Coach: Robin Fraser
2019 Record: 12-16-6, ninth in the West. Did not make the playoffs.
Key Players: Midfielder Younes Namli, forward Kei Kamara, midfielder Kellyn Acosta.
Lowdown: Although he's 35, veteran Kei Kamara is a reliable scorer with 14 goals in each of the past two seasons. He's climbing the MLS career list for goals, currently ranking fifth with 126. Keep an eye on 25-year-old Lalas Abubakar, an imposing 6-foot-1 defender. The club added attacking midfielder Younes Namli, a crafty left-footed Dane. One notable loss from last season: Goalkeeper Tim Howard has retired.
Coach: Luchi Gonzalez
2019 Record: 13-12-9, seventh in the West. Lost in the opening round of the playoffs to Seattle.
Key Players: Forward Jesus Ferreira, midfielder Thiago Santos, midfielder Michael Barrios.
Lowdown: Jesus Ferreira, the son of former MLS MVP David Ferreira, recently made his national team debut. Born in Colombia, Ferreira became a U.S. citizen in December. FIFA waived a rule that would have required him to wait five years before joining the national team. So look for him to build his resume in Dallas. Keep an eye out for the arrival of forward Franco Jara from Liga MX club Pachuca this summer.
Coach: Tab Ramos
2019 Record: 12-18-4, 10th in the West. Did not make the playoffs.
Key Players: Forward Alberth Elis, forward Darwin Quintero, goalkeeper Marko Maric.
Lowdown: It's Tab's team now. Ramos was the first player to sign with Major League Soccer and played for the Metro Stars from 1996 until his retirement in 2002. He had a stellar national team career, appearing in three World Cups, and is in the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. He also saw success in his eight years coaching the U.S. under-20 national team. He replaces Wilmer Cabrera, who parted ways with the team last August. One notable absence for the Dynamo is DaMarcus Beasley, who retired last season.
Coach: Guillermo Barros Schelotto
2019 Record: 16-15-3, fifth in the West. Eliminated in the conference semifinals by LAFC.
Key Players: Forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, midfielder Jonathan dos Santos, midfielder Cristian Pavon.
Lowdown: See ya, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Hello, Chicharito. The 31-year-old striker is the Mexican national team's all-time top scorer with 52 goals in 109 appearances. He's appeared in three World Cups for Mexico. He's also played on such club teams as Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen over a 15-season pro career (He signed with Guadalajara at age 15). He's already having an impact in Los Angeles: The Galaxy have reported that season ticket sales jumped in the wake of his signing. The team hopes he'll have an impact on the field, too.
LOS ANGELES FC
Coach: Bob Bradley
2019 Record: 21-4-9, first in the West. Eliminated in the conference finals by Seattle.
Key Players: Forward Carlos Vela, forward Diego Rossi, forward Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Lowdown: LAFC appeared on course for the MLS Cup title game but was shocked at home in the conference finals by the Sounders, who went on to win the league championship. Bob Bradley's squad won the Supporters' Shield with the league's best regular-season record and an all-time league record 72 points and 85 goals. MVP Carlos Vela won the Golden Boot with a single-season record 34 goals. So yes, LAFC was good last season and there's no reason to expect anything less in 2020. Plus, the rivalry games with the LA Galaxy and new forward Chicharito are going to be fun.
Coach: Adrian Heath
2019 Record: 15-11-8, fourth in the West, eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs by the Galaxy.
Key Players: Defender Ike Opara, goalkeeper Tyler Miller, forward Luis Amarilla.
Lowdown: The Loons lost 2019 Goalkeeper of the Year Vito Mannone to Denmark but they still have Defender of the Year Ike Opara. Defense won't be an issue, but offense will if United hope to build on last season. Forward Luis Amarilla, acquired in the offseason, was leading scorer in Ecuador's top league last season and should start for Minnesota this season. Then there's promising teenage midfielder Thomas Chacon. And there's still a chance the Loons could get Boca Juniors attacking midfielder Emanuel Reynoso. Tyler Miller, who played for LAFC last season, takes over as goalkeeper.
Coach: Gary Smith
2019 Record: 2020 is the team's inaugural MLS season.
Key Players: Midfielder Dax McCarty, defender Walker Zimmerman, midfielder Hany Mukhtar
Lowdown: It looks as though coach Gary Smith, who was coach of the Colorado Rapids team that won the 2010 MLS Cup, has put an emphasis on defense for Nashville's first MLS season. In addition to Dax McCarty and Walker Zimmerman, the roster includes Anibal Godoy. Goals may be the issue, with designated player Hany Mukhtar as yet untested in MLS play. After plans for a stadium stalled last fall, the team reached a new agreement with Mayor John Cooper in February.
Coach: Giovanni Savarese
2019 Record: 14-13-7, sixth in the West. Eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs by Real Salt Lake.
Key Players: Midfielder Diego Valeri, midfielder Sebastian Blanco, forward Yimmi Chara.
Lowdown: The Timbers were able to bring back fan favorite Diego Valeri after failing to agree on a contract extension with the midfielder last season. A key addition is Yimmi Chara, the younger brother of longtime midfielder Diego Chara. MLS terminated the contract of the team's top scorer last season, Brian Fernandez, after he entered the league's substance abuse and behavioral health program.
REAL SALT LAKE
Coach: Freddy Juarez
2019 Record: 16-13-5, third in the West, eliminated in the conference semifinals by Seattle.
Key Players: Midfielder Albert Rusnak, midfielder Kyle Beckerman, goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
Lowdown: The biggest question to face RSL this season is big: How do you replace legendary MLS goalkeeper Nick Rimando. Salt Lake hopes the answer is Zac MacMath, who has been a backup at LAFC for the last two seasons. The team still has another league journeyman, Kyle Beckerman, to provide veteran leadership. Winger Corey Baird hopes to rebound after struggling last season.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Coach: Matias Almeyda
2019 Record: 13-16-5, eighth in the West. Did not make the playoffs.
Key Players: Forward Chris Wondolowski, midfielder Cristian Espinoza, defender Oswaldo Alanis.
Lowdown: Wondo is BACK! Chris Wondoloski broke Landon Donovan's career goals record in MLS last season, and many thought he might retire after reaching the milestone. Wondolowski left the door open that he might hang up his boots following the final match of the season, but the team announced in late October that the 36-year-old had agreed to a one-year deal with the club. In fact, the Earthquakes' roster is much the same as it was last year. Almeyda appears to have the Quakes on the right path.
Coach: Brian Schmetzer
2019 Record: 16-10-8, second in the West. Won the MLS Cup.
Key Players: Forward Raul Ruidiaz, midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro, forward Jordan Morris
Lowdown: The defending MLS Cup champions will no doubt contend for the Cup again. The offense should be as stout as ever, but the defense took a bit of hit in the offseason with the departures of Roman Torres, Kim Kee-Hee and Brad Smith. The Sounders still have their defensive anchor, goalkeeper Stefan Frei, and there's plenty of talent still there on a deep roster. So don't expect much of a dropoff.
Coach: Peter Vermes
2019 Record: 10-16-8, 11th in the West. Did not make the playoffs.
Key Players: Goalkeeper Tim Melia, forward Alan Pulido, defender Matt Besler.
Lowdown: Sporting made a big splash in the offseason by bringing in Liga MX's top scorer, Alan Pulido, from Chivas Guadalajara. They also signed Croatian defender Roberto Puncec and West Ham United vet Winston Reid. Winger Khiry Shelton is back from a stint in the Bundesliga. The message? Missing the postseason last year was an anomaly.
Coach: Marc Dos Santos
2019 Record: 8-16-10, 12th in the West. Did not make the playoffs.
Key Players: Forward Lucas Cavallini, midfielder Inbeom Hwang, forward Fredy Montero.
Lowdown: This team got a makeover for 2020 with Cavallini, a Canadian who played the last two seasons in Liga MX. He's young and can set the tone for the club going forward. Vancouver had just 37 goals last season, so they need the boost. The 'Caps also acquired Colombian winger Cristian Dajome. Goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau had a breakout season last year with Vancouver despite the difficult circumstances.
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