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Big Year for Big D

SI's Grant Wahl predicts the order of finish in MLS.


1. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION Defense will rebound while Pat Noonan, Taylor Twellman and Clint Dempsey take care of attack.

2. D.C. UNITED Alecko Eskandarian is primed for big year up front, but can reigning champs survive departure of Ryan Nelsen?

3. KANSAS CITY WIZARDS They will never be flashy, but coach Bob Gansler always finds a way to reach playoffs.

4. CHICAGO FIRE Losing forward Damani Ralph hurts, but new backliners Tony Sanneh and Samuel Caballero should bring bite.

5. COLUMBUS CREW Will Edson Buddle and newcomer Ante Razov be able to coexist up front? And is this team too old?

6. METROSTARS Long year in the Swamp as lots of new faces--including hobbled French midfielder Youri Djorkaeff--try to meld.


1. FC DALLAS Red-hot U.S. star Eddie Johnson and Ronnie O'Brien (right) form league's best scoring tandem.

2. LOS ANGELES GALAXY Now that this is Steve Sampson's team, new guys (including Landon Donovan?) will light it up.

3. REAL SALT LAKE Expansion team? No problem. Clint Mathis, Jason Kreis and Andy Williams will thrive in the Wasatch.

4. COLORADO RAPIDS New coach (Fernando Clavijo) and new striker (Jeff Cunningham) should make 'Pids more lively.

5. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES Big losses (headed by Donovan's exit to Germany) mean Quakes will be rebuilding.

6. CD CHIVAS USA Look for lots of 5--2 and 6--4 losses from "three-forwards-or-bust" expansionistas.

MLS Cup '05 in Dallas: FC Dallas defeats the Revolution.