Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Reviewing My Preseason Crew Prediction

Way back on March 2nd of this year I contributed to a post at Massive Report that outlined Crew season predictions.

Pretty basic stuff. Record, Expectations, MVP, Biggest Surprise, Biggest Disappointment.

Indented in teal will be what I wrote and underneath will be comments on what actually happened.

15W, 4D, 15L (49 pts, 6th in East -3 Goal Diff)
Did pretty well here. I think I would have been closer were it not for Eddie Gaven going down. I don't think Glauber staying healthy would have added much above replacement. My Goal Diff was almost dead on (-4 was actual).

How the season plays out: The Crew will appear hot and cold this year because they will be able to handle lesser teams regularly but struggle with clubs equal to or better.
This was more or less true. Not hard to be wrong here. Teams always struggle with better competition. Lesson learned.
Over the past 3 years the Crew tend to start slow, do well in the middle and taper off at the end. Looking over the way the schedule is laid out there is no reason to think that will change this year (though, the Crew really have an opportunity to come charging out of the gates with 3 wins).
This wasn't that hard to predict. Under this Crew regime, it's same old song. Don't want to get into next year if they keep Bliss and Lapper but, well.. same regime. Not necessarily a bad thing, however.
I think that the Crew will fly up the table in June/July, possibly climbing to as high as 2nd or 3rd but struggle greatly late August and September. The Sept 14 (MTL), 21 (CHI) and 29 (FCD) games will likely be must wins to make the playoffs.
I was wrong about moving up the table. While they were higher they didn't really grab hold of anything. Those games in September were fairly key but the team was pretty out of by then.

MVP: Higuain. There really isn't another choice here right now, the attack is dependent on him and he has the talent to deliver. I think Williams and Arrieta have a shot at as well.
Well, Higuain was right. Arrieta different story but I felt he was more due to poor man management.

Biggest Surprise: Change(s) amongst the assistant coaching / technical staff during the season - also, Eric Wynalda will address speculation about coming to Columbus during the USA v. MEX qualifier.
Ah, Duncan. Even deep down in my cold analytic heart did this hurt. The Wynalda thing sort of kicked in to gear and a fake twitter account of his addressed it. I'll give myself a check for that.
Biggest Disappointment: Overreacting / correcting. Crew will play games safe with 2 DMs and struggle to score goals - than experiment with just one to try and chase goals - then go back to starting 2 different DMs. Rinse - repeat.
This last one sort of makes me angry because it is exactly what happened and it was so predictable. I have on idea why adjustments were not made to improve this philosophy. It's puzzling, really.

I'm fairly pleased with my prediction. Looking forward to doing this again in a few months. Quick Preview: this franchise will finish around the same spot next year unless drastic improvements are made.

Lots to happen between now and then, however. We'll see.

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