Football Season Guide

Atlanta United

In


Brek Shea (mid), (Vancouver Whitecaps), Brendan Moore (gk), (Rochdale), Dion Periera (att), (Watford), Gonzalo Martinez (mid), (River Plate), Florentin Pogba (def), (Free), Amir Bashti (mid), (Stanford), Anderson Asiedu (mid), (UCLA Bruins)

Out


Miguel Almiron (mid), (Newcastle United), Greg Garza (def), (FC Cincinnati), Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu (def), (FC Tuscon), Chris McCann (mid), (D.C United), Mitch Hildebrandt (gk), (Free), Oliver Shannon (mid), (Free), Sal Zizzo (def), (Free)

It was a tremendous 2018 for Atlanta following their first ever MLS cup triumph in just their second MLS season, finishing runners up to the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference. They excelled in the play-offs seeing off both New York clubs and beating Portland Timbers in the final. Atlanta’s vibrant attacking style has won plaudits across the whole United States and they were the highest scorers in the MLS in 2018 notching an impressive 70 goals with striker Josef Martinez scoring 31 of those, and unsurprisingly was the MLS top scorer. Atlanta will start 2019 without head coach Gerardo Martino who has departed for the Mexican national team and has been replaced by Dutchman Frank De Boer who is tasked with continuing the successes of the previous seasons. De Boer has been hit with a hammer blow in the off-season with talismanic midfielder Miguel Almiron departing the club to join English side Newcastle United in club record deal for both clubs. Almiron was a key player throughout his two seasons scoring 22 goals and assisting 30 goals. De Boer has replaced him with midfielder Gonzalo Martinez. Known as ‘Pity’ in his native Argentina, Martinez arrives with plenty of pedigree having made 96 appearances for River Plate averaging a goal every 4 games having scored 24 goals in his time at River Plate. He arrives with a $15 million price tag equalling the record paid for Ezequiel Barco in 2018. The loss of Almiron will be difficult but Martinez is more than capable of filling his boots. De Boer has strengthened in other areas including adding the experienced Brek Shea and Florentin Pogba.

Target


Will be looking to keep the momentum from 2018 going with the club wanting to continue their brilliant success. Finishing in the play-off places would be the minimum expectation for the season.

Chicago Fire

In


Przemyslaw Frankowski (mid), (Jagiellonia), Marcos Urena (att), (Los Angeles FC), Christian Martinez (mid), (Columbus Crew), Marcelo (def), (Sporting Lisbon), Jeremiah Gutjahr (mid), (Indian Hooiser), Amando Moreno (att), (New York Red Bulls II), David Ousted (gk), (D.C United), Fabian Herbers (mid), (Philidelphia Union), Andre Reynolds II (def), (Chicago Fire Academy), CJ Sapong (att), (Philidelphia Union)

Out


Jonathan Campbell (def), (Seattle Sounders), Michael De Leeuw (att), (FC Emmen), Marcos Urena (att), (LD Alajuelense), Matt Polster (mid), (Rangers), Daniel Johnson (mid), (Legion FC), Yura Movisisyan (att), (Free), Drew Conner (def), (Free), Patrick McLain (gk), (Free), Luis Solignac (att), (Free), Nicolas Del Groco (def), (Free), Alan Gordon (att), (Retired), Christian Dean (def), (Retired), Brandon Vincent (def), (Retired)

It was an extremely disappointing 2018 for Chicago Fire who comfortably missed out on the play-offs and finished second bottom in the Eastern Conference. Veljko Paunovic’s side were below par for much of the campaign and things must improve in 2019. They notched just 8 league wins with only one coming away from the SeatGeek Stadium. They finished 18 points behind the play-offs. Nemanja Nikolic and Aleksandar Katai were the only players who delivered for Chicago scoring a combined 27 goals between them with Nikolic notching 15 of those. Veljko Paunovic has completely stripped an underperforming squad with a host of departures including Jonathan Campbell, Matt Polster, Michael De Leeuw and Yura Movsisyan. Paunovic is building a new look side and their big acquisition is defender Marcelo who arrives from Sporting Lisbon. The defender adds plenty of experience and solidity to a leaky defence. He arrives with plenty of quality having spent his career in Portugal including 7 successful seasons at Rio Ave where he was named player of year in 2013. Paunovic’s other acquisitions include winger Przemyslaw Frankowski who arrives from Jagiellonia in Poland where he made 140 appearances scoring 24 goals so he certainly will add some creativity and fire power to the Chicago attack.

Target


Paunovic needs his new look team to gel and quickly if they are to have any success this season. They will be looking to push for a play-off spot and finishing in those play-offs positions would represent an excellent season.

Colorado Rapids

In


Nicolas Mezquida (mid), (Vancouver Whitecaps), Kei Kamara (att), (Vancouver Whitecaps), Clint Irwin (gk), (Toronto FC), Andre Rawls (gk), (New York City), Diego Rubio (att), (Sporting Kansas City), Keegan Rosenberry (def), (Philidelphia Union), Benny Feilhaber (mid), (Los Angeles FC), Andre Shinyashiki (att), (Denver Pioneers), Matt Hundley (mid), (UCLA Bruins), Sam Raben (def), (Demon Deacons), Jacob Hauser-Ramsey (def), (UCCON Huskies), Marcello Borges (def), (Michigan), Kelyn Rowe (mid), (New England Revolution)

Out


Kelyn Rowe (mid), (Sporting Kansas City), Zac MacMath (gk), (Vancouver Whitecaps), Yannick Boli (att), (Ratchaburi FC), Edgar Castillo (def), (Monterry - end of loan), Enzo Martinez (mid), (Charlotte), Caleb Calvert (att), (St Louis), Marlon Hairston (mid), (Houston Dynamo), Mike Da Fonte (def), (Free), Jack MacBean (att), (Free), Sam Hamilton (mid), (New Mexico United), Ricardo Perez (mid), (Free), Giles Barnes (mid), (Free), Andrew Dykstra (gk), (Free), Kip Colvey (def), (Retired)

It was a largely disappointing 2018 for the Colorado Rapids and their manager Anthony Hudson. In his first season in charge, Hudson guided the Rapids to a 11th place finish in the Western Conference with just 31 points from their 34 games. Hudson's team collected just 8 league wins and had the worst attack in the MLS notching just 36 league goals. The Rapids lost over half their league games losing 19 and that is a woeful record with only 3 sides losing more. In an attempt to have a much better season, Hudson has completely revamped the squad with plenty of arrivals and departures. The likes of Zac MacMath, Giles Barnes have departed the club with Marlon Hairston departing for Houston Dynamo. However, Hudson has been busy boosting his side and he certainly has strengthened their attack by signing Kei Kamara and Diego Rubio. Kamara arrives with bags of experience and goals in the MLS, having made over 350 appearances scoring over 100 times. Rubio also arrives with a good record scoring 14 in 38 games for Sporting Kansas City. While Nicolas Mezquida also arrives to add some much needed creativity in midfield.

Target


Will be desperate to improve following their poor 2018 season. They will be pushing for a higher league finish from 2018 and that would represent a good season. Entertaining their fans would also be a major improvement having suffered for much of 2018.

Columbus Crew

In


Joe Bendik(gk) (Orlando City); JJ Williams(att) (SuperDraft); Robinho Barbosa(mid) (Ceara); Waylon Francis(def) (Seattle Sounders)

Out


Logan Ketterer(gk) (Released); Mike Grella(sp)(mid) (Released); Christian Martinez(sp)(mid) (Released); Adam Jahn(sp)(att) (Released)

A season of uncertainty off the field ended with Columbus Crew achieving their minimum aim of making it to the playoffs but failed to progress beyond the Conference Semifinals stage where they lost out to New York Red Bulls. A change in ownership and confirmation of their stay in Columbus has been accompanied by the news that their long serving coach Gregg Berhalter has left the club to take over the USA national team. Former Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter has been announced as his replacement and the 44-year old will be taking over a roster that will be fully aware of its strengths and weaknesses. There has not been much movement in terms of player turnover during the off-season though the likes of Adam Jahn, Mike Grella and Cristian Martinez have left the club which slightly hits the depth for Porter. Joe Bendik has been brought in from Orlando City as Columbus prepare for Zack Steffen' departure to European shores in the summer while Waylon Francis will also improve the options across the defense for Porter, especially with Milton Valenzuela out for long term Porter is expected to stick with the system that has provided Columbus with decent success over the last few years and it will be a very familiar lineup that will be taking to the field when the season kicks off and they do have enough quality to finish in the top six once again this season Columbus though are yet to find a reliable backup for Federico Higuain who forms a key cog in their offense but has struggled for fitness in the last couple of seasons. Berhalter did try out both Eduardo Sosa and Luis Argudo in the position but the duo have struggled to convince and it will be interesting to see how Columbus react should Higuain suffer another injury setback this season

Target


Should finish in the top six once again but both the club and the fans will be aiming for a sustainable challenge in the playoffs

DC United

In


Lucas Rodriguez (mid)(Estudiantes - on loan), Leonardo Jara (def)(Boca Juniors - on loan), Chris McCann (mid)(Atlanta United), Antonio Bustamante (att)(free), Donovan Pines (def)(free), Akeem Ward (def)(free), Earl Edwards Jr (gk)(Orlando City), Chris Seitz (gk)(Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (gk)(Midtjylland - on loan),

Out


Nick DeLeon (r)(def)(Toronto), Darren Mattocks (sp)(att)(Cincinnati), Kofi Opare (r)(def)(free), Yamil Asad (r)(att)(Velez Sarsfield - end of loan), Ian Harkes (sp)(mid)(Dundee United), Patrick Mullins (r)(att)(Columbus Crew), Kevin Ellis (def)(free), Dane Kelly (sp)(att)(Indy Eleven), Vytautas Andriuskevicius (sp)(def)(free), Jared Jeffrey (sp)(mid)(free), Travis Worra (sp)(gk)(free), Davis Ousted (sp)(gk)(Chicago Fire), Steve Clark (sp)(gk)(Portland Timbers), Taylor Kemp (sp)(def)(retired), Bruno Miranda (r)(mid)(Universitad B - end of loan)

DC United's 2018 was a tale of two parts. The opening of Audi Field sparked a revival that saw the club become inspired by Wayne Rooney who bagged 20 goals in 12 games to shoot them into the playoffs, before bowing out Columbus. Now, they head into the new season as expectant as they have been for several years. They've been able to recruit the highly-talented Lucas Rodriguez and Leonardo Jara. Big things are expected of them, with veteran Chris McCann another shrewd acquisition. DC, however, are desperately needing an upgrade on Frederic Brilliant to partner Steve Bimbaum. That's the biggest area of concern heading into the campaign, as well as whether Rodriguez can compensate for Yamil Asad's departure. Fortunately, so many of DC United's main players are back for the upcoming season. But the main onus of responsibility will fall on Rooney once again. He'll be the focal point all season, and his relationship with Rodriguez could be the catalyst of United's season. There are some questionable gaps in the squad that haven't convincingly been filled yet. The likes of Ian Harkes, Nick DeLeon, and Kofi Opare played plenty of games last season. However, youngsters Donovan Pines, Akeem Ward, and Antonio Bustamante will be tasked with giving DC some promising young blood.

Target


The target will simply be to continue their progression and to keep going in the right direction. Therefore, another playoff position has to be considered a success this term.

FC Cincinnati

In


Fanendo Adi(att) (Portland Timbers); Fatai Alashe(mid) (San Jose Earthquakes); Spencer Richey(gk) (Vancouver Whitecaps); Darren Mattocks(att) (Expansion Draft); Kei Kamara(att) (Expansion Draft); Eric Alexander(mid) (Expansion Draft); Hassan Ndam(def) (Expansion Draft); Greg Garza(def) (Atlanta United); Kendall Waston(def) (Vancouver Whitecaps); Victor Ulloa(mid) (FC Dallas); Przemyslaw Tyton(gk) (Free); Leonardo Bertone(mid) (Young Boys); Mathieu Deplagne(def) (ESTAC Troyes); Alvas Powell(def) (Portland Timbers); Frankie Amaya(mid) (SuperDraft); Allan Cruz(mid) (Herediano); Roland Lamah(mid) (Expansion Draft); Caleb Stanko(mid) (Freiburg); Nick Hagglund(def) (Toronto); Logan Gdula(def) (SuperDraft); Tommy McCabe(mid) (SuperDraft); Ben Lundt(gk) (SuperDraft); Jimmy Hague(gk) (SuperDraft); Rashawn Dally(mid) (SuperDraft); Kekuta Manneh(att) (Free)

Out


Kei Kamara(att) (Colorado Rapids); Ben Lundt(gk) (Louisville City - Loan)

FC Cincinnati will look to avoid the teething problems suffered by expansion clubs but have been handed a tough start to their inaugural season in the MLS. Of the last five expansion clubs, only Atlanta United and Los Angeles FC have enjoyed successful first year in the MLS but the two teams had been backed by heavy investment to build up their roster. There has not been any such luck for Alan Koch though Cincinnati have brought in a few solid options. There has not been any big name DP signing for Koch with Fanendo Adi and Allan Cruz currently occupying the two Designated Player slots. Adi comes with loads of MLS experience, having been with Portland for five years, but his output has been on a downward trajectory in the last three years. He is expected to be supported by Kekuta Manneh, Darren Mattocks and Roland Lamah in the attack, with Manneh desperate to recapture the potential he had shown with Vancouver while Lamah also enjoyed some decent outings with FC Dallas. With regards to the midfield, Victor Ulloa has been a consistent performer for Dallas in recent campaigns while Cruz will be a regular once he gets acclimatized to the league. Eric Alexander has been the preferred option for Koch during pre-season and the midfielder is expected to be first choice when the campaign kicks off Cincinnati have also bagged Kendall Waston who has been one of the best central defenders in the Western Conference in the last couple of years and is expected to be paired with Nick Hagglund while Alvas Powell and Greg Garza will be manning the flanks of the defense. All in all Cincinnati do have a decent roster but are expected to struggle near the bottom end of a highly competitive Eastern Conference

Target


Will look to be competitive in the Eastern Conference but are expected to finish near the bottom

FC Dallas 96

In


Zdenek Ondrasek(att) (Wisla Krakow); Bressan(def) (Gremio); Bryan Acosta(mid) (Tenerife); John Nelson(def) (SuperDraft); Callum Montgomery(def) (SuperDraft)

Out


Abel Aguilar(mid) (Released); Jordon Cano(def) (Released); Maynor Figueroa(r)(def) (Released); Roland Lamah(r)(mid) (Released); Kris Reaves(r)(def) (Released); Adonijah Reid(att) (Released); Tesho Akindele(r)(att) (Orlando City); Max Urruti(r)(att) (Montreal Impact); Victor Ulloa(r)(mid) (Cincinnati); Chris Richards(def) (Bayern Munich)

FC Dallas did make it to the playoffs last season after having missed out completely the previous year but 2018 will be seen as a bit of a disappointment as they finished fourth in a weakened Western Conference before failing to progress beyond the Knockout Round. Last season ended with the news that Oscar Pareja will be leaving the club after four years and Dallas have once again turned inwards for their replacement, appointing academy director Luchi Gonzalez as their new head coach. Pre-season has promised a year of change for Dallas with Gonzalez showing preference to a 4-3-3 formation compared to the 4-2-3-1 system under Pareja. He will need to juggle his options wisely though with the Dallas roster looking weaker compared to last year following the departures of Akindele, Urruti, Victor Ulloa, Maynor Figueroa and Roland Lamah. Paxton Pomykal, Brandon Servania and Jesus Ferreira are expected to be given more minutes this season but are still inexperienced to be consistent at the top level, something which may prove to be a major concern should any of the first choice players suffer long term injuries. Zdenek Ondrasek has been brought in as replacement for Urruti while Bryan Acosta has been signed on a Designated Player contract and will be starting the campaign as the first choice in the midfield. They do have a settled look in the offense though with Michael Barrios and Santiago Mosquera manning the flanks and providing support for Badji or Ondrasek

Target


A weakened roster means Dallas will have to do well to make it to the playoffs out of a competitive Western Conference

Houston Dynamo

In


Chris Duvall (def), (Montreal Impact), Tommy McNamara (mid), (New York City), Matias Vera (mid), (San Lorenzo), Aljaz Struna (att), (Palermo), Marlon Hairston (mid), (Colorado Rapids), Sam Junqua (def), (UC Berkeley), Maynor Figueroa (def), (FC Dallas), Andrew Samuels (def), (Maryland)

Out


Eric Alexander (mid), (FC Cincinnati), Adolfo Machado (def), (Strongest FC), Chris Seitz (gk), (D.C United), Mac Steeves (att), (Hartford), Arturo Alvarez (att), (Free), Leonardo (def), (Free), Conor Donovan (def), (Free), Philippe Senderos (def), (Free), Andrew Wenger (att), (Retired), Dylan Remick (def), (Retired), Jared Watts (def), (Retired), Luis Gil (mid), (Queretaro FC - end of loan)

It was a mixed campaign for Houston Dynamo who enjoyed some success. They finished 9th in the Western Conference but Wilmer Cabrera's side lifted the US Open Cup to secure a place in the 2019 Concacaf Champions League. However, a mixed season in the MLS saw Houston score 58 and concede 58 leaving them stuck in the bottom of the Western Conference, winning just 10 league games. It was a terrific campaign for striker Mauro Manotas who scored 19 league goals and 8 in their cup run. Tomas Martinez also impressed finishing in the top 10 of the assists list with 13. Cabrera has tweaked his squad slightly with MLS campaigners Maynor Figueroa and Chris Duvall joining. But the coach has also dipped into South America to sign Argentine defensive midfielder Matias Vera who arrives following an excellent loan spell at O'Higgins in Chile. Vera will add some much needed steel to the midfield and play a deep lying playmaker role.

Target


Looking to surprise a few in the Concacaf Champions League. They will be aiming to push for a play-off place, and a finishing in those positions would represent an excellent season for Cabrera's team.

Los Angeles FC

In


Peter-Lee Vassell (mid), (Harbour View), Joshua Perez (mid), (Phoenix Rising), Eduard Atuesta (mid), (Independiente Medellin), Pablo Sisniega (gk), (Real Sociedad B), Mohamed El Munir (def), (Orlando City SC), Eddie Segura (def), (Atletico Huila), Rodolfo Zelaya (att), (Alianza FC), Lamar Batista (def), (Portland Timbers II), Phillip Ejimadu (gk), (Nacional), Adrian Perez (att), (Ontario Fury)

Out


Benny Feilhaber (mid), (Colorado Rapids), Marcos Urena (att), (Chicago Fire), Nicolas Czoromaz (mid), (CA Mitre), Callum Mallace (mid), (Bold FC), Quillan Roberts (gk), (Free), Steeve Saint-Duc (att), (Lansing Ignite), Luis Lopez (def), (Free), Joao Moutinho (def), (Orlando City SC), Aaron Kovar (att), (Seattle Sounders - end of loan)

It was a more than excellent first MLS season for Los Angeles FC. Under the experienced Bob Bradley, finishing 3rd in the Western Conference, making the play-offs but losing at the first stages to Real Salt Lake. Despite that disappointing loss in the knockout round, Bradley will be delighted with their opening MLS campaign which also saw them collect the Fair Play Team award. The star of their side is Mexican Carlos Vela who has sparkled in his first MLS season notching 14 goals and assisting 13 and also making the MLS team of 2018. Bradley has tweaked his squad slightly for their second MLS campaign with departures including experienced duo Marcos Urena and Benny Feilhaber. He has retained most of the squad including making Colombian midfielder Eduard Atuesta's loan a permanent move. The Colombian impressed in the heart of midfield making 26 appearances, and Bradley will be delighted to have him back. The coach will be hoping his new Colombian acquisition Eddie Segura can have a similar impact. The left back arrives on loan for the 2019 season aiming to impress like his fellow countryman Atuesta.

Target


Looking to build on that impressive first season and progression in the play-offs would represent an excellent campaign. Bradley will believe his side can emulate Atlanta United's success and win the MLS cup in just their second season.

Los Angeles Galaxy

In


Juninho(mid) (Free); Matt Lampson(gk) (Draft); Uriel Antuna(mid) (Manchester City - Loan); Diego Polenta(def) (Free)

Out


Michael Ciani(sp)(def) (Released); Brian Sylvestre(gk) (Released); Ariel Lassiter(att) (Released); Sheanon Williams(r)(def) (Released); Ashley Cole(r)(def) (Released); Baggio Husidic(sp)(mid) (Released); Bradford Jamieson(sp)(att) (San Antonio - Loan)

LA Galaxy had to pay a big price for failing to win their final game of the regular season as they finished seventh in the Western Conference, missing out on the playoffs for a second straight season. The club has been fairly quiet in terms of transfer activity during the off-season though they have brought in Guillermo Barros Schelotto as the permanent replacement to Sigi Schmid. They have also managed to hold on to Zlatan Ibrahimovic despite some reports that the attacker will cut short his time on the American shores. Ibrahimovic will be part of a familiar offense for LA which includes Ola Kamara and Romain Alessandrini while Uriel Antuna will be fighting it out with Emmanuel Boateng for a spot on the left flank. LA have also re-signed Juninho who will be proving options in the center of the midfield that will include Jonathan Dos Santos, Perry Kitchen and Servando Carrasco. It is at the back where changes could be seen following Ashley Cole's departure. Diego Polenta has been signed but is expected to start in the center of the defense and it will be Jorgen Skjelvik and Dave Romney who will be challenging for a regular spot on the left side of the defense. LA do have the squad that should comfortably finish in the top six of Western Conference but consistency will once again be crucial if they are to end their exile from the playoffs this season.

Target


Will be aiming to end their exile from the playoffs though they should make an impact in the post season as well

Minnesota United

In


Jan Gregus(mid) (Copenhagen); Osvaldo Alonso(mid) (Free); Dayne St.Clair(gk) (SuperDraft); Romain Metanire(def) (Free); Ike Opara(def) (Sporting Kansas City); Vito Mannone(gk) (Reading - Loan)

Out


Marc Burch(r)(def) (Released); Ibson(r)(mid) (Released); Matt Lampson(sp)(gk) (Released); Fernando Bob(sp)(mid) (Released); Jerome Thiesson(sp)(def) (Released); Collen Warner(sp)(mid) (Released); Bertrand Owundi Eko'o(def) (Released); Frantz Pangop(mid) (Released); Alex Kapp(gk) (Released); Harrison Heath(sp)(mid) (Released); Johan Venegas(sp)(mid) (Released); Maximiano(sp)(mid) (Fluminense - End of Loan); Alexi Gomez(mid) (Universitario de Deportes - End of Loan)

Another disappointing campaign for Minnesota United last season as they finished 10th in the Western Conference, well short of their minimum aim of challenging for a playoffs spot. With Minnesota conceding over 70 goals in each of their two seasons in the MLS, coach Adrian Heath has looked to boost his defensive options and has made a couple of promising signings. Former Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone has arrived on a loan deal from Reading but it will be Ike Opara's acquisition that may well prove to be key for improved defensive performances. Marc Burch and Ibson were regulars last season but both have left the club in the off-season with Osvaldo Alonso expected to replace Ibson as the first choice in the midfield along with fellow new arrival Jan Gregus. Heath does have a lot of options in the offense with Miguel Ibarra, Romario Ibarra, Ethan Finlay and Rasmus Schuller expected to man the flanks while Kevin Molino will also prove to be key addition once he recovers from a lengthy injury spell. Minnesota's biggest problem though lies up front with Angelo Rodriguez struggling to convince last season while Mason Toye and Abu Danladi are far from reliable finishers. Heath has revealed there could be a couple more additions and this is one area where Minnesota will need to bring in a new face if they are to stand a chance of challenging for a playoffs spot.

Target


Aiming for the playoffs spot but will do well improve on their poor record from last season

Montreal Impact

In


Harry Novillo(att) (Free); Maxi Urruti(att) (FC Dallas); Zachary Brault-Guillard(def) (Lyon - Loan); Orji Okwonkwo(att) (Bologna - Loan)

Out


Rod Fanni(r)(def) (Released); Kyle Fisher(sp)(def) (Released); Louis Beland-Goyette(mid) (Released); David Choiniere(mid) (Released); Michael Salazar(att) (Released); Quincy Amarikwa(r)(att) (Released); Matteo Mancosu(r)(att) (Released); Maxime Crepeau(sp)(gk) (Vancouver Whitecaps); Chris Duvall(sp)(def) (Houston Dynamo); Alejandro Silva(r)(mid) (Olimpia); Michael Petrasso(r)(def) (Released); James Pantemis(gk) (Ottawa Fury - Loan); Thomas Meilleur-Giguere(def) (Ottawa Fury - Loan); Jeisson Vargas(sp)(mid) (Universidad Catolica - Loan)

Montreal Impact missed out on a playoffs spot in Remi Garde's first season in charge of the club, falling four points short of the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference thanks to a poor first half of the season. With the players urging the club not to make wholesale changes, Montreal have kept it fairly quiet during the off-season and have retained most of their first choice players. Just three have left the club who had been regulars last season though the biggest of them being Alejandro Silva who has been sold to Olimpia. Rod Fanni and Matteo Mancosu are the two other first choice players leaving during the off-season and Montreal have reacted by finally bagging a reliable goalscorer in Max Urruti, with the attacker arriving on trade from FC Dallas. He will be joined in the attack by fellow new signing Harry Novillo who is expected to man the right flank and form part of an attacking triumvirate that includes Ignacio Piatti. Barring the two new faces, the lineup will be bearing a very familiar look when Montreal kick the campaign off and Garde will look to ensure his side does not repeat the mistakes from last season and get off to a good start that could help them emerge as genuine challengers for a top six finish in the Eastern Conference.

Target


Playoffs remains the aim this season and with a couple of key additions, Montreal will be one of the favorites for the final two spots

New England Revolution

In


Justin Rennicks (att), (Indiana Hooiser), DeJuan Jones (att), (Michigan State), Carles Gil (mid), (Deportivo La Coruna), Tajon Buchanan (att), (Syracuse), Luis Caicedo (mid), (Cortulua), Juan Fernando Caicedo (att), (Independiente Medellin - loan), Edgar Castillo (def), (Monterry), Cristian Penilla (att), (CF Pachua), Nicolas Firmino (mid), (Revolution Academy)

Out


Claude Dielna (def), (Portland Timbers), Femi Hollinger-Janzen (att), (FC Legion), Nicolas Samayoa (def), (Communicaciones), Guillermo Hauche (mid), (Free), Cristhian Machado (mid), (Royal Peri), Mark Segbers (def), (Swope Park), Kelyn Rowe (mid), (Colorado Rapids), Chris Tierney (def), (Retired)

It was generally a solid season for New England Revolution in Brad Friedel's first season in management. They finished 8th in the Eastern Conference, 9 points behind the play-off places. That was 4 points fewer than 2017 but, while there wasn't an improvement in their points tally, Friedel will be confident his style and philosophy is firmly resonating around the club. Friedel's key players in 2018 were Cristian Penilla, whose loan from Pachua was extremely successful notching 12 goals and assisting 7, while midfielder Diego Fernandez also impressed scoring 9 and assisting 10. Friedel has been busy strengthening his squad but also keeping the squad together. Comfortably, his most important piece of business was signing Cristian Penilla on a permanent deal after his brilliant 2018 season. The coach has also signed Luis Caicedo to a permanent deal after the 22-year-old impressed in the heart of the midfield making 30 appearances. However, Friedel will be disappointed to lose captain Claude Dielna to the Portland Timbers, but will be confident his side can cope without him. In terms of new faces, Spanish playmaker Carles Gil is the impressive arrival having started his career at Valencia before spells at Aston Villa and Deportivo La Coruna.

Target


Will be looking to build on Friedel's first season in charge, and improving their points tally would represent a good season. They may fancy they could sneak a play-off place and that would represent a terrific season.

New York City FC

In


Tony Rocha(mid) (Orlando City); Keaton Parks(mid) (Benfica - Loan); Juan Pablo Torres(mid) (Lokeren); Luis Barraza(gk) (SuperDraft); Alexandru Mitrita(att) (Universitatea Craiova)

Out


David Villa(k)(att) (Released); Eloi Amagat(mid) (Released); Kwame Awuah(mid) (Released), Tommy McNamara(r)(mid) (Released); Andre Rawls(gk) (Released); Rodney Wallace(r)(mid) (Released); Yangel Herrera(r)(mid) (Released); Saad Abdul-Salaam(sp)(def) (Released); Jo Inge Berget(r)(att) (Released); Cedric Hountondji(def) (Released)

Last season proved to be one of a disappointment for New York City FC who did make it to the playoffs for a third straight season only to lose out in the Conference Semifinals to eventual MLS Cup winners Atlanta City. The upcoming season will be seen as a transition one for New York with Domenec Torrent overseeing his first full campaign in charge of the club but he will be without David Villa who has been New York's top scorer in each of their four seasons as an MLS franchise. New York have also let go of Yangel Herrera, Wallace, Jo Inge Berget and Tommy McNamara all of whom were regulars in the lineup last season. Alexandru Mitrita has been New York's biggest acquisition this season but is more of a support player rather that a like-for-like replacement for Villa. Juan Pablo Torres, Keaton Parks and Tony Rocha have also been brought in but are only expected to improve the depth rather than start the season as first choice. Despite a decent overhaul of the roster, there are not going to be many surprises in the starting lineup when New York kick the season off with Mitrita expected to be the only new face with Torrent able to hold on to the core of his side and a settled lineup may well prove to be an asset for New York, at least at the start of the season. Villa will certainly prove to be a big miss for New York who have not been as prolific in front of the goal as their rivals and unless Mitrita settles down quickly and proves to be a reliable goal scorer, they may once again find it difficult to secure the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Target


Will be challenging for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and have enough quality to be a serious contender for the MLS Cup as well this season.

Orlando City SC

In


Tesho Akindele(att) (FC Dallas); Joao Moutinho(def) (Los Angeles FC); Greg Ranjitsingh(gk) (Louisville City); Kyle Smith(def) (Louisville City); Sebastian Mendez(mid) (Independiente del Valle); Danilo Acosta(def) (Real Salt Lake - Loan); Alex De John(def) (Free); Nani(mid) (Free); Santiago Patino(att) (SuperDraft); Ruan(def) (Free); Brian Rowe(gk) (Free)

Out


Joe Bendik(r)(gk) (Released); Richie Laryea(mid) (Released); Chris Schuler(sp)(def) (Released); Jonathan Spector(r)(def) (Released); Scott Sutter(r)(def) (Released); Donny Toia(sp)(def) (Released); Jose Villarreal(sp)(mid) (Released); Earl Edwards(sp)(gk) (Released); Victor Giro(sp)(def) (Vancouver Whitecaps); Mohamed El-Munir(r)(def) (Los Angeles FC); Amro Tarek(sp)(def) (New York Red Bulls); Tony Rocha(sp)(mid) (New York City FC); Yoshimar Yotun(k)(mid) (Cruz Azul); Stefano Pinho(sp)(att) (Released); RJ Allen(sp)(def) (Released)

Orlando City endured a disastrous campaign last season as they failed to build on a good start, ultimately ending the season bottom of the Eastern Conference and appointing a third coach in two years. James O'Connor has kept his job for the upcoming campaign despite winning just two of the 18 games he had been in charge of last season and Orlando have instead focused on building up their roster with a couple of key signings. The biggest arrival is that of Nani, with the former Manchester United winger arriving on a free transfer. Nani will be starting the campaign as the first choice in an offense that is also expected to include fellow new arrival Tesho Akindele as well as Dom Dwyer and Sacha Kljestan. Should the new signings settle down quick, Orlando have the potential of boasting one of the best offenses in the Eastern Conference especially with Chris Mueller and Josue Colman providing reliable backups. They have lost a key player in Yotun though with the midfielder sold to Cruz Azul while other departures such as Spector, Bendik, Sutter and El-Munir were also part of the first choice 11 last season. Orlando's biggest weakness though remains the defense with the club breaking the record for the most goals conceded in the MLS, shipping in 74 goals. O'Conner has tried to address the problem by bringing in Joao Moutinho and Danilo Acosta but defense will continue to be Orlando's Achilles heel heading into the new season.

Target


With another heavy investment during the off-season, playoffs will once again be Orlando's minimum aim this season but it will depend on how much they have improved at the back

Philadelphia Union

In


Sergio Santos(att) (Audax Italiano); Aurelien Collin(def) (Free); Carlos Miguel Coronel(gk) (Red Bull Salzburg - Loan); Kai Wagner(def) (Wurzburger Kickers); Marco Fabian(mid) (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Out


Jake McGuire(gk) (Released); Richie Marquez(sp)(def) (Released); Josh Yaro(sp)(def) (Released); Marcus Epps(sp)(mid) (Released), Adam Najem(mid) (Released); Jay Simpson(sp)(att) (Released); John McCarthy(sp)(gk) (Released); Borek Dockal(k)(mid) (Henan Jianye - End of Loan)

Philadelphia Union enjoyed a fairly successful campaign last season, achieving their aim of making it to the playoffs but stumbled at the first hurdle itself as they bowed out in the knockout round. The biggest news on the transfer front for Philadelphia is Borek Dockal's departure following the end of his loan deal. Dockal had overcome a slow start to emerge as a key cog in Philadelphia's offense last season and will certainly be a big miss though the club has acted quickly to sign Marco Fabian from Eintracht Frankfurt. Other departures include Yaro, Marquez and Rosenberry while Herbers has been traded to Chicago Fire. Aurelien Collin has been brought in to provide experience to a young backline while Kai Wagner and Brenden Aaronson will offer options on the flanks. Consistency has been a problem for Philadelphia under Curtin who will be hoping his side can hit the ground running. There is also a gap in quality beyond the first choice 11 and that is something Philadelphia have struggled to correct during the off-season. However when in form, Philadelphia boast of one of the dynamic attacks in the Eastern Conference and that will be their biggest strength once again with the likes of Fafa Picault and Ilsinho providing pace and guile on the flanks while Burke and Sapong are reliable finishers.

Target


Philadelphia will once again be aiming for a place in the top six of the Eastern Conference with Curtin fancying his side's chances of making an impact in the post season as well

Portland Timbers

In


Marvin Loria(mid) Portland Timbers 2; Renzo Zambrano(def) Portland Timbers 2; Aljaz Ivacic(gk) Olimpija Ljubljana; Claude Dielna(def) New England Revolution; Jorge Moreira(def) River Plate - Loan;

Out


Victor Arboleda(mid) Released; Lawrence Olum(sp)(def) Released; Jake Gleeson(sp)(gk) Released; Roy Miller(r)(def) Released; Jack Barmby(sp)(mid) Released; Alvas Powell(r)(def) Cincinnati; Liam Ridgewell(r)(def) Released;

A campaign that nearly ended with success for Portland Timbers as they overcame patches of inconsistent form to not only secure a comfortable position in the Western Conference but also make it to the MLS Cup final where they lost out to Atlanta United. Giovani Savarese has let go of some of the more experienced head in his roster with the likes of Liam Ridgewell, Lawrence Olum and Roy Miller all pushing 35 and have left the club. Jake Gleeson's near decade long stay at Portland also comes to an end with the keeper's contract not being extended though he did play just a backup role during his stay. Portland have brought in Slovenian keeper Aljaz Ivacic as his replacement, though he arrives injured and is unlikely to challenge for the starting role with the club having a couple of reliable keepers in Jeff Attinella and Steve Clark on their roster. The biggest name though is that of Jorge Moreira who arrives on loan from River Plate while Claude Dielna has also been traded from New England Revolution and is expected to boost the options in the center of the defense. Of the new arrivals only Dielna and Moreira are expected to be pushing for a place in the starting lineup when the season kicks off and Portland's biggest strength will continue to be their central midfield triumvirate of Chara, Valeri and Guzman. With Blanco enjoying an excellent second half of the last campaign and Asprilla being their best player in the playoffs, Portland have got a settled midfield while Cristian Paredes, Andrés Flores and Bill Tuiloma will provide the necessary depth as the club chases another deep run in the playoffs.

Target


Start as favorites to make it to the playoffs for a third straight season though repeating their MLS Cup run from last year looks difficult

Real Salt Lake

In


Tate Schmidt (att)(Cardinals), Donny Toia (def)(Orlando City), Erik Holt (def)(UCLA Bruins), Kyle Coffee (att)(Washington), Sam Brown (mid)(Harvard), Everton Luiz (SPAL - on loan), Sam Johnson (att)(Valarenga), Julian Vazquez (att)(ZBR Academy), Andrew Punta (gk)(Real Monarchs), Nedum Onuoah (def)(free)

Out


Sunny (sp)(mid)(free), Luis Silva (sp)(att)(free), Demar Phillips (sp)(def)(free), Danilo Acosta (sp)(def)(Orlando City - on loan), Yura Movsisyan (sp)(att)(free), David Horst (sp)(def)(free), Taylor Peay (sp)(def)(Louisville City), Shawn Barry (sp)(def)(TB Rowdies), Jose Hernandez (sp)(mid)(free), Ricky Lopez-Espin (sp)(att)(LAFC), Connor Sparrow (sp)(gk)(Nashville), Alfredo Ortuno (sp)(att)(Albacete)

After a season in which Real Salt Lake were explosive going forward and weak at the back, they've been looking to solve their deficiencies over the off season. They scored over 50 goals but also conceded 58 during the course of the campaign. Sam Johnson arrives looking to continue that fine goalscoring form the club has, and he comes ona Designated Player contract. Yet, more pertinently, Everton Luiz has been brought in on loan from SPAL in a bid to replace the departing Sunny. He'll have to give the defence better protection this season and not leave them so vulnerable. Despite getting into the playoffs and knocking out LAFC, they were still too open, and it cost them in the end. That looks like finally being sorted. Yet there's plenty up in the air regarding how RSL will set up. Mike Petke managed to hold onto his key attacking players during the off-season. Therefore, fitting Johnson into this mix could be difficult. But it also shows that they should have no problems keeping up their goalscoring form. The acquisition of Nedum Onuoha could be key to keeping things tight at the back, but more defensive would still be ideal. It has to be considered a successful close-season for RSL. They've added to the quality they already had, and nobody left the club that they wouldn't have wanted to. Ian Harkes' departure to Dundee United was a blow, but he wasn't a consistent starter anyway. It's all shaping up to be a much-improved season once more for RSL.

Target


The playoffs are a necessity given their squad. But how well they do beyond that depends on their defensive signings. They'll at the very least be targeting another semi-final spot once more.

Red Bull New York

In


Amro Tarek(def) (Orlando City); Marcus Epps(mid) (Draft); Mathias Jorgensen(att) (Odense Boldklub); Sean Nealis(def) (SuperDraft)

Out


Tyler Adams(r)(mid) (RB Leipzig); Aurelien Collin(r)(def) (Released); Ethan Kutler(def) (Released); Kevin Politz(def) (Released); Carlos Rivas(sp)(att) (Released); Fidel Escobar(sp)(def) (Sporting San Miguelito - End of Loan); Tommy Redding(r)(def) (Released); Hassan Ndam(def) (Cincinnati); Anatole Abang(att) (Nantong Zhiyun)

Last year proved to be a routine campaign for New York Red Bulls who finished top of the pile in the Eastern Conference but once again failed to progress past the Conference Semifinals stage in the playoffs despite a change in management midway through the campaign. It was more of a grit than flair for the Red Bulls under Chris Armas, who took over from Jesse Marsch in the summer but the results and consistency improved enough to ensure a second Supporters' Shield title in four years. Armas will be looking for more convincing performances this time around and has managed to hold on to almost all of his key players during the off-season. The Red Bulls have been handed a blow though as one of their most consistent players,Tyler Adams, was sold to RB Leipzig. The departure of Tommy Redding and Aurelien Collin does weaken the depth in the defense somewhat though New York have looked to correct it by bringing in Amro Tarek. Mathias Jorgensen has been their biggest acquisition in the summer and the attacker is expected to provide reliable cover to Bradley Wright-Phillips. The Red Bulls have looked inwards for replacing Adams, with Marc Rzatkowski expected to be the first choice alongside Sean Davis in the midfield though it leaves them banking on their young backup options coming good, should the first choice duo suffer any injury setback The Red Bull had the best defensive record last season but their biggest strength continues to be an excellent offense that includes Kaku and Daniel Royer providing support to Wright-Phillips. Alex Muyl is expected to be the first choice on the right flank but that spot is open with the young midfielder yet to put up good displays on a consistent basis.

Target


Favorites to finish top of the pile in Eastern Conference but the club will be looking to make an MLS Cup final appearance this season

San Jose Earthquakes

In


Daniel Vega (gk), (TB Rowdies), Sergio Rivas (mid), (Redhawks), Siad Haji (mid), (VCU Rams), Mamadi Camara (att), (Simon Fraser), Cristian Espinoza (mid), (Villarreal - on loan), Judson (mid), (Tombense), Marcos Lopez (att), (Sport Cristal)

Out


Fatai Alashe (mid), (FC Cincinnati), Chris Wehan (mid), (New Mexico United), Jahmir Hyka (mid), (Maccabi Netanya), Mohamed Thiaw (att), (Miami FC), Dominic Oduro (att), (Charlotte), Yeferson Quintana (def), (Penarol - end of loan)

The San Jose Earthquakes endured a very disappointing season finishing bottom of the Western Conference with just 4 league wins all season. However, they will be hoping 2019 is a huge contrast as new manager Matias Alymeda begins his reign at the club. Appointed following the conclusion of 2018 season, Alymeda will be looking to implement his playing style and create a winning formula at the club. He arrives following management spells at clubs like River Plate and Guadalajara. Danny Hoesen managed to notch 12 league goals in a poor side and certainly the new manager will be leaning on him in 2019. Alymeda has been active in the transfer window and has added new faces. The pick is certainly creative midfielder Cristian Espinonza who arrives on loan from Villarreal. The 23-year-old has over 100 career appearances and will be hoping to add some much needed creativity and flair in the midfield which is clearly what Alymeda wanted as Brazilian Judson has also joined on loan.

Target


The primary target will be to win more matches and push up the table. Alymeda needs a good start and he will want them to build towards challenging for the play-offs. But a higher points tally will represent a good season for the Quakes.

Seattle Sounders

In


Trey Muse (gk), (Indiana Hooiser), Joel Rydstrand (mid), (CU Bluejays), Tucker Bone (mid), (Air Force), Jonathan Campbell (def), (Chicago Fire), Aaron Kovar (att), (Los Angeles FC - end of loan)

Out


Tony Alfaro (def), (Chivas), Osvaldo Alonso (mid), (Minnesotta United), Waylon Francis (def), (Columbus Crew), Calle Brown (gk), (Loudon United), Felix Chenkam (att), (Free), Lamar Neagle (att), (Free), Aaron Kovar (att), (Retired)

Despite their defeat in the play-off semi-finals, 2018 was a largely successful season for the Seattle Sounders. A 2nd place finish in the Western Conference also saw them pose the best defence conceding just 37 goals. Only the New York Red Bulls overall conceded fewer than the Sounders so plenty for Brian Schmetzer to build on heading into the 2019 season. He will be delighted with the form of creative midfielder Nicolas Lodiero who sparkled in 2018 scoring 8 and assisting 16. Schmetzer hasn't tweaked too much but has added new players to enhance the squad. His most notable acquisition is defender Jonathan Campbell who arrives from Chicago Fire following a 2-year stint. He should bring plenty of experience and steel to an already strong defensive back line. The Sounders have also signed highly rated goalkeeper Troy Muse from Indiana Hooiser who is seen as one of the bright prospects. However, Schmetzer has lost club captain Osvaldo Alonso and full back Waylon Francis to MLS rivals and, while he might be disappointed, he will be confident his side can cope without those experienced figures.

Target


Will be competing on all fronts, challenging for top spot in the Western Conference as well as seeking a 2nd MLS Cup, the U.S Open Cup and Supporters' Shield. Progression in the play-offs would represent a good season but Schmetzer will fancy his side can surprise the rest.

Sporting Kansas City

In


Rodney Wallace(mid) (Free); Erik Hurtado(att) (Vancouver Whitecaps); Kelyn Rowe(mid) (Colorado Rapids); Boton Barath(def) (Free); Abdul Rwatubyaye(def) (Free)

Out


Kharlton Belmar(att) (Released); Cristian Lobato(mid) (Released); Amer Didic(def) (Released); Brad Evans(sp)(mid) (Retired); Colton Storm(def) (Released); Khiry Shelton(r)(att) (Released); Diego Rubio(r)(att) (Colorado Rapids); Ike Opara(r)(def) (Minnesota United)

Sporting Kansas City enjoyed a successful campaign last season as they finished at the top of a Conference standings for the first time since 2012 while also breaking the sequence of being dumped out of the Knockout Round in the playoffs, making it to the Conference finals. Peter Vermes has once again held on to the core of his side but there will be changes following departures of Khiry Shelton and Diego Rubio. Erik Hurtado has been traded from Vancouver but is expected to provide cover to existing attacking options in Krisztian Nemeth and Daniel Salloi. They will be supported by the likes of Gerso, Jhonny Russell and Yohan Croizet as well as new signings Rodney Wallace and Kelyn Rowe who arrive from New York City FC and Colorado Rapids Ike Opara has also left the club which should see Andreu Fontàs emerge as the first choice alongside Matt Besler in the center of the defense. Vermes has a number of options in the center of midfield with Gutierrez, Sanchez and Espinoza continuing to be first choice while Croizet and Rowe can also offer creativity from the midfield. Kansas have struggled to find a reliable goalscorer ever since Dom Dwyer's departure and that area continues to remain their biggest weakness though they do have enough quality in rest of the pitch to once again challenge for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Target


Should finish comfortably in the top six but Vermes will be aiming for a strong showing in the playoffs

Toronto FC

In


Nick DeLeon(def) (Draf); Laurent Ciman(def) (Allocation); Griffin Dorsey(mid) (SuperDraft); Tsubasa Endoh(mid) (Free); Terrence Boyd(att) (Free)

Out


Tosaint Ricketts(sp)(att) (Released); Jason Hernandez(sp)(def) (Released); Lucas Janson(sp)(att) (Tigre - End of Loan); Clint Irwin(sp)(gk) (Colorado Rapids); Victor Vazquez(r)(mid) (Al-Arabi SC); Nick Hagglund(sp)(def) (Cincinnati); Sebastian Giovinco(k)(att) (Al-Hilal FC)

Toronto endured a disastrous season last time around, having kicked the campaign off as the MLS Cup and Supporters' Shield winners but finishing 14 points short of the playoffs spots in the Eastern Conference and 19th in the Supporters' Shield standings. Despite falling well short of expectations, Greg Vanney has kept his job at the helm but has been handed a couple of blows during the off-season, the biggest of them being Sebastian Giovinco's departure. Gregory van der Wiel has also said his goodbyes and is expected to leave following a fight with coach Vanney. Toronto have also decided to refresh their squad depth with the likes of Victor Vazquez, Nick Hagglund, Clint Irwin, Tosaint Ricketts and Jason Hernandez also leaving. Toronto are yet to announce a big name replacement for Giovinco though they have boosted their attacking options by bringing in Terrence Boyd on a free transfer. Former Montreal Impact defender Laurent Ciman will provide the necessary steel to the defense while other arrivals include Nick DeLeon and Tsubasa Endoh. Toronto have held on to the spine of their team with Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Drew Moor, Justin Morrow and Jonathan Osorio all staying but their ability to cope with Giovinco's loss will be key to their prospects this season and, while they are unlikely to challenge for both the top spot in Eastern Conference and the MLS Cup, they do have enough quality in the squad to be considered as favorites for a top four finish.

Target


Should get back into the playoffs but any impact on the post season will depend on how they cope with Giovinco's departure

Vancouver Whitecaps

In


Zac MacMath(gk) (Colorado Rapids); Maxime Crepeau(gk) (Montreal Impact); Victor Giro(def) (Orlando City); Andy Rose(mid) (Free); Derek Cornelius(def) (Javor Ivanjica); Jon Erice(mid) (Albacete); Lass Bangoura(mid) (Rayo Vallecano - Loan); Lucas Venuto(mid) (Austria Wien); Scott Sutter(def) (Free); Hwang In-beom(mid) (Daejon Citizen); Jasser Khmiri(def) (Stade Tunisien); Erik Godoy(def) (CA Colon - Loan); Joaquin Ardaiz(att) (FC Chiasso - Loan); Fredy Montero(att) (Free)

Out


Alphonso Davies(r)(mid) (Bayern Munchen); Stefan Marinovic(r)(gk) (Released); Jose Aja(r)(def) (Released); Roberto Dominguez(def) (Released); Aaron Maund(sp)(def) (Released); Marvin Emnes(mid) (Released); Aly Ghazal(r)(mid) (Released); Brek Shea(r)(mid) (Released); Myer Bevan(att) (Released); Brian Rowe(sp)(gk) (Released); Sean Franklin(r)(def) (Released); Cristian Techera(r)(mid) (Released); Kei Kamara(r)(att) (Released); Jordon Mutch(r)(mid) (Crystal Palace - End of Loan); Spencer Richey(gk) (Cincinnati); Nicolas Mezquida(sp)(mid) (Colorado Rapids); Kendall Waston(k)(def) (Cincinnati); Erik Hurtado(sp)(att) (Sporting Kansas City); Anthony Blondell(sp)(att) (Huachipato FC - Loan); Efrain Juarez(r)(mid) (Released); Marcel de Jong(sp)(def) (Released)

Last year proved to be a disastrous one for Vancouver Whitecaps not just for results, which saw them finish eighth in the Western Conference, but also in term of team building as the players hit out at one another in the media at the end of the campaign. Vancouver have hit the reset button during the off-season, bringing in Marc Dos Santos as a permanent replacement for Carl Robinson while also building a new team. Alphonso Davies had already agreed a move to Bayern Munich while Vancouver have let go of a number of their first choice players including the likes of Stefan Marinovic, Cristian Techera, Kei Kamara and Kendall Waston all of whom formed the core of the side last season. The Whitecaps have re-signed Fredy Montero and the attacker is expected to be the first choice in a front three featuring Lass Bangoura and Yordi Reyna. Hwang In-beom has come in on a DP contract and will be starting in the midfield along with Felipe Martins though one spot remains open with Russell Teibert expected to miss the start of the season with an injury. It is in the defense where Vancouver look the weakest following the departure of Waston who was arguably one of the best central defenders in the Western Conference last season. Erik Godoy and Doneil Henry are expected to start the season as first choice with Jake Nerwinski and Victor Giro manning the flanks. There are lots of unknowns for Vancouver heading into the campaign and their prospects will depend on how quickly Dos Santos can mould a team out of the host of new arrivals.

Target


Will be looking to be competitive in the Western Conference and a huge turnover of the roster means they will do well to remain in the playoffs hunt in the final third of the season