The 2017 season of MLS is officially underway and we are continuing our breakdown of what to look for this year. In this volume, the defending champs, Seattle Sounders will look to retain their title while clubs like Montreal Impact, F.C. Dallas, and Sporting K.C. will be out for blood.
Manager: Brian Schmetzer
The defending champions with the ultimate fan base are back to hold onto their title and look to repeat last year’s heroics. The Seattle Sounders had an interesting 2016 season, by the summer they looked as if their playoff hopes were gone, then Clint Dempsey was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, which forced him to miss the rest of the season.
It looked as if it was over for the Sounders but they pushed through, made it to the playoffs then won the MLS Cup. It was a Cinderella season and something the fans will cherish forever.
It showcased the fight the Sounders have and the Schmetzer’s organization. Now, as the team is ready to make noise again in 2017, Dempsey is back and the squad is ready to fight with him.
“Every 90 minutes I get under my belt here I’m feeling more comfortable,” Dempsey told ESPN ahead of the season.
“He’s in a pretty good place,” Schmetzer told ESPN of Dempsey. “He’s in a good spot. He knows he needs to do a little bit more to get back where he was.”
Manager: Mauro Biello
Manager Mauro Biello returns for this third season to coach the Impact as they look to capitalize on their playoff mark last year. After making it to the conference final and losing to Toronto, the other Eastern Canadian squad is looking for revenge.
Last year the club was plagued by bad press of internal conflicts with their star, Didier Drogba, now, that he has left the team is fully focused and will not let anything else steer them off the path. With a plethora of international players from countries like Italy, Argentina, Ghana, Scotland, Belgium, Belize, France, Cameroon, and of course the U.S. and Canada, the team is truly a global entity.
Sporting Kansas City
Manager: Peter Vermes
Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, Dom Dwyer, Igor Juliano, Diego Rubio lead Sporting this 2017 season. As Dwyer recently became a U.S. citizen, he is going to play his heart out for his new country and try and catch the attention of new USMT coach Bruce Arena. This type of social impact will make him a hard man to mark for his opponents as Dwyer, already very skilled, is going to make himself that much more difficult for the opposition.
The team is unified and focus to go deep this season.
“We believe in how we are playing and the system we are playing and that we are going to create opportunities,” midfielder Benny Fielharbor told the team’s website.
The manager echoed the sentiments, saying: “We believe in ourselves. We know what we are doing. We are completely resolute to how we want to play and how we are going to build over the course of the season. That’s the most important thing. If we believe, then it’s everything.”
Manager: Óscar Pareja
After becoming the top dogs in the Western Conference last year and getting knocked out by Seattle in the semi-finals, FC Dallas are recharged, reloaded, and refocused to prove that one simply does not mess with Texas.
The dominant Latin American line-up are going to showoff their fury again as they gun for that number one spot and make sure they keep it this year.
“Being in this club and in this group, it’s evident that if you’re going to play you have to give it 100 percent,” Argentine player Maxi Urruti said on the team website. “To start this season scoring is very important for a forward. It has started out great. We’re also fighting in the CONCACAF Semifinal and we know we’re doing a great job.”