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Massive Report Predictions for the 2015 Columbus Crew SC Season

With the season upon us the writers and podcasters of the Massive Report have compiled their predictions for the upcoming season.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Today is the day Columbus Crew SC take to the field first the first time in a meaningful match since last November. The Massive Report staff took a crack at how this season might go for the Black and Gold.

Take a look at these below and comment on who you think made the best predictions. The winner will receive a prize of an undisclosed amount of allocation beverages. Add your predictions in the comment section below as well. Greg Benson could not be found for comment. He is believed to be in Australia hunting kangaroos.

Patrick Guldan (Managing Editor)

Crew SC's 2015 MVP: Federico Higuain. I'm tempted to say Tchani or Finlay, but the team will only reach their lofty expectations if Higuain can make the offense hum.

Most Surprising Player: Hernan Grana. He's already earned a starting spot, but he'll develop a reputation as a solid defender with very good offensive skills, much like his counterpart on the left.

Biggest Disappointment: Chris Klute. He's currently biding his time behind Francis and Grana, but when he does get playing time, he'll be more like the 2014 version than the 2013 version. Not bad, but also not a borderline national teamer.

Where will Crew SC finish in the east: 2nd. The low roster turnover will help build consistency, but New England will prove to be too formidable.

Where will Crew SC finish in the playoffs: Conference Championships. Improved playoff performance, but they still fall short of the Cup.

The 2015 Crew SC season in a sentence: Another step to the upper echelon of MLS built off of a young, but veteran core.

Pat Murphy (Beat Writer / Editor)

Crew SC's 2015 MVP: Federico Higuain. He's the most talented player on the team and he fits into what Berhalter wants to do. As long as he stays healthy, he should get his stats and could be in the running for league MVP if the team does well.

Most Surprising Player: Emanuel Pogatetz. I think he could be the Newcomer of the Year in MLS (although I haven't studied the rest of the league as closely). His physical nature will add something the Black and Gold did not have a year ago along the back line.

Biggest Disappointment: Kei Kamara. I think the forward will score goals for the team, but I think the expectations are too high. 10 goals would be a really good season in my mind, but I think people are expecting somewhere between 15-20 and I just don't see that out of him.

Where will Crew SC will finish in the east: I've been saying third so I'll stick with that, but I haven't felt great about it. I think this team has a range of fourth to second, depending on how things go.

Where will Crew SC will finish in the playoffs: MLS Cup Finals. I think this team gets going at the end of the year, avenges it's 2014 playoff loss to the New England Revolution and makes it to the final. Will they win it? I don't know!

Matt Weisgarber (Staff Writer)

Crew SC's 2015 MVP: Tony Tchani, although his style of play likely means a more offensive oriented player will win the award. The midfield destroyer will protect a defense that is prone to being caught out of position.

Most Surprising Player: Keveon George. He may not play more than 200 minutes this season but he impressed me in the preseason. He will surprise by providing key late game substitutions or spelling as the third choice holding mid.

Biggest Disappointment: Hernan Grana. I think he will have a good year with moments of excellence, but the hype train has gotten a little out of control on him. I fear expectations are becoming unfair.

Where will Crew SC finish in the east: Third. Early/midseason inconsistency keeping them from the top two spots.

Where will Crew SC finish in the playoffs: MLS Cup Champions. I know I'm a "homer" but I don't care. This team has the talent and drive to win it.

The 2015 Crew SC season in a sentence: "We take you back to field level where Don Garber presents the MLS Cup to Anthony Precourt."

Kris Landis (Staff Writer)

Crew SC's 2015 MVP: MVP will once again be Pipa (Federico Higuian). He makes the whole offense go.

Most Surprising Player: I think Mohammed Saeid turns some heads and eventually gets some quality minutes, especially if Wil Trapp gets injured or has U.S. Men's National Team duty.

Biggest Disappointment: Can I say Tyson Wahl? Too cheeky? Okay fine, I think Justin Meram and Ethan Finlay both fall off compared to last year.

Where will Crew SC finish in the east: I see the Black and Gold finishing 3rd in the East and making a solid playoff run.

Where will Crew SC finish in the playoffs: Falling short in the East Conference Final.

The 2015 Crew SC season in a sentence: The 2015 Crew SC Season will be one of great performances bogged down by inconsistency. Occasional slip ups will keep the team from being truly dominant, though they will look like world beaters at times. I think they're strong defensively as long as Emanuel Pogatetz and Michael Parkhurt stay healthy, and I think they score a good number of goals, with Kei Kamara fitting in well. The wings will be frustrating, as the sheer depth will make Berhalter rotate, which will keep anyone from truly catching fire. Columbus will manage to make a good run, but stumble at the last hurdle, probably due to a dubious refereeing decision and/or Tyson Wahl. Don Garber will still be a dingus.

Soccer Dad Ken (Staff Writer)

Crew SC's 2015 MVP: Steve Clark

Most Surprising Player: Romain Gall

Biggest Disappointment: Aaron Schoenfeld/Adam Bedell co-winners

Where will Crew SCfinish in the east: Third

Where will Crew SC finish in the playoffs: Losing in the first round

The 2015 Crew SC season in a sentence: They will go out in the first round unless Berhalter tinkers with the 4-2-3-1 and figures out that possession without a purpose is just a nice stat.

Mark Grainda (Writer)

Crew SC's 2015 MVP: Ethan Finlay

Most Surprising Player: Kristin Steindorsson

Biggest Disappointment: Aaron Schoenfeld

Where will Crew SC finish in the east: Third behind Toronto and New England

Where will Crew SC finish in the playoffs: Conference Finals

The 2015 Crew SC season in a sentence: If the Crew continue to get goals from players like Finlay, Wil Trapp and Kei Kamara, they can have a winning season.

Matt Goshert (Podcast Host)

Crew SC's 2015 MVP: Federico Higuian

Most Surprising Player: Looking for big things from Kristinn Steindorsson

Biggest Disappointment: I don't like to speculate on that. I think there are some players on this team that are more skilled and I have more faith in, but I wouldn't want to throw anyone under the bus before the first match.

Where will Crew SC finish in the east: Second

Where will Crew SC finish in the playoffs: Eastern Conference Finals

The 2015 Crew SC season in a sentence: I'll give you a haiku:

Dear Columbus Crew
Please oh please Soccer better
My liver won't last

Justin Bell (Podcast Contributor)

Crew SC's 2015 MVP: Michael Parkhurst (But Wil Trapp will win it. Also, **** Seattle.)

Most Surprising Player: Hector Jimenez. (**** Seattle.)

Biggest Disappointment: Seattle. (**** Seattle.)

Where will Crew SC finish in the east: First (**** Seattle.)

Where will Crew SC finish in the playoffs: MLS Cup Champion. (**** Seattle.)

The 2015 Crew SC season in a sentence: A dogfight. (**** Seattle.)

Morgan Hughes (Podcast Contributor)

Crew SC's 2015 MVP: Kei Kamara

Most Surprising Player: Cedric Mabwati

Biggest Disappointment: Justin Meram

Where will Crew SC finish in the east: First

Where will Crew SC finish in the playoffs: MLS Cup Champions

The 2015 Crew SC season in a sentence: Berhalter's wizardry continues in a most Massive way, as Crew SC wins the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup. Toronto misses the playoffs, and Bridgeview is still not in Chicago.

Alex Stanek (Podcast Contributor)

Crew SC's 2015 MVP: Federico Higuain. He continues to improve on past performances and his assist count benefits from better finishers up top.

Most Surprising Player: Hernan Grana. Fueled by fan support, Grana has a breakout season with the Black and Gold and holds down the right side of the defense all season.

Biggest Disappointment: No one. I think all of the new signings will perform as expected, and all of the bench players will continue to improve slowly.

Where will Crew SC finish in the east: Second

Where will Crew SC finish in the playoffs: Lose in the MLS Cup Final to the LA Galaxy.

The 2015 Crew SC season in a sentence: Another year of improvement has Crew SC looking like favorites for the 2016 MLS Cup.

Sam Fahmi (Podcast Producer / Media Editor)

Crew SC's 2015 MVP: Pipa is probably going to win it. I say he comes into this season with a fresh outlook and tears some teams up.

Most Surprising Player: Kristinn Steindersonn. Especially if he bumps Justin Meram off the starting spot.

Biggest Disappointment: This is really tough. Jimenez, maybe. And I really like him too, but I think having to compete for playing time will really get to him.

Where will Crew SC finish in the east: Second

Where will Crew SC finish in the playoffs: They will be bumped off in the Conference semifinals.

The 2015 Crew SC season in a sentence: "Consistency on defence is key." There were a lot of 1-0 and 2-1 losses last year, if we are truly improved, those loses turn to ties and wins.