clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Complete 2017 Preview of the Western Conference

New, 2 comments

All the teams, and how we think it’ll end up.

MLS: Playoffs-Los Angeles Galaxy at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose Earthquakes

Predicted Finish: 11th

Full Preview: Here.

Summary: Outside of the Bay Area’s king of poaching, Chris Wondowlowski, and talented USMNT keeper David Bingham, this team needed a full tear-down and rebuild. They didn’t really get it. They did add a lot of new players, like attacker Danny Hoesen, Homegrown Nick Lima, and ‘Albanian Messi’ Jahmir Hyka, but none of those guys has a pedigree that will get this team out of the division’s cellar.

Vancouver Whitecaps

Predicted Finish: 10th

Full preview: Here.

Summary:

Since our review a few weeks back, the Caps made a trade! Giles Barnes to Orlando for Brek Shea. So Vancouver now has buckets of speed in Shea and Kekuta Manneh, a consistent d-mid Matias Laba, and the reliable David Ousted in goal. That just leaves them questionable or downright bad at striker, attacking midfield, centerback and fullback. Now that I think about it, maybe 10th is too optimistic.

Minnesota United FC

Predicted finish: 9th

Full Preview: Here.

Summary:

With centerbacks Vadim Demidov and Francisco Calvo, and forwards Christian Ramirez, Abu Danladi, and Miguel Ibarra, you’ve got a nice base to work with. The midfield is a giant question, and at fullback the team might be wholly outmatched. Hey, it’s a start.

Houston Dynamo

Predicted Finish: 8th

Full Preview: Here.

Summary:

Finishing 8th would be heartbreak for most MLS teams, but for a Dynamo team that have finished near the bottom of the conference in 2015 and 2016, it is a decent improvement. Mauro Manotas, Alberth Elias, and Romell Quioto should be exciting to watch, and for Rapids fans, it’s worth tuning in to see the welcome return of ‘The Wizard’ - Vicente Sanchez - to MLS.

Sporting Kansas City

Predicted Finish: 7th

Full Preview: Here.

Summary:

They took an already solid team with Benny Feilhaber and Dom Dwyer in attack and Matt Besler, Ike Opara and Said Abdul-Salaam in defense, and added a DP winger in Gerso Fernandes that has been playing in the Portuguese first division since 2011. For a team that finished only 3 points above the redline in 2016, and in a league in which every team is constantly improving, it doesn’t feel like enough.

Portland Timbers

Predicted Finish: 6th

Full Preview: Here.

Summary:

Portland takes a capable and strong team that is coming off a bad 2016, and adds some welcome upgrades. New players like exciting winger Sebastian Blanco and Costa Rican David Guzman join steady MLS veterans Darlington Nagbe, Fanendo Adi, and Diego Chara. The backline is a big question mark though.

Colorado Rapids

Predicted Finish: 5th (Abbie predicts 3rd)

Full Preview: Here.

Summary:

Colorado will likely roll out almost the exact same lineup on March 4 they rolled out in to start 2016. For a team that finished 2nd in the Supporters Shield in 2016, the ‘if it ain’t broke’ theory seems like a good one. In a league in which every other team is constantly upgrading though, it does make you worry a little.

LA Galaxy

Predicted finish: 4th

Full Preview: Here.

Summary:

Galaxy start the season with their exciting new winger, Romain Alessandrini, to go with Giovani Dos Santos and Sebastian Lletget. But they are also missing both of their fullbacks, Ashley Cole and Robbie Rogers, along with striker Gyasi Zardes with injuries to start the year, and they have completely new coaching staff. Lotta flux; but probably also a lot of fun to watch, as usual.

Real Salt Lake

Predicted Finish: 3rd

Full Preview: Here.

Summary:

New signings Albert Rusnak and Brooks Lennon will replace the departing Burrito Martinez and Javier Morales, and Yura Movsisyan will score buckets of goals now that he’s had a full year to re-adjust. It pains me to predict success for the Claret-and-Cobalt-with-the-annoying-theme-song, but I can’t deny that RSL are good.

FC Dallas

Predicted Finish: 2nd (Abbie predicts they will come in 1st)

Full Preview: Here.

Summary:

Despite some movement in the offseason, Dallas has filled just about every roster spot that opened up. They have depth in most positions, and have set themselves up for another great year. Their back line remains intact, which was one of the best defenses in the league last season, and they’ve added speed to their attack. Things should go well for them in 2017.

Seattle Sounders

Predicted Finish: 1st (Abbie predicts they will come in 2nd)

Full Preview: Here.

Summary:

A full year with a healthy Roman Torres at the back and Nicolas Lodeiro at the helm a-midfield. Plus the return of Clint Dempsey. Plus a more experienced Jordan Morris, last year’s rookie of the year. Plus team metronome Osvaldo Alonso, being Ozzie. Did I mention they won MLS Cup last year?