Which teams need to be successful in 2006?
It's fun to predict the 2006 MLS season, and pick who you think is going to be good and bad. But it's important to take a look at which teams would benefit the most from success. It rarely has a huge impact on the team's overall popularity, unless a team is constantly good (DC) or bad (Metros). So it can have an impact, even though ultimately it probably isn't a huge one. Although if SJ won titles in 1996, 1997, and 1999 while DC sucked, I wonder how it would've turned out?
Feel free to post who you think should rank the highest. The top 2-3 are pretty obvious, but after that it's kinda hard.
1) Chivas USA
Number one has to be Chivas. Normally I would say that the teams with SSS's aren't as important (because their future is secured), but Chivas is different. First, it's not their stadium. They could get contracted and there would still be a team to play there. But Chivas needs to be successful more than any other team so that this incredible experiment can be a smashing success. If MLS can draw a ton of Mexican fans with Chivas, it's one step closer to reaching all soccer fans in this country.
2) Red Bull New York
Need to keep this enthusiasm and momentum going all year long.
3) Houston Dynamo
It's like an expansion team. First year in a new city will draw fans regardless, but you want to make a good impression. They also have a stadium deal to work on.
4) Real Salt Lake
Another new team working on a stadium. More importantly for this ranking, you don't want them to get a loser reputation.
5) FC Dallas
A history of mediocre teams and attendances. It would be good to see a better team now that they have PHP, to capitalize on fans checking it out.
6) Chicago Fire
They have the new stadium, which will attract fans no matter what, and a history of success. But it would be nice to open it with a good team.
7) Columbus Crew
Could use a good team after their worst year both on the field and in the stands. Don't want to make that decrease permanent.
8) Kansas City Wizards
Team has always struggled to draw fans (and don't try to use 2003 to disprove that, doesn't work), and are looking to get a stadium.
9) New England Revolution
No chance of a new stadium any time soon, and Kraft owns their current stadium. But a few good years could erase the drop in attendance from the 90s.
10) Colorado Rapids
Historically crappy team needs a good year going into the new stadium year. But it's kind of a throwaway year.
11) D.C. United
Great fan base and Freddy Adu. Plus they've already survived the Rongen-Hudson era.
12) Los Angeles
Defending champions, highest attendance, sweet stadium.