MLS kicks off its 25th season on Saturday
following an unprecedented increase in spending in the offseason.
The Galaxy's signing of Javier Hernandez and Inter Miami's acquisition of Rodolfo Pizarro grabbed a lot of attention in the soccer world, but across the board MLS owners opened their pocket books in way they have not done before.
Of the 10 teams that did not make the 2019 playoffs, seven set a club record for paying the highest transfer fee in their history.
That makes ranking the teams in SA's Opening Day MLS Power Rankings a very difficult task.
1. Los Angeles FC. No MLS team has ever assembled more young talent.
2. Seattle Sounders. Joao Paulo will take a lot of pressure off Nicolas Lodeiro.
3. Atlanta United. Josef and Pity Martinez and Ezequiel Barco are MLS's best trio.
4. Toronto FC. A lot will depend on keeping Jozy Altidore healthy.
5. New York City FC. Every key player is back, a rarity for a top MLS team.
6. LA Galaxy. Chicharito might not match Zlatan's production but makes Galaxy a better team.
7. New England Revolution. Bruce Arena quietly has built an Eastern Conference contender.
8. Columbus Crew. In Year 2, Bez brought in Darlington Nagbe and Lucas Zelarayan.
9. Portland Timbers. Yimmi Chara and Jaroslaw Niezgoda will have to solve Timbers' scoring problems.
10. Philadelphia Union. Sporting director Ernst Tanner made subtle changes that could make Union better.
11. D.C. United. Paul Arriola's season-ending knee injury is a big blow.
12. Minnesota United. Not getting Emanuel Reynoso deal over finish line would be very disappointing.
13. FC Dallas. New imports will take minutes from vaulted Homegrowns, but they bring experience.
14. Inter Miami. Luis Robles was named captain -- already a very smart move.
15. Real Salt Lake. Making Western Conference semifinals a third year in a row won't be easy.
16. Colorado Rapids. Robin Fraser begins first full season with basically same team.
17. San Jose Earthquakes. Only major signing is Mexican defender Oswaldo Alanis, on loan.
18. Sporting Kansas City. SKC broke the bank to sign Alan Pulido.
19. Chicago Fire. The Fire turned over all three DP spots in offseason.
20. NY Red Bulls. Reliance on locally produced talent will be put to a big test.
21. Orlando City. Oscar Pareja's third MLS job will be his toughest.
22. Houston Dynamo. On positive side, Tab Ramos should get long leash to rebuild Dynamo.
23. Montreal Impact. Thierry Henry started out on bright note in CCL.
24. FC Cincinnati. Lots to be excited about in preseason, then Ron Jans departed ...
25. Vancouver Whitecaps. A real mishmash -- players were imported from eight different foreign leagues.
26. Nashville SC. Just one DP signing, Hany Mukhtar, and four imports for first season