MLS Managers Survey: Coaches elect 2012 Shield winners

Managers Survey - Image 1

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MLSsoccer.com

MLSsoccer.com polled the head coaches of each MLS club, who were provided with an anonymous survey featuring an array of questions that many fans have always wanted to ask.

This week we’ll tell you how they answered (14 of 19 managers completed the survey). Here’s the first installment of responses which include: Supporters’ Shield favorites, the most attractive MLS kits, the next Rookie of the Year, the US Olympic squad and MLS managers’ thoughts on whether there’s a possibility for an Apertura-Clasura schedule in MLS.

In the coming days: Who will win the East and West? Which DP do managers covet most? Do they want to be in Copa Libertadores? Who's the best tactician?

Which team is the preseason favorite for the MLS Supporters’ Shield?

It’s as close to unanimous as you can get. MLS managers say that the LA Galaxy are the favorites to claim their third straight Supporters’ Shield.

In fact, every single respondent bar one picked the defending MLS champs. The lone holdout went with Real Salt Lake.

How far can the US Olympic team go?

Not a single MLS coach had the USA failing to advance to the 2012 Olympics, a prediction which proved erroneous after Monday night’s 3-3 draw against El Salvador.

In fact, 50 percent of respondents felt that the US U-23s would have made it to the Olympic quarterfinals in England this summer. Four managers even had them going to the medal round.

Are you in favor of a split season as used in Mexico and other South American countries?

The answer here is decidedly NO by MLS managers. A total of 71.4 percent of respondents said they don’t want to see the short seasons used in the United States.

A mere 28.6 percent wanted to entertain an Apertura – Clausura set-up.

Who will be the MLS Rookie of the Year in 2012?

Toronto FC’s Luis Silva, the No. 4 overall SuperDraft pick, captured nearly half the votes among MLS managers (42.8 percent). Kelyn Rowe, who was taken No. 3 by New England, received the next most votes (21.4 percent).

The top two picks in the 2012 SuperDraft, Montreal’s Andrew Wenger (14.3 percent) and Vancouver’s Darren Mattocks (14.3 percent) did not garner much support in this category. Colorado’s Tony Cascio, picked up at No. 14, was the other player to receive some love (7.1 percent).

Which foreign leagues are MLS coaches watching most?

England claims the vote here, with 35.7 percent of respondents revealing they mostly watch matches from the EPL, including one of them who specifically mentioned England’s second-division Championship.

The Argentine league was brought up by three MLS managers and the German Bundesliga, the Swiss league and Colombian Liga Postobón also got mentions.

Two coaches did not follow instructions and opted for the following responses: “all are interesting” and “all the leagues in Europe and South America.”

Which MLS club has the most attractive kits?

Fans will be interested to know that only seven MLS clubs featured on the favorites list among MLS managers.

The LA Galaxy won this poll as well with 28.6 percent of respondents opting for the MLS Cup champions, including one who made specific mention of the LA Galaxy road kits.

Seattle and D.C. United were close seconds (21.4 percent each). However, it’s worth noting that two coaches highlighted the Sounders’ electricity yellow neon jerseys, which are no longer in use by the club.

The other club kits that collected votes were Toronto FC, Portland Timbers, Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo.