The MASL 2017-2018 season is almost upon us! When Milwaukee and Tacoma square off on Friday, it will be 201 days since our last glimpse of indoor soccer when Baltimore took home the Ron Newman Cup in an exciting mini-game against Soles de Sonora. What will this season bring? Well, it just so happens, my crystal ball has just come back from a good polishing, and I’m here to give you my predictions for the upcoming season and the games this weekend. So, who will be in the playoffs come March?

In my opinion, the Eastern Division is going to be a three horse race for the second playoff spot. Baltimore is returning most of its players from last season, so they should control the top spot for this year. Now onto the other three teams vying for that second playoff spot. Harrisburg and Florida have retained most of their players from last season, with Florida adding Mauricio Salles, who has one of the best left-footed shots in the game. Syracuse will have a mix of old and new in the upcoming season, with most of their core players returning. So, who do I pick? Being a Knights fan, it’s tough for me to go elsewhere…but, I’m going with Florida. The addition of Salles puts this team above Syracuse and Harrisburg.

ORDER OF FINISH:
Baltimore, Florida, Syracuse, Harrisburg

In the Central Division, three teams will by vying for two spots in the playoffs. St. Louis, unfortunately, will not be one of these teams, although they will increase their win total with help from new head coach Hewerton Moreira. The addition of Taylor Bond to the Cedar Rapids Rampage gives them the slight edge over Kansas City.

ORDER OF FINISH:

Milwaukee, Cedar Rapids, Kansas City, St. Louis

In the Southwest Division, Soles de Sonora will be the team to beat, and should have an easy road to the playoffs.  The second playoff spot will go to the Rio Grande Valley Barracudas. The additions of Antonio Manfut, Moises Gonzalez, Fernando Gatica, to name a few, will make this a team not only a high powered offense, but a team that is destined for success for years to come

ORDER OF FINISH:

Soles de Sonora, Rio Grande Valley, Monterrey, El Paso

Moving onto the Pacific Division, two teams stand out to me to become playoff contenders: Tacoma and San Diego. San Diego is a perennial powerhouse, not only in the Pacific Division, but in the MASL, year in and year out. Led by Kraig Chiles, this season will be the year they advance to the MASL Championship. Tacoma missed the playoffs by two games last season, but with the additions of the Palmer “twins”, Ramon and Robert, as well as Alain Matingou, the gap has closed between them and Ontario.

ORDER OF FINISH:

San Diego, Tacoma, Ontario, Turlock

PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS:

Baltimore over Florida

Milwaukee over Cedar Rapids

Soles over Rio Grande Valley

San Diego over Tacoma

When all is said and done, San Diego defeats Milwaukee to win the Ron Newman Cup.

As for this week’s games, I’ll leave it short and sweet. Give me Milwaukee on the road over Tacoma, and Rio Grande Valley over El Paso.

What say you MASL fans?

Advertisements