The team's GD in the second half of last season was only +2, and we're swapping 2400 minutes of Aaron Long for a pretty significant question mark in terms of formation and personnel.
I don't understand how they have us finishing worse than last year (6th).
No team in MLS is unbeatable, but we aggressively addressed our biggest weakness and mostly kept everyone else in place, with a young squad that should still be improving. The challenge is, the rest of the league didn't stand still either, and one injury could expose the defense. We should be much better, but not sure we have closed the gap on the top teams in the league.
The impact of big signings from Europe is also hard to project - Vanzeir could kill it all season, or he could take some time to adjust to the travel, or he could pull a Luquinhas and be burnt out by summer.
There are also questions about which players will remain at the club through the summer. If Tolkin comes out and blows away the league, he'll be gone despite the extension, and he's not replaceable.
On balance, I think projecting this team to finish about where it did last season is right, but there's a high ceiling on this season if everything comes together.