Major League Soccer’s 27th season is just one week away, and with 28 teams and a looming World Cup, soccer hopes to continue to penetrate the American sporting landscape. MLS continues to spend big on incoming transfers of young and in their prime players, as well as becoming a selling league by moving talent across the pond.
Charlotte FC are the new kids on the block, NYCFC are the defending champions and Toronto FC are hoping to survive the first half of the season until Lorenzo Insigne arrives in July. By November it will be MLS Cup time and this season we have a feeling a new club will be crowned MLS Cup champions.
Here are our season predictions for the 2022 MLS Season. Some predictions might shock or surprise, but we think this season will have some surprising results and conclusions along the way. Here are our MLS 2022 predictions!
Predictions for 2022 MLS season
MLS Cup winners: Orlando City: Yes, mark it down, Orlando City have a squad that can surprise many, with a team that has improved tenfold since Óscar Pareja arrived. Don't look for the Lions to finish first or even second but come playoff time they have players that can be clutch. Orlando City might just steal it.
Supporters Shield: Seattle Sounders, not known for fast starts the Sounders this season will field a team that will have João Paulo, Albert Rusnák, Jordan Morris, and Nicolás Lodeiro alternating in the midfield with Raúl Ruidíaz up front. Look for the Sounders to dominate this season and be the best team in the regular season.
US Open Cup: The US Open cup was canceled for the last two seasons but it’s always a tournament where the end result is an MLS champion. In this case the New England Revolution is a team too good to not win any silverware this season.
Concacaf Champions League: Will an MLS team win it? No. As MLS continues to shrink the playing field between Liga MX and MLS, the question has turned to, is CCL final defeats more due to MLS inferiority complex against Liga MX or is it about talent on the field?
MVP: Albert Rusnák, look for Albert Rusnák to be unleashed this season with a much higher level of support look for career numbers.
Golden Boot: Josef Martínez: back with a vengeance this season. Look for something in the 20-goal range.
Coach of the year: Nico Estévez: The turnaround of FC Dallas will be jaw dropping.
Comeback player of the year: Brian Rodríguez, with his head firmly in Los Angeles and a chance at being at the World Cup for Uruguay, if they qualify, fading look for LAFC to finally see the best from Brian Rodríguez.
Newcomer of the year: Thiago Almada the league’s most expensive signing ever will cut loose, mainly because unlike Pity or Barco, he doesn’t have to be the man at Atlanta United. Almada has a much higher soccer IQ than Barco and will be eye candy in MLS.
First coach to be fired: Josh Wolff, Austin FC still does not look convincing and with a strong fan base, it will be doubtful ownership will handle another slow start. The team looked very poor during most of last season.
Wooden Spoon: San Jose Earthquakes: The end of the Matías Almeyda era will give us another miserable season for the Quakes. A team set up to barely make it to the playoffs look for things to stay poor.
Defender of the year: Walker Zimmerman, look for the USMNT stand out to get to the World Cup in fine form.
Goalkeeper of the year: Pedro Gallese, only because Gabriel Slonina will be gone by the summer.