MLS 2015 Season Preview: New York City FC

As the 2015 season draws closer, we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what New York City FC will be hoping to achieve in their first-ever season…

We’re extremely excited for the arrival of New York City FC into Major League Soccer, and fans across the league will be looking forward to seeing how they get on in their first-ever campaign. With players like David Villa and Frank Lampard as part of their inaugural roster, they boast some fine talent. But this is their first season and so there is always going to be doubt over the potential of this side. Only time will tell if they are ready to take MLS by storm.

Last season’s finish: N/A (Inaugural Season)

David Villa in action for New York City FC against Brondby (via NYCFC.com)

David Villa in action for New York City FC against Brondby (via NYCFC.com)

What to expect this year:

As this is their first season there is no bar set. However, with the money invested in the squad, New York City will need to at least make the playoffs for 2015 to be deemed a success. Much depends on the arrival of Frank Lampard in July and the extent of his impact will play a major part in their accomplishments this season. They also have David Villa up front however, so they should still be fine until Lampard arrives and will hope to make a good start to life in MLS.

Key changes to the squad:

With this being the first-ever NYCFC squad there have been endless arrivals. The following players are the key additions.

Ins: David Villa – Striker (Designated Player), Frank Lampard – Midfielder (Designated Player), Mix Diskerud – Midfielder, Patrick Mullins – Forward, Ned Grabavoy – Midfielder, Adam Nemec – Forward

Outs: N/A

Key player: David Villa – Forward

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World Cup winner, David Villa is expected to spearhead the New York City attack and what a man to do it. NYCFC has spared no expense in bringing in the decorated striker who boasts his previous clubs as Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Valencia. The Spaniard is a great addition to the franchise and he will be the marquee man to lead this club forward for their first campaign and beyond. Expect goals and lots of them.

One to watch: Khiry Shelton

First round MLS SuperDraft pick, Khiry Shelton has a running style that looks effortless and so he will glide past defenders. Should he get his chance this year, we’re expecting him to make a huge impact. He could form a lethal partnership with David Villa in attack if given the opportunity and the pair demonstrated their chemistry in NYCFC’s preseason draw with Orlando City in the Carolina Challenge Cup.

Predicted finish: Eastern Conference – 5th

Reaching the playoffs in their first-ever season will be the aim for New York City. Failure to do so would be seen as unacceptable given the amount that has been invested in this squad. Jason Kreis has the players at his disposal and must find a way to get the team ticking as quickly as possible. The Eastern Conference will be fiercely competitive but with stars like David Villa and Frank Lampard on their team, NYCFC must make sure they reach the postseason.

How will New York City fare in their first-ever MLS campaign?

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MLS 2015 Season Preview: New England Revolution

As the 2015 season beckons, we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what the New England Revolution will be hoping to achieve this year…

Is this New England Revolution’s year? Could they go all the way? They finished as runners-up last term and were a dominant force in MLS once Jermaine Jones arrived in August. They lost just once in the regular season after the arrival of Jones and were impressive throughout the playoffs before losing in extra-time to the LA Galaxy in the 2014 MLS Cup final. That defeat will still be haunting players as well as the Revs supporters but they are in a strong position to hit the ground running and make another charge at the title this season. 

Last season’s finish: Eastern Conference position: 2nd – P34 – W17 – D4 – L13 

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What needs to change this year? 

Not much if we’re honest, they just need to pick up where they left off and hope that Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen can continue to inspire them. Perhaps one weakness with the Revs is the lack of goals from their attacking core. Nguyen (as good as he is) should not be top scorer again and the return of Juan Agudelo is one which should only make the team more dangerous.

Key changes to squad:

Ins: Juan Agudelo – Forward, Jeremy Hall – Midfielder, Sean Okoli – Midfielder

Outs: Patrick Mullins – Forward, Tony Taylor – Forward, AJ Soares – Defender, Stephen McCarthy – Defender

Key player: Lee Nguyen – Midfielder

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Lee Nguyen was the standout performer for New England in 2014 and came very close to being named as the league’s MVP, though he fell short to Robbie Keane for that accolade. Still, with 20 goals last season and a deserved recall to the USMNT, Nguyen looks set to inspire his side once again. He was the highest scoring midfielder in MLS last time out and will hope to build on those incredible displays in 2015.

One to watch: Juan Agudelo – Forward

Juan Agudelo returns to New England for a second spell after leaving for Europe in 2013. He will add sharpness to this Revs side in attack and will be battling with Charlie Davies for the starting spot. He will be key this term so expect goals from the 22-year-old striker. With a supporting cast of Nguyen, Teal Bunbury and Jermaine Jones to name just a few, Agudelo could be a genuine candidate for the MLS Golden Boot this year. Watch out.

Predicted finish: Eastern Conference – 1st

New England were four points off first-placed DC United in the Eastern Conference last year and lost four more games than the eventual winners. Though they have Jermaine Jones for a full season now and his influence cannot be undervalued. The Eastern Conference is packed with talented squads and it will be a fiercely competitive campaign, but the Revs have only strengthened over the offseason and will expect to be competing for the MLS Cup again come December. They were the form side at the end of 2014 and won the Eastern Conference title in the end. They will go into the new season in full confidence.

How will New England Revolution fare in 2015?

MLS 2015 Season Preview: Montreal Impact

As the 2015 season beckons, we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what the Montreal Impact will be looking to achieve this year.

The 2015 season will be Montreal Impact‘s fourth year competing in Major League Soccer after joining from the NASL for their first taste of MLS in 2012. Montreal Impact fans won’t need reminding how poor they were last season. They were statistically the worst team, racking up just 28 points and finishing bottom of both the Eastern Conference and the Supporters’ Shield standings. So 2014 is a year they’ll want to forget quickly, but head coach Frank Klopas and his side can certainly use it as a learning curve for future developments.

Last season’s finish: Eastern Conference position: 10th – P34 – W6 – D10 – L18

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What needs to change this year?

It’s as obvious as it gets, but they need to stop losing so many games. Only Chivas USA suffered more defeats in 2014 and the defensive issues need addressing urgently. They will be hoping to replicate the 2013 campaign which saw them amass 49 points and qualify for the playoffs, but it’s going to take some serious hard work and plenty of hours on the training ground.

Key changes to the squad:

Ins: Kristian Nicht – Goalkeeper, Bakary Soumare Defender, Ambroise Oyongo Defender, Marco Donadel  Midfielder, Nigel Reo-Coker Midfielder, Eric Alexander Midfielder, Dominic Oduro Forward, Laurent Ciman – Defender, Donny Toia – Defender, Eric Kronberg – Goalkeeper, Victor Cabrera – Defender

Outs: Troy Perkins – Goalkeeper, Matteo Ferrari – Defender, Krzysztof Krol – Defender, Felipe Martins – Midfielder, Marco Di Vaio – Forward, Issey Nakajima-Farran – Midfielder

Key player: Eric Alexander – Midfielder

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Acquiring the services of Eric Alexander from the New York Red Bulls is fantastic news for Montreal Impact. He was a key player at the heart of the Red Bulls midfield in 2014 and helped them to an MLS Cup Conference Final. A player of his quality arriving can give the whole camp a boost in morale as well as improve the performances of the team on the pitch.

One to watch: Ignacio Piatti – Midfielder

Ignacio Piatti is currently Montreal’s only Designated Player. The Argentinian arrived in August 2014, but only featured six times before limping off injured in September against San Jose Earthquakes. It transpired that Piatti was suffering from tendinitis in his left knee and required surgery, ruling him out for the rest of the season. He managed to notch four goals in his six appearances and could be crucial to the Impact in his 2015 return.

Predicted finish: Eastern Conference – 10th

Unfortunately for Montreal, other teams are attracting big name players and building some formidable squads. Despite some shrewd offseason business, their squad simply doesn’t have the quality, nor strength in depth to be able to compete for a playoff position. It’s a harsh reality, but anything other than last place would probably be seen as a success this year.

How will Montreal Impact fare in 2015?

MLS 2015 Season Preview: LA Galaxy

As the new season draws ever closer we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what the LA Galaxy will be looking to achieve this year.

LA Galaxy head into the 2015 season off the back of one of the most memorable campaigns in the history of the club. They won a record fifth MLS Cup title and said goodbye to the legendary Landon Donovan following his retirement. The Galaxy must ensure that Donovan’s retirement doesn’t have a negative impact on their performances on the pitch. Deciding how they will set-up in order to get the best out of the team once new signing Steven Gerrard joins in July will be crucial. The aim for 2015 will be to achieve at least the same again in terms of honours.

Last season’s finish: Western Conference position: 2nd – P34 – W17 – D10 – L7

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What needs to change this year?

It’s not so much a case of what needs to change for LA Galaxy, but more how they can set about continuing from where they left off.  The 2014 season saw them lose just seven regular season games – the least out of any MLS team. Three of those defeats came in the opening eight fixtures, so a better start this time around will ensure they can be the early pacesetters.  The only disappointment from last year will be that they failed to win the Supporters’ Shield, so that will be one of their targets for 2015.

Key changes to the squad:

Ins: Steven Gerrard – Midfielder (Designated Player)

Outs: Landon Donovan – Midfielder/Forward, Marcelo Sarvas – Midfielder, Rob Friend – Forward

Key player: Robbie KeaneForward

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Robbie Keane‘s contribution throughout the 2014 season was astonishing. He is the captain, a leader of men and possesses bags of experience. He will have achieved hero status after his performance last year, including the famous MLS Cup Final winning goal. He will need to continue to take responsibility and guide his team along the way.

One to watch: Gyasi ZardesForward

The 23-year-old is an exciting prospect. Gyasi Zardes was very much the unsung hero last season, due to the attention given to Landon Donovan’s farewell season and Robbie Keane’s superb efforts. He scored 16 goals in the regular season campaign and is growing in quality with every second he spends on the pitch. The recent inclusion in the USMNT will only give him further confidence to act as a springboard for 2015.

Predicted finish: Western Conference – 1st

Competition is going to be even higher in the Western Conference this season, but LA Galaxy still boast one of the strongest squads in Major League Soccer. They’re certainly one of the strong favourites for the Supporters’ Shield and will also expect to retain their MLS Cup title.

How will LA Galaxy fare in 2015?

MLS 2015 Season Preview: Houston Dynamo

As the new season draws ever closer we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what the Houston Dynamo will be looking to achieve this year.

Houston Dynamo goes into the 2015 season with a new manager in Owen Coyle and a lot of room for improvement. Following the departure of Dominic Kinnear, the Dynamo have signalled their intent that they need to do better. Houston is a team in transition but they have failed to impress in recent times and need to try and bounce back this year. They will be looking to make their mark in the Western Conference following their move from the East to make room for the new expansion franchises.

Last season’s finish: Eastern Conference position: 8th – P34 – W11 – D6 – L17

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What needs to change this year? 

They need more points. For a team that boasts some highly talented players in DaMarcus Beasley and Brad Davis to name a couple, they need to be performing better. Owen Coyle will bring a British philosophy to this Houston side. And so they should hopefully be a lot better defensively this season and with it, increase their points output.

Key changes to squad:

Ins: Erick Torres – Forward (Designated Player), Raul Rodriguez – Defender, Joe Willis – Goalkeeper.

Outs: Mark Sherrod – Striker, Andrew Driver – Midfielder, Tally Hall – Goalkeeper.

Key player: Brad Davis – Midfielder

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Brad Davis is now the longest-serving player to stay with one club in MLS and he plays with pride every time he pulls on the orange of Houston and is a great leader for his side. Expect him to lead them again this season, while his threat from set-pieces is a great asset to the Dynamo. Davis is key to their season.

One to watch: Erick Torres – Forward

It may seem a controversial choice as Erick Torres is not expected to join up until June. However, expect him to have a huge impact on the productivity of this Houston attack. Torres scored 15 goals last term for a Chivas USA side that were below average. He is a natural goalscorer and great signing for the Dynamo. He will need to earn his Designated Player tag as soon as he rejoins MLS with the Dynamo.

Predicted finish: Western Conference – 8th

We’re not expecting miracles at the BBVA Compass Stadium this season and so a modest eighth-placed finish will be a good building block for a side that should be pushing for the playoffs the following year.

How do you think the Houston Dynamo will fare in 2015?

MLS 2015 Season Preview: DC United

In the build up to the new season we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what DC United will be looking to achieve this year.

DC United enjoyed a remarkable turnaround in 2014 as they finished at the top of the Eastern Conference despite being bottom of the pile the season before. Head coach Ben Olsen guided DCU to the playoffs for just the second time in seven years and he will expect to see his squad back there this season.

Last season’s finish: Eastern Conference position: 1st – P34 – W17 – D8 – L9

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What needs to change this year?

DC United don’t need to change much this year as the challenge will be trying to remain the same. They lost the fewest games in the Eastern Conference last year and ended the season on a unbeaten run of six games. Their playoff disappointment against the New York Red Bulls will still be on the minds of supporters and the key is that DCU try and remain the best side in the East.

That will be considerably more difficult in 2015 with the New England Revolution likely to be right up there again, while expansion clubs Orlando City SC and New York City FC will hope to enter MLS with a bang. The Black and Red will start the new campaign without last term’s top goalscorer Fabian Espindola, as he is suspended for the first six weeks of the new season, and it is crucial that DC United hit the ground running without last year’s talisman.

Key changes to the squad:

Ins: Markus Halsti – Defender/Midfielder, Jairo Arrieta – Forward, Dan Metzger – Midfield, Michael Farfan – Midfield

Outs: Joe Willis – Goalkeeper, Samuel Inkoom – Defender, Lewis Neal – Midfielder, Kyle Porter – Midfielder

Key player: Bill Hamid – Goalkeeper

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DC United conceded the joint-lowest goals last year as they shipped just 37 through 34 regular season games. The man that can take the majority of credit for that achievement is USMNT goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who enjoyed another excellent season and was named as MLS Goalkeeper of the Year for 2014. Hamid kept 10 clean-sheets in 30 appearances last year and will need to be at his best again this season.

One to watch: Steve Birnbaum – Defender

Another defensive star for DC United, Steve Birnbaum enjoyed a memorable debut season in MLS and he was recently rewarded for a fine campaign with a USMNT appearance against Chile. Birnbaum made 21 appearances in 2014 but will expect to be one of the first names on the team sheet this season. Expect bigger and better things from Birnbaum in 2015.

Predicted finish: Eastern Conference – 6th

DC United may have been the strongest team in the Eastern Conference in 2014 but this year MLS is at its strongest ever and they will struggle to replicate their conference-winning performance this time around. If they can remain as solid defensively they will be in a strong position but teams like Orlando City and New York City will enter the league with plenty of attacking power and it will be tough to keep as many clean-sheets in 2015.

How will DC United fare in 2015?

MLS 2015 Season Preview: FC Dallas

In the build up to the new season we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what FC Dallas will be looking to achieve this year. 

Last season saw FC Dallas record their highest points total ever as they picked up 54 points and advanced to the MLS Playoffs for the first time in three seasons. Head coach Oscar Pareja has his team well drilled and supporters will be expecting the team to progress even more this year. Not too many changes to the squad have been made and Dallas are in a perfect position to pick up where they left off.

Last season’s finish: Western Conference position: 4th – P34 – W16 – D6 – L12

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What needs to change this year?

FC Dallas need to find a solid level of consistency throughout the campaign this season. Last year they went through a poor spell without a win in eight but also managed to go unbeaten through ten games after that. Finding a performance level that allows them to continuously put points on the board is what Pareja has to do. The Hoops could improve their away form too as they only won four games on the road in 2014.

Scoring goals wasn’t a problem last year and it shouldn’t be this year either despite the fact Dallas have yet to add any attacking players to the roster. The club will expect to make the playoffs once again and will hope to advance further than they did last term. They were unfortunate against the Seattle Sounders as they were knocked out on away goals in the Western Conference semi-final.

Key changes to the squad:

Ins: Alex Zendejas – Midfielder, Dan Kennedy – Goalkeeper, Atiba Harris – Midfielder, Otis Earle – Defender, Kyle Bekker – Midfielder

Outs: Jair Benitez – Defender, Andres Escobar – Midfielder, Raul Fernandez – Goalkeeper, Hendry Thomas – Midfielder, George John – Defender

Key player: Fabian Castillo – Winger

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The pacey Colombian scored ten goals in 27 regular season appearances last year and seemed to improve with each week. He has just put pen to paper on a huge five-year contract and is a player capable of firing Dallas into the playoffs almost single-handedly.

One to watch: Otis Earle – Defender

The young Englishman was selected in the first round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and will hope to make an immediate impact in Major League Soccer. Otis Earle should step in as Jair Benitez’s replacement at left-back and could form a strong partnership with Castillo down the left flank for Dallas.

Predicted finish: Western Conference – 4th

FC Dallas will expect to build on last year’s record points tally but will do well to finish as high in a fiercely competitive Western Conference. Another fourth-placed finish in 2015 would be an achievement for Dallas though they would hope to go further in the playoffs.

What are you expecting to see from FC Dallas in 2015?

MLS 2015 Season Preview: Columbus Crew

In the build up to the new season we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what the Columbus Crew will be looking to achieve this year. 

Columbus Crew will be looking to replicate last season’s form and finish in one of the all important top six spots in the Eastern Conference once again. The Crew have had a relatively busy offseason with more names out than in. Head coach Gregg Berhalter will be pleased with keeping hold of both Ethan Finlay and Federico Higuain, both of whom were at the forefront of everything good for the Columbus Crew last campaign.

Last season’s finish: Eastern Conference position: 3rd – P34 – W14 – D10 – L10

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What needs to change this year?

Crew SC need to find that winning mentality to turn draws into wins on a more regular basis. They drew more games in comparison to DC United and New England Revolution who were the only sides to finish above them in the East last campaign. The disappointment of the playoff drubbing at the hand of New England is something they can use as motivation for success this season.

Kei Kamara will add more goals and the signing of Kristin Steindorsson can bring in creativity as well as goals from midfield while the addition of Chris Klute from Colorado Rapids brings in another defensive option. The fullback featured 25 times for the Rapids last season, with 24 of those as starts, and he will provide cover to the defence. It is going to be a much tougher campaign this season and a strong squad is going to be vital if Columbus Crew are to make the playoffs again.

Key changes to squad:

Ins: Kei Kamara – Forward, Ben Swanson – Midfielder (Homegrown Player), Mohammed Saeid – Midfielder, Kristin Steindorsson – Midfielder, Chris Klute – Defender, Hernan Grana – Defender, Cedrick Mabwati – Midfielder (joining in July)

Outs: Ross Friedman – Defender, Matt Wiet – Defender, Josh Williams – Defender, Eric Gehrig – Defender, Ben Sweat – Defender, Fifi Baiden – Midfield, Daniel Paladini – Midfield, Agustin Viana – Midfield, Matt Walker – Midfield, Bernardo Anor – Midfield, Jairo Arrieta – Forward.

Key player: Federico Higuain – Midfield/Forward

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The classy attacking midfielder enjoyed a solid campaign last term and will need to push on and contribute even more to his side, in a similar role of that of Lee Nguyen with the Revs, as much is expected of Higuain ahead of the new season.

One to watch: Adam Bedell – Forward

His rookie season saw him net just twice in 16 appearances but at 6’6″ he towers over defenders and could become a quality target man for Crew SC. It will be interesting to see if he can tie down a starting role.

Predicted finish: Eastern Conference – 4th

We can expect another hard fought season from Columbus Crew, but in a more competitive division they may struggle to match last seasons third place finish. If Kamara can hit the ground running with goals we may well be surprised with what the Black & Gold can achieve and they must find a way to turn draws into wins.

How do you think Columbus Crew will do in 2015?

MLS 2015 Season Preview: Colorado Rapids

In the second of our MLS 2015 Season Previews, we take a look at what the Colorado Rapids will be looking to achieve this year. We’ll have a new season preview up every day in the lead up to the season now so be sure to keep checking back for your team.

Colorado Rapids are a side searching for improvement in 2015 as they had a below par season last time out. The 2010 MLS Cup winners will be hoping for a stronger showing this year and Pablo Mastroeni has restructured his squad in order to enjoy the upcoming campaign a lot more than they did in 2014.

Last season’s finish: Western Conference position: 8th – P34 – W8 – D8 – L18

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What needs to change this year? 

The Rapids conceded the most goals in MLS last season (62) and will need to shore up their defence if they are to be successful this coming season. They also had a huge problem in defence towards the end of the year which led to them going on a winless run of fourteen straight matches. The Rapids conceded 27 in their last ten outings – a far from acceptable record. They could also do with an out-and-out goalscorer to support Deshorn Brown, who managed ten goals last year.

Key changes to squad:

Ins: Zac MacMath (On loan from Philadelphia) – Goalkeeper, Marcelo Sarvas – Midfield, Sam Cronin – Midfield, Juan Ramirez – Midfield (Designated Player).

Outs: Marvell Wynne – Defender, Zat Knight – Defender

Key player: Marcelo Sarvas – Midfield

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Marcelo Sarvas joined the Rapids from LA Galaxy this offseason and looks set to lead a new-look midfield in Colorado. Sarvas of course won the MLS Cup with the LA Galaxy in 2012 and in 2014 and will be hoping his successful past can inspire his new teammates. The Brazilian is set to partner fellow newcomer Sam Cronin in the centre of midfield and they should form a solid core that the Rapids will hope improves the entire team. Sarvas may take time to adapt to his new surroundings and could take a while to have a telling influence but he will be a key man for Colorado.

One to watch: Axel Sjöberg – Defender

The powerful Swedish centre-back was selected by the Rapids in the first round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and immediately stands out in a crowd. That’s largely down to the fact that he is 6’7″ and Axel Sjöberg will hope he can force his way into the starting lineup in his rookie season to help Colorado’s defence improve.

Predicted finish: Western Conference – 10th

A bit harsh you may think, but Major League Soccer is the strongest it has ever been and will only get better. The Western Conference has become even tougher with the additions of Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo and the Colorado Rapids will do well to finish anywhere but bottom this year.

How do you think the Colorado Rapids will fair in 2015?

MLS 2015 Season Preview: Chicago Fire

In the first of our MLS 2015 Season Previews, we take a look at what the Chicago Fire will be hoping for this year. We’ll have a new season preview up every day in the lead up to the season now so be sure to keep checking back for your team.

Chicago Fire will look to improve on what was a below par season in 2014 with the new-look squad that head coach Frank Yallop has put together. The Fire have splashed in order to improve their fortunes in 2015 following the marquee signings of Shaun Maloney, David Accam and Kennedy Igboananike to Designated Player contracts. And more additions are expected before the season gets underway.

Last season’s finish: Eastern Conference position: 9th – P34 – W6 – D18 – L10

What needs to change this year?

The Fire struggled last year with the amount of draws they accumulated and were very poor at hanging onto leads. Amazingly, Chicago managed to lose a total of 22 points from winning positions in 2014. This was the main reason for their league-high record of 18 draws (four more than any other MLS team). This season they will need to convert winning positions into points. A good way to secure these points is to find an out-and-out goalscorer, as Quincy Amarikwa only managed eight as their top scorer last season, and new DP’s Igboananike and Accam will be expected to find the net on a regular basis. It’s going to take a lot for the Fire to reach the playoffs in an even more competitive Eastern Conference this season.

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Key changes to squad:

Ins: Kennedy Igboananike – Forward (Designated Player), Shaun Maloney – Midfield/Forward (Designated Player), David Accam – Forward (Designated Player), Patrick Doody – Defender (Homegrown Player), Adailton – Defender.

Outs: Bakary Soumare – Defender, Patrick Ianni – Defender.

Key player: Shaun Maloney – Midfielder/Forward

Shaun Maloney will provide invaluable experience to a side that lacked inspiration last season when seeing off games. A creative forward who is adaptable in many formations, Yallop has made a good addition to his squad with Maloney. As a Designated Player he will command a key role in the team but do not be surprised if he plays multiple positions throughout the season as Yallop will want to use Maloney, and other versatile players like Harry Shipp, to his full advantage.

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One to watch: Harry Shipp – Midfield

A strong contender for MLS Rookie of the Year in 2014, Harry Shipp will want to follow up a solid first season by solidifying his spot in Yallop’s much-changed team. Shipp will benefit from the new additions and we fully expect him to still be a key player in a Chicago team that is out to prove a point this term.

Predicted finish: Eastern Conference – 7th

We expect a good showing from Chicago this season but we’re not convinced it will be enough for the playoffs as this is strongest the Eastern Conference has ever been. But as always, the MLS provides an entertaining watch, and anything can happen. The key will be how quickly all the new signings can gel together.

How do you think the Chicago Fire will fair in 2015?