Today on the Midday Show with Rick & John, the guys discussed which teams, coaches, and players were facing the most pressure next season in the Big 10. With the MLS season just around the corner, it’s a perfect way to look ahead to the upcoming campaign.
Which club is facing the most pressure in 2018?
For me, it’s the Los Angeles Galaxy. For the first time in their 22-year history, the Galaxy finished in dead last in MLS in 2017. The wooden spoon is not the traditional trophy earned by this club. Bouncing back from a year like that would be difficult in any given year. However, the Galaxy now have new competition across town. LAFC is not coming in like Chivas USA did years ago, they are coming in with a well-resourced ownership group, lots of swagger, and a slick image. If the Galaxy do not bounce back in 2018, they run the risk of becoming second fiddle on the soccer front in a very crowded sports market.
Which manager is facing the most pressure in 2018?
Jason Kreis in Orlando has to get the Lions into the playoffs in 2018. Atlanta’s rivals from Central Florida have not reached the playoffs in their three-year history yet. This offseason has seen major changes in the Magic Kingdom, with Kaka and leading scorer Cyle Larin departing. Sacha Kljestan has led the league in assists over the last two seasons, he will be expected to create goal-scoring opportunities for Dom Dwyer. Young Paraguayan midfielder Josué Colmán and newly acquired winger Justin Meram will likely lineup on either side of Kljestan to form an attacking foursome that has as much potential for success as any in the league. Yoshi Yotún and Uri Rosell will combine to protect a shaky back four.
With Orlando committing lots of dollars towards this effort, Kreis has to get it right in 2018.
Which player is facing the most pressure in 2018?
David Villa will be tasked with leading the way to NYCFC this season. The only other double-digit goal scorer on the 2017 squad, Jack Harrison, is headed to England. Villa will be asked to not only continue to produce at a ridiculously high level (65 goals since joining NYCFC in 2015), he will also have to earn his money as a captain to help new talent integrate into the team. Jesús Medina, Jo Inge Berget, and Ismael Tajouri all have great potential to be stars in the Big Apple. However, this club will only go as far as Villa’s 36-year old legs can carry them in 2018.