The five best Mexicans in MLS to watch in 2018

With the 2018 MLS season underway there is plenty of exciting action each week to keep you entertained. The league is continuing to grow at an alarming rate. More top-rated players are joining each season, highlighting an increasing desire to be involved in Major League Soccer. We’ve picked out the five best Mexicans in MLS to watch this season and what they bring to their side.

Carlos Vela – LAFC

The new boys for 2018, LAFC, picked up an impressive win in their first ever MLS outing away at Seattle. At the heart of that performance was Carlos Vela. Many Premier League fans will know of Vela from his time at Arsenal and brief spell at West Brom.

Although his time in England didn’t quite meet high expectations, the 29-year-old forward is a full international and has come to MLS off the back of the most consistent spell of his career. He is going to be one to watch this season.

Giovani Dos Santos – LA Galaxy

Arguably one of the most naturally gifted players in MLS. Giovani Dos Santos is in his fourth season with LA Galaxy, having scored 23 goals in 64 games. He has played for the likes of FC Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur and Villarreal – so has plenty of experience to his name.

At 28 he has a lot to offer LA Galaxy, including the ability to change a game at any moment. Dos Santos plays in a number of attacking roles and will be hoping to spearhead his side to better fortunes this season after a disappointing 2017.

Jonathan Dos Santos – LA Galaxy

Younger brother of Gio, Jonathan Dos Santos is also at LA Galaxy. He has made 29 appearances for the national team so far but fans haven’t yet seen his full potential in MLS as this will be his first full season.

The 27-year-old midfielder plays in a deeper role than his brother, but similarly can fit into a number of different roles.

Victor Ulloa – FC Dallas

The most experienced of the Mexicans in MLS in terms of appearances. Victor Ulloa has played 117 games since joining FC Dallas in 2011. A Homegrown player who has made a name for himself anchoring the Dallas midfield.

Although Ulloa isn’t always a guaranteed name on the team sheet, he is reliable and ready when called upon. At 26 he is yet to be called up for the Mexican side, but that is no reflection on his qualities.

Efrain Juarez – Vancouver Whitecaps

Signed from Monterrey using Targeted Allocation Money in January 2018, Efrain Juarez is a versatile option. He has played as a right back over the last few seasons, but is likely to be used as a central midfielder at Vancouver Whitecaps.

Juarez made his debut in the middle of the park in week one. Fans will hope his experience can help the Whitecaps go one step further this season to top the Western Conference.

Are these the five best Mexicans in MLS – who else should have made the cut?

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MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: RFK Stadium – Saturday, April 11 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Sunday, April 12)

Match Odds: DC United 11/8 – Draw 23/10 – New York Red Bulls 19/10

Match Preview

DC United host New York Red Bulls at the RFK Stadium on Saturday night as the Eastern Conference‘s top two sides clash in MLS for the second time this season.

The two met at the Red Bull Arena just three weeks ago when goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Lloyd Sam helped New York Red Bulls to a 2-0 victory over DC United in the first of the three Atlantic Cup rivalry matches this season.

Head Coach Ben Olsen and his DC side will be seeking immediate revenge and have recovered well since that 2-0 defeat to the Red Bulls with consecutive 1-0 wins over LA Galaxy and Orlando City.

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There was more good news recently for DC United who will be delighted to have welcomed midfielder Luis Silva back from injury last weekend as he scored a stoppage time winner on his return after only being on the pitch for 15 minutes.

New York Red Bulls have started the season well, picking up two wins and a draw from their opening three games with the most recent victory coming in an impressive 2-1 success away at Columbus on March 28th.

Jesse Marsch‘s Red Bulls team enjoyed a rest last weekend and the players have had plenty of time to prepare for this crucial encounter and will be aiming to remain the only undefeated team in MLS alongside Real Salt Lake.

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New York’s star-man Bradley Wright-Phillips has hit the ground running this season with two goals and two assists to his name already, so he will look to continue his fine form.

It promises to be another entertaining and feisty contest between the Atlantic Cup rivals in a fixture that has seen ten red cards brandished in a total of 32 meetings.

Team News

DC United’s Fabian Espindola continues to serve his ban and will miss this game and the next one before he will be available again. Midfielders Markus Halsti, Colin Martin and Nick DeLeon are also unavailable through injury, as is defender Steve Birnbaum. We’ve learnt this week that forward Eddie Johnson’s career is unfortunately all but over due to a heart condition.

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New York Red Bulls could possibly be without defenders Roy Miller and Ronald Zubar who are doubtful because of injuries.

Key Points

DC United’s form: W/L/W/W

New York Red Bulls’ form: D/W/W

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls have made their best start to an MLS season since 2007 when they also won two and drew one of their opening three fixtures.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Englishman has started the season well and is living up to his Designated Player status at the moment. If he continues in the same vein of form, the Red Bulls will be serious contenders for honours this season.

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Score Prediction

DC United 2-2 New York Red Bulls – This should be an excellent game and one that is impossible to predict. New York Red Bulls have looked impressive but DC is a tough place to go, so a draw seems likely.

DC United hit by Luis Silva injury blow

DC United’s Luis Silva has been ruled out for 4 to 6 weeks with a hamstring injury that he sustained during the 3-1 win at Houston last weekend.

It comes as a major blow as he’s been at the heart of their good form, driving them to the top of the Eastern Conference with 11 goals in 25 appearances this season and is currently their leading goalscorer.

Having secured their place in the playoffs, DC United are in the hunt for a record fifth MLS Cup title and will have to try and get themselves through to the final without one of their key players.

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It certainly couldn’t have come at a worse time for the 25-year-old, but if he can recover within the predicted time of 4 to 6 weeks then he would still be available for the 2014 MLS Cup Final on Sunday 7th December should DC United manage to get there.

Can DC United still get to the MLS Cup Final without star-man, Luis Silva?