

Sean Spence

I really don't see the Fire storming the top of the Eastern Conference table this year, but I do see them as substantially improved in terms of the talent and promise of the players on the roster, top to bottom. Will they find coherent ways to play together? Of that prospect, I'm less sanguine. If they can, they'll be in the hunt for a first-round bye in the playoffs; if not, I expect them to be in a dogfight for the single-game play-ins.

Eastern Conference

1. New England

2. Toronto

3. Columbus

4. Chicago

5. Orlando City

6. NYRB

7. DC United

8. NYCFC

9. Philadelphia

10. Montreal

Bottom line: Juan Agudelo leads the Revs to a hot start, then shows up for All-Star weekend in a fur-and-velvet pimp suit to announce his signing with QPR. Two months and three failed work-permit hearings later, he returns in sackcloth and ashes to help Ningland hold off Toronto for home field advantage. DC falls hard from last year's glory. Orlando is the more successful of the expansion sides.

Western Conference

1. Seattle

2. Vancouver

3. Los Angeles

4. Dallas

5. Portland

6. Kansas City

7. Real Salt Lake

8. Houston

9. San Jose

10. Colorado

Bottom line: At the two-thirds point in the season, Seattle is looking like one of the more dominant teams in MLS history, but time - and older attackers playing a lot of games on rubber pellets - drags them back to the pack in the final month. They win the Shield, but are clearly out of gas come playoff time.

Supporters Shield: Seattle

Conference Finals: Vancouver over Seattle, Columbus over Toronto

MLS Cup: Vancouver over Columbus

US Open Cup: Chicago over Seattle

Golden Boot: David Villa, NYCFC

MVP: Pedro Morales, Vancouver

Rookie of the Year: Leo Stoltz, NYRB

Ryan Voyles

Thanks once again to the powers that be for allowing me the chance to write on this fine blog. What better way to introduce myself to the readers than through some preseason predictions, giving me the platform to make educated assumptions that will almost certainly explode in my face and be used in the future to question my soccer IQ. Anyhoo, these are a mixture of spending the last hour reading up on every team's off-season moves, gut feelings and drawing random team names out of a hat. The same strategy has lead to me finishing in the top-3 of my last two March Madness office pools, so it's basically sound science.

Eastern Conference

1) New England Revolution

2) DC United

3) Columbus Crew

4) Toronto FC

5) Orlando City

6) Philadelphia Union

7) Chicago Fire

8) NYCFC

9) New York Red Bulls

10) Montreal Impact

Bottom Line: Last year's cream of the crop of the Eastern Conference continue their dominance, as New England and DC stay ahead of the pack. The Men in Red decide they don't want to tie last year's tie record and remain competitive through most of the year, but suspect depth and defense tank them in the end. Lampard will finally return this summer to save NYCFC, only to injure his hip in the first 15 minutes and miss the rest of the season as fans burn down Yankee Stadium. The Red Bulls will join Montreal as the punching bags of the conference.

Western Conference

1) LA Galaxy

2) Seattle Sounders

3) Sporting KC

4) Vancouver Whitecaps

5) FC Dallas

6) Portland Timbers

7) Real Salt Lake

8) San Jose Earthquakes

9) Houston Dynamo

10) Colorado Rapids

Bottom Line: No rest for the west, as a crazy talented group of teams will spend the season beating each other down. Galaxy find a way to persevere despite Gerrard struggles as he questions why he went to a team that plays in scorching summer heat. Colorado will petition the league to join the Eastern Conference.

Supporters Shield: New England Revolution

US Open Cup: Columbus Crew defeat Real Salt Lake

Conference Finals:

Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy

New England Revolution vs DC United

MLS Cup: New England Revolution defeat Seattle Sounders

Rookie of the Year: Miguel Aguilar

Anthony Seymour

In making predictions for the 2015 MLS season my first reaction was to pour over every last change made by each club and the new dynamic created by the conference shift and new additions to the east.  After about 20 minutes of pouring over the off season and current clubs I said the hell with it.   This is what I came up with from gut instinct instead.

I am hoping that the same rule of thumb that applies to my predictions that applies to the person in the NCAA March Madness bracket pools, who knows nothing about the sport.    Maybe a pull out some good guesses simply by limiting my research?   Sure my logic is a little crazy and I admittedly know quite a bit about MLS but let's see how it all shakes out at the end of the season.

Eastern Conference

1) New England Revolution

2) DC United

3) Toronto FC

4) Columbus Crew

5) Chicago Fire

6) Orlando City

7) New York Red Bulls

8) Philadelphia Union

9) NYCFC

10) Montreal Impact

Bottom Line: The New England Revolution make mincemeat out of the weakened eastern conference.   Coming back from a turnaround year DC United will surprise many and show remarkable improvement with their returning minutes and more experienced players.    Our very own Chicago Fire will ride a 2nd half surge into the final month of the season where they will drop back down the table on injury and collapse to 5th place painfully losing the 1 game playoff to the Columbus Crew.  As a more established NASL side, Orlando City will fare better than other newbie NYCFC.

Western Conference

1) Seattle Sounders

2) LA Galaxy

3) Portland Timbers

4) Sporting KC

5) Vancouver Whitecaps

6) Real Salt Lake

7) FC Dallas

8) Houston Dynamo

9) San Jose Earthquakes

10) Colorado Rapids

Bottom Line: The clubs in the newly bloated western conference will look like punch drunk boxers and they maul each other throughout the season leaving the Shield to be stolen by the Eastern conference. Yawn, the LA Galaxy will once again perform poorly at the beginning of the season and surge at the end but not enough to catch the Sounders.  Sounders will choke in the playoffs but completely dethrone the Fire in the USOC.  Sporting KC will experience what it is like to travel far constantly to play well formed sides and will once again experience life towards the middle of the table.    Because I am ready for the lack of narrative in the MLS, the Galaxy will once again face New England for the MLS Cup and the rest of the country is stuck with them as champions once again.

Supporters Shield: New England Revolution

US Open Cup: Seattle Sounders beat Orlando City

Conference Finals: LA Galaxy vs Sporting KC

New England Revolution vs DC United

MLS Cup: LA Galaxy defeat New England Revolution

Rookie of the Year: Fatai Alashe

Golden Boot: Jozy Altidore

MVP: Ricardo Kaka

Jeff Engelhardt

I want you to know you can be fully confident in my season predictions below. Last year I predicted the LA Galaxy would win the MLS Cup and they did. I also made great predictions such as Real Salt Lake winning the U.S. Open Cup, Columbus missing the playoffs and Graham Zusi being named MVP. Clearly, I am good at this.

This time I'm predicting the Fire make the playoffs and this time I'm serious. Granted, the club will barely make the playoffs as the 6th seed and need to play in the knockout game against Orlando City. The Men in Red have competition all over the field, a great backup goal keeper and a tested No. 10. The rest of the East has gotten better so the Fire needed to make bold moves just to try and keep pace and they did.

The team should score more goals this season with Shaun Maloney creating and players such as Kennedy Igboananike and David Accam added to the mix of Mike Magee, Quincy Amarikwa and Harry Shipp. The defense is still a bit of an unknown, but has looked solid in preseason. I never thought I would rank the Fire ahead of a team that has David Villa, Mix Diskerud and Hologram Frank Lampard, but here we are. What a time to be alive.

Eastern Conference

1) New England Revolution

2) Toronto FC

3) Columbus Crew

4) DC United

5) Orlando City

6) Chicago Fire

7) NYCFC

8) Philadelphia Union

9) New York Red Bulls

10) Montreal Impact

Bottom Line: Michael Bradley and Giovinco spend all season making fun of Steven Caldwell in Italian. Meanwhile, Caldwell cuts out a piece of cardboard and colors it with crayons before strapping it around his arm and claiming the title of assistant captain. Bradley clarifies in every post-game press conference that Caldwell is assistant TO the captain.

Western Conference

1) Seattle Sounders

2) LA Galaxy

3) Vancouver Whitecaps

4) Sporting KC

5) Portland Timbers

6) FC Dallas

7) Real Salt Lake

8) San Jose Earthquakes

9) Houston Dynamo

10) Colorado Rapids

Bottom Line: LA Galaxy have a grand old time in the beginning of the season, laughing and scoring and winning and laughing. Steven Gerrard comes in and immediately sleeps with Gyasi Zardes' wife, explaining to the rest of the team it's the customary English way, pointing to Wayne Bridge and John Terry as examples. Tensions boil for weeks before a penalty kick opportunity presents itself. Keane, Gerrard and Zardes all go for the ball and the three get in a tug-of-war that goes on for the rest of the season, forcing the Galaxy to play away from StubHub the rest of the way as the three refuse to let go of the ball or leave the pitch.

Supporters Shield: New England Revolution

US Open Cup: FC Dallas defeat Columbus Crew

Conference Finals: Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps

New England Revolution vs Toronto FC

MLS Cup: Seattle Sounders defeat Toronto FC

Rookie of the Year: Leo Stolz

Golden Boot: Dom Dwyer

MVP: Clint Dempsey

John Jenzeh

This years squad looks good compared to the last two years. That's good and bad. With the playoff expansion this season, there are no excuses not to finish in the top 6. When I look at this squad on paper I liken it to the Seattle Sounders team of a couple years ago. They will score goals, and they will allow them. I'm pegging the Fire to win the US Open Cup, and at the very least, I expect a deep run in that competition.

Eastern Conference

1) New England Revolution

2) Columbus Crew

3) DC United

4) Toronto FC

5) Chicago Fire

6) Orlando City

7) New York Red Bulls

8) Philadelphia Union

9) NYCFC

10) Montreal Impact

Western Conference

1) Seattle Sounders

2) Sporting KC

3) LA Galaxy

4) FC Dallas

5) Portland Timbers

6) Real Salt Lake

7) Houston Dynamo

8) San Jose Earthquakes

9) Vancouver Whitecaps

10) Colorado Rapids

Supporters Shield: New England Revolution

US Open Cup: Chicago Fire defeat New York Red Bulls

Conference Finals: Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers

New England Revolution vs Columbus Crew

MLS Cup: Seattle Sounders defeat Columbus Crew

Rookie of the Year: Otis Earle

Golden Boot: Gonzalo Higuain

MVP: Clint Dempsey

Adam Merges

2015 will be a very important for the Fire. There can be no more excuses this season if they fail to make the playoffs. New attackers, a new defense, and 3 new DPs will wear the Fire badge as Yallop had the entire off season to shape the roster to match his vision.

The key is how all of these new faces make an impact on the field. [Results, motherf**ker. - Ed.] Yallop may be excited about his new defense, but it leaves me with too many questions. The new attackers, David Accam and Kennedy Igboananike, have shown in Scandanavia that they can be scorers, but will that translate to the US? Maloney will be the most important factor in the Fire's chances of making the playoffs and competing for silverware.

On paper - if everything goes the Fire's way - they can challenge for one of the top spots in the Eastern Conference; I'm leaning that the Fire will more likely be challenging for one of the wild card spots this season. The new attackers won't be able to find their form early in the season, and the defense will still struggle closing out games. This is all pending that the players and owners can find some sort of common ground to start the season on time.

Eastern Conference

1) New England Revolution

2) DC United

3) Toronto FC

4) Columbus Crew

5) Orlando City

6) NYCFC

7) Montreal Impact

8) Chicago Fire

9) NY Red Bulls

10) Philadelphia Union

Western Conference

1) Seattle Sounders

2) LA Galaxy

3) Portland Timbers

4) Sporting KC

5) Vancouver Whitecaps

6) FC Dallas

7) RSL

8) Houston Dynamo

9) San Jose Earthquakes

10) Colorado Rapids

Supporters Shield: Seattle Sounders

US Open Cup: Seattle Sounders over Chicago Fire

Conference Finals: LA Galaxy vs Sporting KC

New England Revolution vs Columbus

MLS Cup: LA Galaxy defeat New England Revolution

Golden Boot: David Villa

MVP: Sebastian Giovinco

Rookie of the Year: Leo Stolz