2016 Preseason Power Rankings

Hello, and welcome to this season’s power rankings.  Since there haven’t been any games, and I haven’t watched any other teams preseason games, I’m going to take a look at the end of the REGULAR SEASON as well as off season moves that each club made.

20) Colorado Rapids: The Rapids ended last season with one win from a possible six.  They finished last in the west, and added only Marco Pappa formerly of Seattle to their squad. They simply didn’t do enough this offseason to get better, at least on paper.

19) Philadelphia Union: The Union ended last season the same way they spent most of the season; streaky.  They added Chris Pontius, who I think will be a good signing for them, and drafted the highly touted Josh Yaro.  They made a few other moves, and really focused on strengthening the defense, unfortunately, most of those players were aquired in the draft and may not be league ready quite yet.

18) Chicago Fire: Maybe a little too high here, but I like Chicago’s activeness in the draft. They promoted a couple homegrown players and added to their horrendous defense.  Players like Brandon Vincent and Jonathan Campbell should help them this season as well as Johan Kappelhof and 20-year-old Rodrigo Ramos.

17) Real Salt Lake: RSL ended last season losing four of six.  They were quiet in the draft, and lost some important players.  I’m not a fan of what they did in the offseason.  They brought back Chris Wingert after claiming him off waivers, but they also lost young talent Luis Gil, and defender Chris Schuler.

16) NYCFC: I’d love to put NYCFC higher.  I really like what we did this offseason, but the way we ended last season was not OK for me.  We just kind of rolled over and died.  I like the additions of Harrison, Brillant, and Matarrita.  I like Vieira on paper, but until we see him in action he’ll just be an unknown, untested quantity.  We actually have all three DP’s from the off this year which is huge.  Add the fact that we cut so much deadwood and I like the direction of this team.

15) Houston Dynamo: Houston ended last season fairly indifferently.  They finished nine points outside the playoff race.  They didn’t totally overhaul the squad, but I think they did enough to get them closer to playoff contention this year.  It’s year three of Owen Coyle; they need to make the playoffs or cut their ties.

14) San Jose Earthquakes: San Jose, almost stole a playoff spot.  Had they won on match day 34 and had SKC lost, they would have been the sixth seed.  They needed to get better this offseason and maybe did just enough.  The question is, can Chris Wondolowski continue to produce as he gets older.

13) Orlando City: Orlando finished last season with a flurry.  They won five of the last six matches.  They lost a couple players that could hurt such as Tally Hall.  But they also kept both Kaka and Larin.  The question here is can Antonio Nocerino contribute.  His best season was his first with Milan, but he had Ibrahimovic distracting almost everyone else on the pitch.  If he can pop in a few and set up a few more, he’ll be a good pickup.

12) Seattle Sounders: The Sounders may have gotten worse.  They finished last season in uninspired form, with two wins and four draws.  In the offseason, the major highlight was signing homegrown player, and potential USMNT super star, Jordan Morris.  He’s probably going to be a very good pickup, but they also lost a lot. Obafemi Martins, Michael Pappa, and Lamar Neagle represent major losses for this club.  If for whatever reason it turns out Morris isn’t ready, Sigi Schmidt is going to have a job on his hands.

11) Toronto FC: Toronto, as I mentioned yesterday, didn’t do a whole lot this offseason to get better.  If recent USMNT performances are anything to go off of, Jozy looks like he’s actually going to be in shape for the beginning of the season.  But this is a team that needed to shore up on the defensive end, and they failed to do so.

10) New England Revolution: The Revs ended last year with three losses, two wins and a draw.  Jermaine Jones’s contract expired and the USMNT stalwart has yet to re-up with the club.  Should he decide to move on, the Revs are going to be in real trouble.  In matches without him, they clearly missed his engine to drive the team.  If the Revs lose Jones and fail to get a like for like replacement in, they could be in the deep end.

9) DC United: United finished in similar fashion to the Revs.  And, like the Revs they are losing an important cog in their midfield machine.  Perry Kitchen is moving on. It’s not set in stone where he will be plying his trade next season, but it won’t be with DC United. United also lost Chris Pontius which I still think could be a bigger deal than it seems.  They managed to sign Lamar Neagle from Seattle, but I’m not convinced he can replicate Kitchen.

8) Sporting Kansas City: SKC sealed their playoff birth last year on match day 34. The end of the season was shaky for the midwest side.  SKC went out and signed midfield reinforcement to help Graham Zusi and Benny Feilhaber by picking up Brad Davis and Justin Mapp.  I really actually like these moves and I think it’ll help them in the coming season.

7) Vancouver Whitecaps: Vancouver was yet another team that finished the season with something of a sputter.  But I like the offseason moves they made.  Specifically, the signing of Blas Perez.  Adding a target forward who can – somehow – still bang in the goals is going to give them a great offensive focal point.

6) Montreal Impact: I’m shocked the Impact are this high to be honest, but they finished last season very strongly.  They enter this season with a full year of Didier Drogba, who quite frankly, tore it up for the Impact after his transfer last season. The Impact also managed to steal Harry Shipp from the Fire.  This could be a sleeper team.

5) New York Red Bulls: The Red Bulls finished atop the standings last season and finished with an impressive 60 points and a goal difference of +19.  I think the selling of Miazga is going to hurt this team.  Yes, they still have an outstanding front four, but Miazga was a pillar for them at the back.  He was also one of the best distributors last season.  The Red Bulls will be good, but they could struggle at the back.

4) FC Dallas: Dallas finished with just one loss in the last six matches in 2015.  This was a good team who didn’t get worse or necessarily better in the offseason.  We’ll see how they cope with the loss of Perez.

3) LA Galaxy: This team is legitimately scary.  Top to bottom they are stacked.  They finished poorly last season, but I’m really bullish on LA right now.  They lost Omar, Juninho and Rickets sure, but they got so much better in the process.  Somehow the LA based team signed Ashley Cole and Nigel De Jong who are two incredible players. They also signed Mike Magee and Jeff Larentowicz.  Their lineup next season will feature Ashley Cole, Nigel De Jong, Gio Dos Santos, Gyasi Zardes, Robbie Keane and Steven fucking Gerrard.  Jesus that’s terrifying.  And guess what, their role players are fantastic as well.  If Arena can work his magic this team is going to be very good.

2) Columbus Crew: The Crew ended the regular season very well, and carried that momentum all the way to the Finals where the rest is history.  I think they got a bit better during the offseason.  First, and critically, they kept Kei Kamara.  They also added quality players at the back and added another Kamara up front.  Ola comes in this season and will be looking to make an impact.

1) Portland Timbers: Portland was a great team last year as evidence by their win in the Finals.  They were the darling of the MLS and a fun team to root for.  They maybe got deeper too, with the off season moves including the addition of Jack McInerney. They’ll obviously look to repeat last seasons heroics but it won’t be easy. ‘

Well, there you have it.  My 2016 preseason power rankings.  Let me know what you think you can reach me on Facebook, or Twitter.  Or, you can check out my site over at skybluesofny.com

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