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The Daily Dirt, February 20: Waiting on a train

Which teams will be on the MLS Hype Train?

2016 MLS Cup - Seattle Sounders v Toronto FC

With less than two weeks now until the start of the season, the MLS hype train is getting warmed up in the station. Who will be the teams leading that runaway locomotive?

  • Seattle: The defending champions always have to be near the front of the hype train, and this year is no exception. With a full year of Nicolas Lodeiro, the return of Clint Dempsey, and the addition of Harry Shipp, the Sounders’ attack will be a handful for anyone.
  • Chicago: Yes, you read that right. The Fire have made some nice moves in the offseason. Dax McCarty and Juninho will stabilize the midfield and give Chicago one of the best pairings in the league. New DP signing Nemanja Nikolic could be that goal scorer they have needed. I don’t know if these moves will make them a true title contender, but they should be dramatically improved.
  • Portland: Sebastian Blanco will be one of the best signings this offseason. Tito Villalba’s former San Lorenzo teammate should be a great fit for the Timbers. Add Costa Rican defensive midfielder David Guzman, and Portland should be back to their odd-calendar year best.
  • Vancouver: The Cascadia Cup is going to be lots of fun in 2017 with all three teams looking very strong heading into Opening Day. The Whitecaps seemed to be missing one piece throughout last year, and Fredy Montero could fix everything for them.
  • Atlanta: You can’t make the moves United has made and not be on the hype train. Lots of eyeballs will be on this team and the expectations are all over the place. Whatever happens, it is going to be a fun ride.


Minnesota United defeated the Wisconsin Badgers 3-1 (UW)

Jason Kreis is not happy with Orlando City after yesterday’s scrimmage with Toronto FC (Orlando Sentinel)

Chicago Fire romped over Miami FC, and scored this beauty along the way:

Columbus still does not know who will be their starting goalkeeper (Columbus Dispatch)

Adrian Heath says that Kevin Molino can be the best player in the league (MLS)

Is the NWSL the best league in the world? (FourFourTwo)


Baseball legend Mike Piazza owns a soccer team in Italy (NY Times)

Arsenal will be facing a player today from Sutton United who has never eaten a vegetable in his life and will eat Chicken McNuggets for a pregame meal (Metro)