MLS 27 Season Preview – The Western Conference pt. one

With the collaboration of Davide Antonioli

In this third episode -here first and second- we begin to present the Western Conference, focusing mainly on the southern franchises -that is, the three Texans plus Nashville- and the Californians.

austin fc

Trainer: Josh Wolff. Forty four years. 9V-4P-21S in 34 sets. In office since 2021.

licensometer: 5.5

It is worth the price of the ticket counter.: 6.5

Goalkeeper Holder: Brad Stuver. Thirty years. 33 appearances and 5 clean sheets. In pink from 2021

funniest player: Moussa Djitte. Twenty two years. 13 games and 1 goal. In pink from 2021

barometer player: Alexander Ring. Thirty years. 31 games, 4 goals and 3 assists. In pink from 2021

performance fork: Classification to the playoffs / last in the Western Conference. Now let’s discover the real Austin. After the year of the expansion team, Josh Wolff and his team are tasked with charting a future trajectory for this era of the club, and the playoffs may already be an achievable goal.

Possible funniest plot twist: Kipp Keller becomes another success story among central defenders who came out of the Draft

Main additions of the offseason: Ethan Finlay (C, free agent), Maxi Urruti (A, free agent), Jhojan Valencia (C, Deportivo Cali), Ruben Gabrielsen (D, Toulouse), Felipe Martins (C, free agent)

Most urgent needs: An attacking midfielder to rest Driussi, a starting right winger, potentially a Young DP should they decide to lessen the impact of Ring’s contract.

FC Dallas

Trainer: Nico Estevez. Fourty-two years. 8V-6P-17S in 31 games at the helm of Valencia B. In charge since 2022.

licensometer: 6.5

It is worth the price of the ticket counter.: 6.5

Goalkeeper Holder: Maarten Paes. Twenty-three years. 48 appearances and 12 clean sheets with Utrecht. In pink from 2022.

funniest player: Alan Velasco. Nineteen years. 69 games, 8 goals and 10 assists with Independiente. In pink from 2022.

barometer player: Jesus Ferreira. Twenty one years. 86 games, 18 goals and 15 assists. Grown in the nursery.

performance fork: Field factor in the first round of the playoffs / qualification for the playoffs. Well, maybe I’m being particularly optimistic about Dallas, but I’m really excited about its potential. Probably because it makes me very happy to see Jesús Ferreira as the first youth player to become a Designated Player in the franchise he grew up in.

Possible funniest plot twist: The Schon-Ferreira-Velasco trident with Pomykal and Servania cutting from behind

Main additions of the offseason: Nanu (D, on loan from Porto), Alan Velasco (A, Independiente, DP), Marco Farfán (D, LAFC)

Most urgent needs: Depth in the center of the field, in the three seats, a piece of advice to let Ferreira and Jara breathe if you decide to go two ahead, two more seats for the U22 initiative

houston dynamo

Trainer: Paul Nagamura. Thirty eight years. 31V-26P-61S in 118 games driving SKC II. In office since 2022.

licensometer: 8.5

It is worth the price of the ticket counter.: 5

Goalkeeper Holder: SteveClark. Thirty-five years. 92 appearances and 26 clean sheets with the Portland Timbers. In pink from 2022.

funniest player: Sebastian Ferreira. Twenty four years. 78 games, 34 goals and 10 assists for Club Libertad. In pink from 2022

barometer player: Sebastian Ferreira

performance fork: Classification to the playoffs / Last place in the Western Conference. With the arrival of new ownership, the music in H-Town finally seems to have changed. Dynamo is finally an ambitious team. Of course, however, for the moment it is about not raising expectations too much, the roster still has ample room for improvement.

Possible funniest plot twist: Ted Segal stands out as one of the league’s biggest spenders

Main additions of the offseason: Steve Clark (P, free agent), Sebastian Ferreira (A, Libertad, DP), Brooklyn Raines (C, free agent), Zeca (D, on loan from Vasco da Gama)

Most urgent needs: A central defender, a creative midfielder, a winger – both sides are fine – a DP spot and one to three Under 22 Initiative – if the DP is Young.

galaxy of angels

Trainer: Greg Vanney. Forty-seven years. 13V-9P-12S in 34 sets. In office since 2021.

licensometer: 6.5

It is worth the price of the ticket counter.: 6.5

Goalkeeper Holder: Jonathan Bond. Twenty eight years. 31 appearances and 4 clean sheets. In pink from 2021

funniest player: Chicharito Hernandez. Thirty three years. 33 games, 19 goals and 2 assists. In the pink of 2020.

barometer player: Raheem Edwards. Twenty six years. 27 appearances and 2 assists with LAFC. In pink from 2022.

performance fork: Field factor in the first round of the playoffs / out of the playoffs. After a fiery start, Vanney’s first Galaxy came out and missed the playoffs in the last breath of the regular season, in true Galaxy fashion. Confidence in Vanney remains great, but I don’t know how much a peperino environment, always ready for change for the sake of it, is willing to wait for another dull season.

Possible funniest plot twist: Jalen Neal takes a starting position on defense

Main additions of the offseason: Kelvin Leerdam (D, free agent), Raheem Edwards (C, free agent), Mark Delgado (C, Toronto), Douglas Costa (A, Gremio, DP)

Most urgent needs: If the salary situation allows it, at least one promotion per department. However, with all the additional slots filled, it doesn’t seem possible to imagine any changes. #are these

Los Angeles F.C.

Trainer: Steve Cherundolo. Forty three years. 6V-3P-23S in 34 games driving the Las Vegas Lights. In office since 2022.

licensometer: 8

It is worth the price of the ticket counter.: 5.5

Goalkeeper Holder: Maxime Crepeau. Twenty seven years old. 61 appearances and 13 clean sheets with the Vancouver Whitecaps. In pink from 2022.

funniest player: Carlos candle. Thirty two years. 100 games, 67 goals and 43 assists. In pink since 2018.

barometer player: Kellyn Acosta. Twenty six years. 82 appearances, 7 goals and 7 assists for the Colorado Rapids. In pink from 2022.

performance fork: Field factor in the first round of the playoffs / out of the playoffs. They’re strong, deep, exceptionally talented in every department and have gotten a lot stronger in the offseason. Two unknowns: how much Carlos Vela wants/can play in what should be his last season in Los Angeles and the consistency of Steve Cherundolo, in fact in the first test among the greats after a year leading the development team in the USL. .

Possible funniest plot twist: Mbacke Fall has a Defender of the Year season

Main additions of the offseason: Franco Escobar (D, Atlanta United), Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (A, Charlotte), Ilie (C, free agent), Maxime Crepeau (P, Vancouver), Kellyn Acosta (C, Colorado), Ryan Hollingshead (D, Dallas ), Doneil Henry (D, free agent)

Most urgent needs: A spare left winger, a DP slot, which they tried to fill in the winter, the only target not focused on the to-do list.

Nashville South Carolina

Trainer: GarySmith. Fifty three years. 23V-26P-13S in 62 sets. In office since 2020.

licensometer: one

It is worth the price of the ticket counter.: 8

Goalkeeper Holder: JoeWillis. Thirty three years. 62 appearances and 24 clean sheets. In the pink of 2020.

funniest player: Hany Mukhtar. Twenty six years. 51 games, 24 goals and 13 assists. In the pink of 2020.

barometer player: Walker Zimmermann. Twenty eight years. 56 games, 8 goals and 2 assists. In the pink of 2020.

performance fork: Supporters’ Shield / Home Factor winners in the first round of the playoffs. After the excellent last season, the objective is to continue at the top of the League, despite the change of Conference.

Possible funniest plot twist: Winning matches not only thanks to the granitic defense.

Main additions of the offseason: Sean Davis (C, from New York Red Bulls), Teal Bunbury (A, New England Revolution)

Most urgent needs: Lacks backup for Zimmerman and depth in the wing department. They still have one free DP slot and all the U22 initiative slots, from one to three, depending on the type of the third designated player.

San Jose earthquakes

Trainer: Matias Almeyda. Forty eight years. 33V-22P-41S in 96 sets. In office since 2019.

licensometer: 7

It is worth the price of the ticket counter.: 10

Goalkeeper Holder: JT Marcinkowski. Twenty four years. 50 appearances and 4 clean sheets. Grown in the nursery.

funniest player: CadeCowell. Eighteen years. 53 games, 6 goals and 6 assists. Grown in the nursery.

barometer player: Jan Gregus. Thirty-one years. 74 appearances, 4 goals and 17 assists for Minnesota United. In pink from 2022.

performance fork: Field factor in the first round of the playoffs / Last place in the Western Conference. The Matías Almeyda Earthquakes are the definition of indecipherable and unpredictable. It’s going to be trivial to say but they have both the destructive and self-destructive potential of earthquakes, and what’s probably worrying is that after three seasons at this rate it seems hard to imagine that they can find a continuity that makes them exclusively one or the other. the other.

Possible funniest plot twist: Cade Cowell completes transition as Wondo’s replacement

Main additions of the offseason: Jan Gregus (C, Minnesota), Francisco Calvo (D, free agent), Jamiro Monteiro (C, Philadelphia), Ousseni Bouda (A, #8 SuperDraft pick)

Most urgent needs: A center back, a right winger, two Under 22 initiative slots and a DP, potentially two if Chofis’ loan is not renewed. But let’s face it, maybe all three should open, because they’re possibly the franchise that makes the worst use of designated player seats, and not as of today.

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