Ranking the teams

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.comMarch 8, 2014 

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1. NEW YORK RED BULLS

Roster from 2013 Supporters’ Shield winners kept largely intact.

2. SPORTING KANSAS CITY

Defending MLS Cup champion looks able to survive its few key losses.

3. PHILADELPHIA UNION

Two new designated players should help lift Union into playoffs, and maybe Supporters’ Shield race.

4. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

Young talent returns after 16-point improvement last season.

5. D.C. UNITED

Rebuilt roster looked rock solid at Carolina Challenge Cup.

6. TORONTO FC

Won the offseason, but regular-season skepticism still warranted.

7. HOUSTON DYNAMO

Club history demands respect, but as others climb, someone must slip.

8. CHICAGO FIRE

New coach, wobbly defense. Can Mike Magee possibly duplicate MVP season?

9. COLUMBUS CREW

Improved defense, first-year coach could signal start of climb in Columbus.

10. MONTREAL IMPACT

Inconsistent Impact didn’t do much in offseason while others improved.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

1. PORTLAND TIMBERS

Continued improvement even after big turnaround started last season.

2. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

Lots of changes could mean slow start, but roster has stars and depth.

3. LOS ANGELES GALAXY

Perennial contender seems improved unless aging stars start slowing.

4. REAL SALT LAKE

Roster solid again, but loss of coach Jason Kreis — who will lead expansion team New York City FC in 2015 — adds big question mark.

5. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

Ended 2013 with a rush that recalled form of 2012.

6. FC DALLAS

Longtime coach and familiar faces gone. Might step back before going forward.

7. COLORADO RAPIDS

Kids produced in 2013, but coaching uncertainty could slow progress.

8. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC

Loss of Camilo Sanvezzo, yet another coaching change. Show-me attitude appropriate.

9. CHIVAS USA

New ownership and cutting Chivas cord should pay off — down the road.

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com

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