MLS Season Preview 2018

MLS Season Preview 2018

Yet another entertaining MLS campaign is ahead of us. MLS clubs’ wealthy owners were very active in the transfer window, but Toronto FC are once again considered main favourites to win the trophy. Despite the fact that several football legends will not be playing in Major League Soccer anymore, a number of interesting games are on the horizon in the upcoming season.

Over the years Toronto have established themselves as one of the dominant force in Major League Soccer. The Reds impressed in the 2017 MLS season, with the team beating Seattle Sounders in the title game. The club management did well to keep hold of attacking duo Sebastian Giovinco – Jozy Altidore in the winter and, no doubt, they will be the men to watch in Greg Vanney’s team in the 2018 MLS campaign. Seeing that Toronto chiefs signed the likes of Auro, Caleb Patterson-Sewell and Gregory van der Wiel, it is no surprise the Canadian outfit are considered No. 1 favourites to win the MLS trophy.

Seattle Sounders failed to defend their MLS Cup title last term as Toronto proved to be a big catch for Brian Schmetzer’s troops in the play-off final. Experienced attacker Clint Dempsey is still part of the team, with Waylon Francis, Handwalla Bwana, Magnus Wolff Eikrem, Calle Brown and several other footballers joining the CenturyLink field. Seattle owners obviously have big ambitions for the 2018 MLS campaign, but it remains to be seen if they are capable of regaining the domestic trophy.

Atlanta United played above expectations in their MLS debut season, with the team making it to the play-offs without any difficulties. The Five Stripes want to continue with fine performances in the Major League Soccer and the fact that former Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino is still in charge of the club is certainly giving fans a reason for optimism ahead of the opening match of the season against Houston Dynamo. Speaking of new recruits, Argentine rising star Ezequiel Barco is undisputedly the club’s biggest signing.

New York City are on a quest to win their first ever MLS trophy. The club chiefs obviously have faith in coach Patrick Vieira and the good news for the fans is that last season’s top scorer David Villa has a contract with the club until December 31, 2018. New York City bosses made a number of changes to the squad in the winter, but new signings Cedric Hountondji, Brad Stuver, Ismael Tajouri, Anton Tinnerholm, Saad Abdul-Salaam and Jesus Medina are widely expected to help the team improve their game. Medina impressed in the 2017 Paraguayan Division Professional last term, thus opposition defenders should have him at bay.

Superstars Ricardo Kaka and Andrea Pirlo, who retired from football, will be sorely missed in the 2018 season, but the time has come for some new names to start building successful football careers in MLS.

The likes of Portland Timbers, FC Dallas, Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo are among favourites to win the MLS Cup title as well, whereas LA Galaxy could be the dark horses of the 2018 MLS campaign. The StubHub Center outfit are eager to make amends for the unsuccessful 2017 season, but winter signings David Bingham, Rolf Feltscher, Servando Carrasco, Brian Sylvestre, Tomas Hillard-Arce, Perry Kitchen, Chris Pontius, Emrah Klimenta and Ola Kamara may fail to adapt to the new surroundings.

Taking everything into account, Toronto and Seattle Sounders remain the teams to beat in the Major League Soccer, but they will have to prove their worth on the field. The two sides faced each other in each of the last two MLS Cup finals and it remains to be seen if the history is going to repeat itself. You should bear in mind that both teams are after their second MLS title.

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