2018 Staff Predictions

The 2018 season is upon us! Today, 23 teams sit tied for first place. As the year progresses, each team will fight for their place in the table, some finishing higher or lower than expected, and a few players will outshine their competition. The start of a new season is the time for pundits and fans alike to start predicting the outcomes of the season based on their knowledge or hopes.

Here at Total MLS, we are no different. We have deliberated and voted on who we think will accomplish what. Below, you will find the predicted MLS Cup winner, Supporters Shield winner, domestic cup winners, various individual accolades, as well as a certain team we feel will bring up the rear. We do not claim to be Nostradamus, but do not be surprised if at the end of the year, we pull this article up to either be smug about our correct decisions, or to be ashamed of how terrible we are as proclaimed experts of the league.

MLS Cup Winner: Toronto FC

The defending champions may be better in 2018. After beating Seattle at BMO Field in December, Toronto FC are huge favorites to win MLS Cup again. If their stars stay healthy, it’s a good chance we could be traveling to BMO again this winter. (5 votes)

Honorable mentions: NYCFC (4), Atlanta (3)

Supporters Shield Winner: Toronto FC

Toronto did the double last season and our staff sees them doing it again. The Eastern Conference looks to be very tough so this could be the most difficult trophy to win for TFC. (7 votes)

Honorable mentions: Atlanta (3), NYCFC (2)

Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Winner: Sporting Kansas City

Another defending champion will repeat according to our staff. Sporting has won 3 of the last 6 Open Cups and are one of the handful of MLS teams who take the competition very seriously. (4 votes)

Honorable mentions: Atlanta (2), Columbus (2), Seattle, LA Galaxy, Cincinnati

Canadian Championship Winner: Toronto FC

It seems Total MLS is predicting TFC to win another treble! The Canadian Championship is contested by a much smaller list of participants than the U.S. Open Cup but there is no doubt that the significance is just as meaningful to the few clubs that participate. (9 votes)

Honorable mention: Vancouver Whitecaps (2), Ottawa Fury

Landon Donovan MVP: Sebastian Giovinco

We picked Seba to win MVP last year and we’re doing it again. If Toronto is going to be as good as our staff thinks they are, Giovinco will likely have a huge year.  (6 votes)

Honorable mentions: David Villa (3), Ezequiel Barco, Miguel Almiron, Josef Martinez

Golden Boot: David Villa

Villa has been spectacular in Major League Soccer. The Spaniard has averaged 21 goals a year in his 3 seasons in the Bronx and there’s no reason to believe he won’t get to at least 20 again.  (5 votes)

Honorable mentions: Josef Martinez (4), David Villa, Nemanja Nikolic, Dom Dwyer, Ezequiel Barco

Rookie of the Year: Tomas Hilliard-Arce

The former Stanford Cardinal has moved south to start his professional career and a number of our staff have high hopes for him. The 22 year old defender was the second overall pick in the 2018 SuperDraft and could contribute to the Galaxy right away. (7 votes)

Honorable mentions: Francis Atuahene (2), Jon Gallagher, Chris Mueller, Mason Toye

Newcomer of the Year: Carlos Vela

LAFC made a big splash early in their existence by signing Carlos Vela and the Mexican international has big expectations as he joins Major League Soccer. If the expansion team is going to make some noise this year, Vela will be at the forefront. (7 votes)

Honorable mentions: Ezequiel Barco (3), Alejandro Romero Gamarra

Defender of the Year: Gregory van der Wiel

The rich get richer as Toronto acquired the veteran Dutch right back this offseason. He will slot in to Toronto’s wing back system and at age 30, still should have some good games in him. (3 votes)

Honorable mentions: Walker Zimmerman (2), Laurent Ciman (2), Justen Glad (2), Chris Mavinga, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez

Goalkeeper of the Year: Zack Steffen

Steffen was great last season, including his penalty kick shootout heroics that Atlanta fans will want to forget. Steffen turns 23 next month and his best is yet to come. (7 votes)

Honorable mentions: Stefan Frei, Tim Melia, Alex Bono, Joe Bendik)

Coach of the Year: Tata Martino

Atlanta United is so hot right now. With expectations as large as the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Martino will look to successfully guide his team through the many potential pratfalls along the way. (6 votes)

Honorable mentions: Patrick Vieira (2), Mike Petke (2), Jason Kreis

Worst team: Minnesota United FC

We picked Minnesota to win the Wooden Spoon last year and they managed to avoid that fate. Yet, here we are again. Still without a designated player, it will again be an uphill battle for the Loons in 2018. (6 votes)

Dishonorable mentions: Philadelphia Union (2), Colorado Rapids, LAFC, New England Revolution, D.C. United