For years, trying to predict the Major League Soccer season was fraught with danger, inviting the potential for ridicule just a few months later.
The league has traditionally been one of the most evenly matched and unpredictable in the world, with the fortunes of teams often fluctuating dramatically from one season to the next.
The Los Angeles Galaxy, though, might be ready to change all that.
The Galaxy's bid to retain its MLS Cup title begins this weekend and is the main topic of discussion in this week's Yahoo! Soccer Podcast, in conjunction with World Football Daily.
As the league's biggest draw, featuring the likes of David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, the Galaxy look poised to embark upon a long period of success, aided by their huge financial advantage over rivals.
I discuss the chances of the league's strongest sides with Ives Galarcep, chief writer for Fox Soccer and founder of the Soccer By Ives website. We predict out top four finishers in each conference before picking the overall champion.
But if the so-called experts can't get it right, maybe technology can. Aaron McHardy, producer of the wildly popular "FIFA 12" videogame by EA Sports, appeared on the show to detail who the game is expecting to emerge victorious. Given EA Sports' track record in successfully selecting the winner of previous World Cups, MLS Cups and Super Bowls, it's worth following McHardy's analysis closely.
Also on this week's podcast is a run of the remarkable Champions League action from Europe, where Lionel Messi smashed five goals past Bayer Leverkusen for a record-breaking performance in the competition.
Eric Gomez of Goal.com discusses whether anyone can possibly stop Barcelona, and likens Messi to two superstars of American sports in an attempt to quantify his immortality.
Tim Caple of Eurosport then examines the fairytale story of APOEL Nicosia, the tiny club from the island of Cyprus that has stunned experts by clinching a spot in the quarterfinal of the Champions League thanks to its penalty shootout triumph against Lyon.
Finally, World Football Daily co-host Sophie Nicolaou and I look ahead to next week's Champions League clashes, where big names such as Chelsea, Real Madrid Inter Milan and Bayern Munich have work to do if they are to avoid elimination.
To have your questions answered in next week's show please message Martin Rogers on Twitter at @mrogersyahoo.
To subscribe to the full version of World Football Daily, go to www.worldfootballdaily.com and sign up to receive one of three gifts: a Bumpy Pitch cap, a limited edition Lionel Messi T-shirt or a copy of "The Soccer Men," the new book by Simon Kuper.
And to download the Yahoo! Soccer Podcast on iTunes, search for "Yahoo Sports Radio - Martin Rogers."
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