I started this feature last year and will continue it throughout the 2011 regular season. I encourage to offer your thoughts, objections or own rankings in the comments section.
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1. Real Salt Lake
Deep and talented. Plays in a CONCACAF Champions League semifinal match Tuesday.
2. New York Red Bulls
Thierry Henry and Co. might have the Eastern Conference title clinched by August.
3. Los Angeles Galaxy
Boasted the best record in MLS last year, but losing Edson Buddle (16 league goals) will hurt.
4. Colorado Rapids
Look no further for the best MLS forward pairing than Conor Casey and Omar Cummings.
5. Seattle Sounders FC
Improved at every position group across the board, it seems, but staying healthy will be key.
6. FC Dallas
Will the chemistry from 2010 remain after several offseason moves/departures?
7. San Jose Earthquakes
Chris Wondolowski’s 18 goals were a league-high last year. What’s he have for an encore?
8. Sporting Kansas City
A new stadium. A new name. Can the team back up the excitement surrounding the re-brand?
9. Houston Dynamo
Moving to the East, with its 3 guaranteed playoff berths, is a much easier route to postseason.
10. Philadelphia Union
Sebastien Le Toux gets needed help up top with the return of former league MVP Carlos Ruiz.
11. D.C. United
Could be much improved with young guns in Charlie Davies, Dax McCarty and Perry Kitchen.
12. Chivas USA
New coach Robin Fraser has to be pleased with the offseason’s influx of talent.
13. Columbus Crew
Needs big years from Eddie Gaven and Robbie Rogers as Andres Mendoza is not an exciting DP.
14. Portland Timbers
Appear to have quality attacking pieces in Cooper and Nagbe, but what about the defense?
15. Chicago Fire
Way too many offseason losses not to expect a major struggle out at Toyota Park.
16. New England Revolution
Off-the-field issues of Shalrie Joseph and Kevin Alston have lingered into the season.
17. Vancouver Whitecaps
Expansion rivals to the north lack MLS experience. Could still be the best team in Canada.
18. Toronto FC
First-year coach Aron Winter inherits a team that rarely gives its loyal fans what they deserve.