Will it be the Eastern or Western Conference of MLS that will take the honors during the 2014 season? There’s no doubt there’s plenty of talent among the teams in the Western Conference, but there are plenty of question marks too.
Here’s our preview of the 2014 MLS Western Conference (see below) as well as our preview of MLS’s Eastern Conference.
2013 Season: (6W – 20L – 8D) 26 points, Last in West
Key acquisitions: M Mauro Rosales, D Andrew Jean-Baptiste
Key losses: M Gabriel Farfan, D Jorge Villafaña, F Tristan Bowen
Chivas USA added a great midfielder to the mix this upcoming season with Mauro Rosales.
Rosales joins the Red-and-White after three productive seasons with Seattle Sounders FC where he appeared in 86 matches (73 starts) and where he became one of the league’s most dangerous playmakers in the middle. During his time in Seattle, the Argentine recorded 34 assists and added 12 goals and was named MLS Newcomer of the Year in 2011.
While some see the purchase of Chivas USA by MLS as an unwise move for the league, I strongly believe the opposite. I believe the purchase will rejuvenate a franchise that’s been bleeding for a while now. MLS has said it is actively looking for a new ownership group, and that they will need a plan to move out of StubHub Center and be in their own soccer specific stadium.
2013 Season: 14W – 11L – 9D (51 points), 5th in West; lost in Knockout Stage
Key acquisitions: M Marvin Chávez, D/M Marc Burch
Key losses: F Atiba Harris, M Hendry Thomas, M Tony Cascio
To me, one of the main storylines in Colorado is “who on earth is the coach?”
After Óscar Pereja stepped down in January, Pablo Mastroeni was named interim head coach, but that’s all we know. Players have been saying all the right things, but at the end of the day, with the season set to kickoff, Mastroeni is simply an interim. Who will be the man in helm at the midpoint of the season?
Other than that, let’s be honest… Did anyone see Colorado making the playoffs last season? I sure didn’t, but thanks to their young guys Deshorn Brown and Dillon Power, the Rapids were good enough for the 5th seed and a matchup versus Seattle Sounders FC. Colorado lost 2-0, but with that experience, the sky’s the limit for the Rapids and their young guns. Now, if only they get the coaching situation fixed.
2013 Season: (11W – 12L – 11D) 44 points, 8th in West
Key acquisitions: F Andrés Escobar, F David Texeira, M Hendry Thomas
Key losses: M David Ferreira, F Kenny Cooper
Óscar Pareja returns to his old club and will try to pick up the pieces of the wagon that broke midway through the 2013 MLS Season.
Dallas looked unbeatable in the first three months of the season, but after a few losses, and some key injuries, they ended up finishing second-to-last in the Western conference.