2018 MLS Eastern Conference preview

David Accam was the big splash on draft day, and he’s the biggest threat attacker the Union have had since… 2010 Sebastian Le Toux?

That’s a good thing. Also good news is that Austin Trusty appears to be progressing at center back, and Keegan Rosenberry should be a key contributor after his sophomore slump last year.

Including the likes of Alejandro Bedoya and Andre Blake, the Union have a number of players to build around.

What’s Not To Like: The club was linked yesterday to Czech Borek Dockal, which would solve the #10 question, but, until he puts pen to paper, the lack of a playmaker is a primary concern.

As usual, and in the bigger picture, the concern is that the Union are having to compete with less. The roster isn’t absent investment, but Philly isn’t pouring money into their team they way Orlando, Toronto, or Atlanta is and it shows in a lack of depth and proven imported talent. This feels like a very small-market franchise.

Even the big investment has its risks: Accam was incredibly moody in Chicago, and it remains to be seen whether he can carry a team for an entire season and/or get along with everybody in the process.

Watchability: Huge points for JP Dellacamera and Tommy Smyth on the calls, and Talen Energy Stadium is a very fun atmosphere when the team is winning.

The soccer isn’t going to be great, though, and whether the team will win is an open question.

Projection: Not enough firepower. Accam was a big move, but they haven’t invested enough elsewhere to improve an eighth-place team.

 

10. Montreal Impact

What’s To Like: The Impact badly needed a recharge after last season, and they’re getting one.

Remi Garde is just a few years removed from a good run at Lyon and a cup of coffee in the Premier League, and he’s a coach with a strong record of developing young players at a club where young players have struggled to break in.

Consequently, and necessarily, Montreal will be much, much younger this season. Laruent Ciman and Hernan Bernadello are gone, Patrice Bernier and Hassoun Camara have retired, and a bevy of players 26 and younger have arrived to take their minutes.

Saphir Taider could be one of the best signings of the winter, and Ignacio Piatti is still a top-five player. At the very least, it feels like the Impact are headed in the right direction.

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