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Soapbox 2020 Predictions - How did we do?

Nearly all of our picks didn’t turn out as expected...

Tarocchi card games, ca 1518 Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Way back in February, many of the Soapbox staff made predictions for the MLS season. Readers were encouraged to submit their picks to a special Soapbox Oracle - the results of which will be published after the MLS Cup.

While we’re still a couple of weeks away from the final game, our picks were far from accurate.

  • MLS Cup Winner: Los Angeles FC with 10 votes

Others receiving votes: LA Galaxy (2), Seattle Sounders (2), Real Salt Lake (2), New York City FC (1), Minnesota United (1), Toronto FC (1)

Complete failure on this one with LAFC eliminated, and almost all the others that got votes also out of the running. We’ll have to wait to see if the 3 people who picked Seattle and Minnesota are correct.

  • Eastern Conf. Champion: Toronto FC and Atlanta United both tied with 6 votes each

Others receiving votes: New York City FC (5), DC United (1), Chicago Fire (1)

Double bust. While TFC made it to the playoffs, Atlanta didn’t even come close. Only one of the remaining teams getting votes made the playoffs - and were eliminated in the first round.

  • Western Conf. Champion: Los Angeles FC with 10 votes

Others receiving votes: Seattle Sounders (3), Real Salt Lake (3), Minnesota United (1), Sporting Kansas City (1), LA Galaxy (1)

At least LAFC made the playoffs, but they only made it to 6th in the West. One staff member did pick SKC however so we get one bonus point!

  • Supporter’s Shield: Los Angeles FC with 10 votes

Others receiving votes: New York City FC (4), Seattle Sounders (2), LA Galaxy (2), Atlanta United (1)

None of the teams we picked were even close to the Shield. Philadelphia Union came completely out of the blue (or brown/gold in their case...).

  • US Open Cup: Seattle Sounders with 4 votes

Others receiving votes: Portland Timbers (3), Real Salt Lake (3), Houston Dynamo (2), Philadelphia Union (1), Charleston Battery (1), LA Galaxy (1), NY Red Bulls (1), Columbus Crew (1), Nashville SC (1)

Since the US Open Cup was cancelled this year, we’ll give this one a pass.

  • NWSL Champion: Utah Royals FC with 9 votes

Others receiving votes: Chicago Red Stars (5), North Carolina Courage (3), Portland Thorns (2)

The NWSL season didn’t actually happen as it would have, thus put a major asterisk on this prediction. Our majority pick didn’t win in either the tournament or fall series, the next closest Chicago Red Stars did make it to the tournament final, but lost so once again this was a complete bust.

  • NWSL Shield: Utah Royals FC with 7 votes

Others receiving votes: North Carolina Courage (6), Portland Thorns (1), Washington Spirit (1), Houston Dash (1), Orlando Pride (1)

Well here we go again Ollie. As above, put an asterisk on this result since the season didn’t actually happen, but the fall series did have one staff member picking the Thorns to win it so a small kudos there.

  • RSL MVP: Both Damir Kreilach and Albert Rusnak tied with 6 votes each

Others receiving votes: Everton Luiz (2), Nedum Onuoha (1), Pablo Ruiz (1), Sam Johnson (1), N/A (2)

WE GOT ONE!!!!! Finally one pick that was accurate. Kreilach did indeed win MVP so all is not lost with our predictions.

  • RSL Golden Boot: Albert Rusnak with 6 votes

Others receiving votes: Sam Johnson (4), Corey Baird (2), Justin Merim (2), Damir Kreilach (1), Giuseppi Rossi (1), Sebastian Soto (1), Douglas Martinez (1), N/A (1)

And shot down again with Kreliach also picking up the boot. Our staff celebrations were short lived to say the least.

  • RSL Defender of the Year: Justen Glad with 11 votes

Others receiving votes: Aaron Herrera (5), Nedum Onuoha (1), Marcelo Silva (1), N/A (1)

Five staff members picked Herrera correctly, I guess the other 11 should have listened to them instead.

  • URFC MVP: Christen Press with 9 votes

Others receiving votes: Becky Sauerbrunn (2), Lo’eau Labonta (2), Vero Boquette (1), Kelly O’Hara (1), N/A (4)

URFC didn’t name an MVP so technically this one won’t count, but considering Press didn’t even play this season and Sauerbrunn was traded I think we would have lost it anyway.

  • URFC Golden Boot: Christen Press with 13 votes

Others receiving votes: Lo’eau LaBonta (1), Vero Boquette (1), N/A (4)

URFC only scored 3 goals in the fall series, none of which were from a predicted player; in the tournament Vero did score one, and LaBonta put in a PK during a shootout. No doubt about it this was also a complete miss.

  • URFC Defender of the Year: Becky Sauerbrunn with 11 votes

Others receiving votes: Kelley O’Hara (2), Christen Press (1), N/A (5)

As mentioned above, since Becky was traded before the season even started we completely lost the ball on this one.

  • What trophies will RSL win this year?: Rocky Mountain Cup with 8 votes

Others receiving votes: None (7), MLS Cup (2), Leagues Cup (1), USOC (1)

The 7 staff members who picked NONE were right! The rest of us aren’t worthy.

  • Will RSL make the playoffs?: 15 out of 19 say YES

BOOM - Strike one. We weren’t even close during the shortened season, but at least they squeaked into the tournament playoffs.

  • Will the Royals make the playoffs?: 14 out of 19 say YES

CRASH - Strike two! With a caveat, they did make the tournament playoff.

  • Will the Monarchs make the playoffs?: 19 out of 19 say YES

SPLAT - Three strikes and we’re out. The re-building year coupled with the pandemic-juggled schedule proved to be too much.