Major League Soccer 2012: 10 Bold Predictions

On the eve of the 2012 MLS season, here's what we know: not much. This is a league with a reputation for throwing up the unexpected, after all, so accurately projecting how a 34-game season (plus playoffs) will unfold is like trying to keep Bobby Convey happy. It's just not going to happen. 

But you can't head into a new year without making a few predictions, and there are expectations surrounding the league that might need a second look. Conventional wisdom has spoken, but conventional wisdom gets it wrong quite often. That's especially true when things like the schedule format and officiating outlook are so drastically different from 2011.

The defending champions, L.A. Galaxy, are heavy favorites to repeat; maybe they're ripe to under-deliver. The West is still the dominant conference, but maybe there's an East team ready to step forward and steal the spotlight. Perhaps a team expected to contend will flop, or a club everyone overlooks will surprise. T...

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