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The fringe of the United States Men's National team is taking over the Western Conference with Zack Steffen and Djordje Mihailovic joining the Colorado Rapids to change the complexion of the team. There were signings that could become impactful all around the conference, but a lot will need to break correctly for the West to be on equal footing with a strong top of the Eastern Conference. Stalwarts Nicolas Lodiero and Graham Zusi have departed the West as things will look very different this season. 

Whatever team is able to come out with a hot start may have a leg up to win the conference so gelling out of the gate is critical for teams in the West.

Previews are done in order of the table last season to find out where I expect teams to finish in the table, check this out.

Award previews and my picks for the MLS Cup can also be found here.

St. Louis City SC

Key Additions: Chris Durkin, Tomas Totland, Nikolas Dyhr

Key Departures: Nicolas Gioacchini, Lucas Bartlett, Jared Stroud

Quick Hit: After winning the West in their inaugural season, St. Louis will feel hard done by being knocked out of the playoffs quickly, but they've added to the defense to try and improve quickly. The pace in attack is still there but now that the league has tape on the team, will St. Louis be able to keep their high standards up?

What Goalzo Net says:


Seattle Sounders

Key Additions: Pedro de la Vega, Danny Musovski

Key Departures: Herber, Nicolas Lodeiro, Fredy Montero, Kelyn Rowe

Quick Hit: It's the end of an era in Seattle with Lodeiro heading to Orlando, but in de la Vega, the midfield should be in good hands. This is what Seattle does to stay at the top of the league year after year and until it doesn't work, there's no reason to doubt them. 

What Goalzo Net says:


Los Angeles FC

Key Additions: Hugo Lloris, Omar Cmapos, Tomas Angel, David Martinez, Eduard Atuesta

Key Departures: Kellyn Acosta, Stipe Buik, Carlos Vela, Maxime Crepeau, John McCarthy, Giorgio Chiellini

Quick Hit: Vela could still make a return to LAFC as he is still without a club, but few teams have had a poorer offseason than the Black and Gold. Atuesta's return is a good way to stave off the loss of Acosta, but that may not be enough, even if Lloris is excellent in net.

What Goalzo Net says:


Houston Dynamo

Key Additions: Griffin Dorsey, Jan Gregus, Gabriel Segal

Key Departures: Teenage Hadabe, Corey Baird, Chase Gasper

Quick Hit: After winning the U.S. Open Cup, the Dynamo had a platform to build on to push to the top of the West and not enough has been done yet to do that. This is still a strong team but their offseason is disappointing so far.

What Goalzo Net says: 

Real Salt Lake

Key Additions: Fidel Barajas, Alexandros Katranis, Matt Crooks

Key Departures: Damir Kreilach, Jasper Loffelsend, Jefferson Savarino, Rubio Rubin

Quick Hit: Another example of not making many additions but the ones that RSL made are key ones. Crooks brings experience to become an option in the midfield, and Barajas has a chance to be the next Diego Luna-esqu USL to MLS success story while Katranis will help improve the defense.

What Goalzo Net says: 

Vancouver Whitecaps

Key Additions: Damir Kreilach, Fafa Picault

Key Departures: None

Quick Hit: The Whitecaps are another team that feels like they didn't do enough to build upon a strong season. Kreilach and Picault are solid additions but not enough to reach the top of the West.

What Goalzo Net says:


FC Dallas

Key Additions:  Enes Sali, Petar Musa, Partickson Delgado, Omar Gonzalez

Key Departures: None

Quick Hit: Dallas didn't make a lot of moves, but there was no need to when one was a record move to bring Musa in from Benfica. The attack will easily be the strength of the team and help propel them up the conference standings to potentially win the West.

What Goalzo Net says: 

Sporting Kansas City 

Key Additions: Alenis Vargas, Memo Rodriguez

Key Departures: Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi, Gadi Kinda

Quick Hit: Sporting will go as far as Alan Pulido can take them. Scoring 14 goals last season, he can take the team pretty far, but the issue is his availability when last season was the first time that Pulido logged more than 30 games.

What Goalzo Net says: 

San Jose Earthquakes

Key Additions: Preston Judd, Alfredo Morales, William Yarbrough, Vitor Costa, Mikolaj Bieganski, Amahl Pellegrino

Key Departures: Cade Cowell, Matthew Hoppe, Jamiro Montiero

Quick Hit: Pellegrino could score a ton of goals in MLS but it's not clear what direction that San Jose is going in trying to build their attack around a 33 year old forward.

What Goalzo says:


Portland Timbers

Key Additions: Kamal Miller, Trey Muse, James Pantemis, Maxime Crepeau

Key Departures: Yimmi Chara, David Bingham, Sebastian Blanco, Jaroslaw Niezgoda

Quick Hit: Is it clear that the Timbers weren't happy with their goalkeeping corps after adding three during the offseason? That plus Miller anchoring the defense has this team primed to take steps forward this season. 

What Goalzo Net says: 

Minnesota United

Key Additions: Alejandro Bran, Carlos Harvey

Key Departures: Jan Gregus

Quick Hit: Finally with a new coach adding Eric Ramsay from Manchester United, Minnesota can begin figuring out their direction, which is important because they just lost the entire offseason.