What’s up MASL Nation? It’s the FC Fanatic, and I’m here to give you my bold predictions, one for each team in the Eastern Division.
1.) William Vanzela will win Goalkeeper Of The Year: Every year, the MASL gives an award to the best goalkeeper in the league. If it wasn’t for an injury during the season, Vanzela would have won this last year. In the championship game versus the Monterrey Flash, Vanzela showed that he would not let an injury stop him in his quest for a third straight championship. Look for Vanzela to add more hardware to his collection in April.
2.) The Mississauga MetroStars will finish third in the Eastern Division: I realize that the MetroStars are the newest team in the MASL, and expansion teams normally don’t fare well (See: Pennsylvania Roar). This roster is loaded with players that have futsal and MLS experience, most notably Dwayne De Rosario. The fight for third will be a close one between Mississauga and Harrisburg, but I’m going to give the edge to the MetroStars on this one.
3.) Pat Healey will become a player coach during the season: Pat Healey is taking over a Harrisburg team that finished last in the Eastern Division last season. Will he make a difference? Absolutely. I see this rebuilding process taking longer than a year. If you look at what Hewerton Moreira has done with St. Louis, he has taken them from a one win team, and put them in a position to succeed this season. Pat will do coaching-by-doing, and the only way he can do this is come out of retirement.
4.) Utica City FC will come out of the Eastern Division: This is where Blast fans either A) stop reading or B) start laughing. But, before you do either of those things, hear me out. Utica has brought back most of its players from last season’s team that almost beat Baltimore in the playoffs. They’ve also added Andre Braithwaite and Mohamed Kenawy to the roster. Braithwaite brings strength to the target position and Kenawy brings speed and craftiness to the midfield. My only concern for Utica is the defensive line. From the looks of things, Jake Schindler will not be playing for Utica, which is a huge loss for them. But, coach Ryan Hall will make sure whoever fills his shoes, plays with that same “blue collar” mentality, which is what is expected of the players at Utica City FC. Over the years, the gap between Baltimore and Syracuse has dwindled, and I think this year, they overtake Baltimore.
Utica defeats Baltimore in the Eastern Division playoffs.
Next Up: Bold Predictions from the South Central Division