With only seven days left until the MASL season officially starts, it’s now time to focus my bold predictions on the longest division name, the South Central Division. This division also has the most teams with five. So, let’s get predicting!
1.) Milwaukee will end with the best record in the league this season: Looking at the Wave’s schedule, they are favorites to win most nights over their division rivals and, in fact, I see them going undefeated in division play. Their losses will come from the Eastern Division, with the most likely candidates being Baltimore, and Utica City. A 22-2 or 21-3 record could easily be attained, and if this holds up, they would host the finals, IF they make it that far.
2.) Gordy Gurson will score at least 40 goals this season: Fans of the Orlando SeaWolves will be in for a treat when they watch Gordy Gurson play. He’s always there at the right place, and at the right time. Last year he scored 30 goals for the Cedar Rapids Rampage. I expect a few more this year from Kid Dynamite, and maybe a few that are “Goal Of The Year” worthy.
3.) Kansas City will finish above .500: This is probably my boldest prediction in this division. The Comets have jumped in their time machine, and went back a couple of years, bringing back John Sosa, one of the best defenders in the MASL, the Palmer “brothers”, Robert and Ramone, and Alain Matingou. Also, they’ve added goalkeeper Brett Petricek, who played for the Cedar Rapids Rampage last season. I could see Kansas City making a run for that second playoff spot as well.
4.) Florida’s success will hinge on the play of Hugo Silva: I’ve watched Hugo Silva over the last couple of years when he played for Harrisburg. He is one heck of a goalkeeper, and he was forced to stand on his head during his time for the Heat. Look for him to do the same in Lakeland. For Florida to compete with their interstate rivals, the Orlando SeaWolves, Silva will need to have his best MASL season.
5.) St. Louis will double their win total from last season: St. Louis can absolutely win six games this season, and even more! The addition of Antonio Manfut makes a difference, and I think Coach Hewerton will be able to turn some of close games they lost last year into wins. I think their huge seven-game homestand will determine quite a bit when it comes to this prediction.
So, how do I see this division panning out? Milwaukee should have this division wrapped up by March. The question then becomes, who will be joining them in the playoffs? My guess is Orlando, with Kansas City, Florida, and St. Louis all jockeying for third place.
3.) Kansas City
5.) St. Louis
When it comes to the playoffs, barring any sort of implosion or major injuries, Milwaukee will defeat Orlando to be the representative of the South Central Division against Utica in the Conference Finals.
MASL Nation, what say you? Have I eaten too much turkey and fallen asleep on your team this season? Let’s hear it! Coming up next time, I’ll look at the Pacific Division.