MLS Preseason Power Rankings

Galaxy lead the pack into 2011; RSL, New York close behind

Too early for Power Rankings? Never. With preseason camps getting
underway across the league, the editors at MLSsoccer.com have convened
after a long winter to bring out the first rankings of 2011. And there's
little surprise that the team who made the single biggest splash this
offseason tops our list.

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1

3

The
acquisition of JPA was huge, and the Galaxy are banking that it helps
ease the loss of a double-digit scorer in Buddle. The team has some
holes to fill – midfield general Kovalenko and locker room guru Cobi
Jones are gone – but just look at that roster.

Key losses: Edson Buddle, Dema Kovalenko, Tristan Bowen, Eddie Lewis

Key additions: Juan Pablo Angel, Frankie Hejduk, Chad Barrett, Adam Cristman

2

4

Jason Kreis
says his team is looking better than ever before. Not much personnel
change during the offseason, which could mean an even tighter unit in
2011. But could the group be affected by CCL play in February?

Key loss: Robbie Findley

Key addition: Arturo Alvarez

3

6

The
Norwegian Solli seems like a solid addition and the DPs will begin
their first full season in MLS, which are the obvious positives. Not a
ton of change outside of the JPA loss for Hans Backe, who continues to
make minor tweaks to a talented team.

Key losses: Mike Petke, Seth Stammler, Jeremy Hall, Juan Pablo Ángel

Key addition: Jan Gunnar Solli

4

2

Like
RSL, they've mostly held together the core of a good team. Time will
tell if the losses of McCarty, Harris and Cunningham will have a notable
effect, but Brek Shea and Zach Loyd are poised for breakout seasons. If
FCD get a pure goal-scorer, they'll be very dangerous.

Key losses: Jeff Cunningham, Dax McCarty, Atiba Harris

Key additions: Chris Seitz

5

1

They'll
have the swagger of champions, but do they have the tools to repeat?
Not a lot of changes to Gary Smith's club, but there are some inklings
that their run through the postseason was simply a well-timed fluke. Can
they instead become the RSL of 2010?

Key loss: Julien Baudet  

Key additions: Sanna Nyassi, Tyrone Marshall

6

8

Relatively
quiet in the offseason. The loss of Sturgis could be interesting to
watch, and the club also lost Nyassi, who was beginning to come into his
own late in the season. Still, no surprise some of us had the Sounders
as high as second.

Key losses: Sanna Nyassi, Tyrone Marshall, Nathan Sturgis  

Key addition: Erik Friberg, O'Brian White

7

9
Got
to like the combination of Teal Bunbury and Kei Kamara. If they can
pull that off and integrate Omar Bravo into the mix, this could be this
year's Colorado Rapids. Plus, they have some incentive while playing in a
brand new park.

Key losses: Jimmy Conrad, Josh Wolff  

Key additions: Omar Bravo, Luke Sassano

8

5

Lenhart
isn't quite a top-shelf forward, but he can make a difference. He could
combine well with Chris Wondolowski, allowing the Golden Boot winner to
drift out wide into dangerous areas while the former Crew man creates
havoc in the box.

Key losses: Geovanni, Arturo Alvarez, Joe Cannon, Cornell Glen  

Key additions: Steven Lenhart

9

7

They
left it a bit late to restructure their roster and they've still got
work to do, which is why 2011 could be an interesting year after such an
impressive run of success. Very curious to see the effects of a Crew
team with no Schelotto.

Key losses: Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Eric Brunner, Frankie Hejduk, Steven Lenhart, Brian Carroll

Key additions: Aaron Hohlbein, Sebastián Miranda

10

14

The
Sebastien Le Toux-Danny Mwanga combination could blossom into something
even bigger this year, but this is still a young team that lacks an
identity. Carroll was a solid pickup, and all eyes will be veteran
Colombian goalkeeper Mondragón.

Key losses: Alejandro Moreno, Shea Salinas, Chris Seitz

Key additions: Brian Carroll, Faryd Mondragón, Carlos Valdés

11

12

Houston
still haven't fully addressed their biggest problem from 2010: losing
Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark in the midfield. Brian Ching was plagued
by injuries and patchy form last season, and is fending off talks of
retirement. Still, the strong draft class helps.

Key losses: Pat Onstad, Ryan Cochrane, Joseph Ngwenya, Richard Mulrooney, Adrian Serioux

Key additions: Jason Garey, Hunter Freeman, Kofi Sarkodie, Will Bruin, Jordan Graye

12

15

The
Robin Fraser hiring is a solid one on paper, but he's still staring
down his first season in charge of a rebuilding team. The additions of
Moreno, Conrad and Bowen, though, should help, and we're already
intrigued by Victor Estupiñán.

Key losses: Jonathan Bornstein, Giancarlo Maldonado, Marcelo Saragosa

Key additions: Jimmy Conrad, Tristan Bowen, Alejandro Moreno, Zarek Valentin

13

16

Definitely
an upgrade from a frustrating 2010, but this team is still a year or
two away from realizing the full potential. McCarty is a franchise
player, and everything about Kitchen says he'll be a difference maker.
And can Wolff find some magic up top?

Key losses: Troy Perkins, Jaime Moreno, Pablo Hernandez, Rodney Wallace, Danny Allsopp

Key additions: Dax McCarty, Josh Wolff, Joseph Ngwenya, Steve Cronin, Perry Kitchen

14

11

An
impressive coaching overhaul, but do they really have the players to
play Total Football? Not yet. They'll once again lean on Dwayne De
Rosario week in and week out, and there's some pressure on Julian de
Guzman in 2011.

Key losses: Chad Barrett, Mista, O'Brian White, Nick Garcia

Key addition: Nathan Sturgis

15

10

It
could be a long year in Chicago, where the Fire lost more talent this
offseason than any other team. Yes, the McBride and Brown retirements
hurt, but the loss of Thorrington could be just as meaningful.

Key losses: Brian McBride, C.J. Brown, John Thorrington, Wilman Conde, Freddie Ljungberg

Key additions: Cory Gibbs, Josep Mikulic

16

NA

The
one big question here: Can Cooper regain his form from the glory days
with FC Dallas? If he can, the Timbers can make some noise in the stands
and on the field in 2011. And Perkins is on a mission to regain his footing.

Key additions: Kenny Cooper, Troy Perkins, Darlington Nagbe, Eric Brunner, Jeremy Hall, Kerrea Gilbert

17

13

Steve
Nicol's crew had a quiet offseason after a disappointing 2010. The
additions of Cochrane and former Greek pro Domi should shore up the team
a bit, but there's still a ways to go to return to the glory days at
Foxborough.

Key losses: Cory Gibbs, Preston Burpo, Emmanuel Osei

Key additions: Ryan Cochrane, Didier Domi

18

NA

The
addition of Rochat was huge, adding a defender with some Champions
League chops to go along with DeMerit. But while they scored with the
youngster Michael Nanchoff, they likely won't see any returns from top
SuperDraft pick Salgado this year.

Key additions: Jay DeMerit, Alain Rochat, John Thorrington, Atiba Harris, Joe Cannon, Shea Salinas, Michael Nanchoff, Omar Salgado

Note: The key additions to each team only includes players signed to a contract as of Jan. 25.