Here’s how the season might play out. Remember, the top seven teams from each conference make the playoffs.
A conference with six great to good teams and seven average to awful teams.
1. LAFC: No way this team crashes and burns in the postseason in back-to-back years.
2. Seattle Sounders: MLS’ most consistent franchise.
3. Sporting KC: Don’t expect a regular season crown this year.
4. Portland Timbers: The best of the rest in the West starts here.
5. Minnesota United: The Loons might be good enough to steal a playoff win, but no more.
6. L.A. Galaxy: Have the recent chronic lapses on defence been addressed?
7. Colorado Rapids: The Rapids likely grab the final playoff spot. Meh.
8. FC Dallas: The Lone Star State’s best team, but that’s not saying much.
9. San Jose Earthquakes: Good enough to be not awful.
10. Real Salt Lake: If ownership keeps its mouth shut this year, that will be a good thing.
11. Austin FC: Austin won’t be Atlanta or Cincinnati. Finishing higher is possible.
12. Vancouver Whitecaps: Perpetually stuck in mediocrity, or worse.
13. Houston Dynamo: Finishing ahead of the expansion team would make for a great season.
The defending champs are being chased
1. Columbus Crew: The champs have the ingredients to make another title run.
2. NYFC: At some point, this team has to have that breakthrough year. Perhaps it will be 2021.
3. Philadelphia Union: Jim Curtin gets everything out of his team.
4. Orlando SC: After finally making the postseason, the future looks bright.
5. Toronto FC: More sizzle than steak? Let’s see what a new coach means.
6. NY Red Bulls: They’ll be good, but nowhere near good enough.
7. Atlanta United: The fun is gone; the path back to the top is long.
8. Inter Miami: David Beckham wants more. Quickly.
9. New England Revolution: Logic says the Revs will be better. Let’s see.
10. Chicago Fire: One of these years, the Fire will burn hot.
11. Nashville SC: The surprise of 2020 has to take a step back.
12. C.F. Montreal: Changing the team name won’t change the on-the-field talent shortage.
13. FC Cincinnati: The growing pains are not going well.
14. DC United: Forget the swamp, drain this team.