2018 MLS Eastern Conference preview

What’s Not To Like: It’s MLS and you never know, but this very well might be a rebuilding year in Montreal. The Impact are thin in a lot of areas, and while Taider is a big signing, losing Blerim Dzemaili was a huge blow.

There’s reason to be excited, but the club has a couple of bad contracts (Dominic Oduro, Mauro Mancosu) it needs to get out of before it can bring in a couple of centerpieces to compete.

Watchability: It’s hard to say, exactly. This is going to be a much different Impact team than Mauro Biello’s teams were.

Stade Saputo might be the league’s most bare-bones arena, and support in Montreal can suffer if the team isn’t winner, but Vic Rauter’s calls on TSN are always an absolute joy.

Projection: They might surprise, and Garde looks like a good hire, but the Impact are most likely a year away.

 

11. New England Revolution

What’s To Like: The Revs easily could have been a playoff team last season – they finished seventh and underperformed their expected goals total by a huge margin – and there’s still plenty of talent here.

Juan Agudelo, Kelyn Rowe, and Diego Fagundez are three very good players, and new manager Brad Friedel should, at the very least, clean up the defense.

What’s Not To Like: The process that led to Friedel’s hiring, for one, and then, pretty much everything else.

Lee Nguyen’s trade request/strike/return to camp means that the Revs’ best player is deeply unsettled, and there have to be questions about the entire locker room as a result.

New England is despised by MLS players, and the club’s handling of the Nguyen situation – in contrast to Columbus’ handling of their players’ trade requests – has only exacerbated that antipathy.

Even outside of Nguyen, it’s been a weak offseason. The Revs have only brought in two potential starters to replace the three they lost, and Friedel is an untested coach who has no established system or style of play.

Watchability: With DC moving into Audi Field, the Revs are in a class of their own in MLS. Gillette is easily now the worst venue in one of the worst locations in the league, and football lines there have only gotten more prevalent in the last several years.

The broadcast is poor, and the team isn’t going to be very good. This franchise is more than any other proof that MLS still has a long way to go.

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