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The 25th season of Major League Soccer is about to get underway, and we’ve got the 5 biggest storylines ahead of the new campaign. First up, can LAFC finally get their hands on MLS Cup this season? The Californians won the Supporters Shield in record fashion last season, but just like in their expansion season, they suffered a shock hone playoff defeat.
They’re the bookmakers’ favorites to go all the way and they still have the league’s best player in Carlos Vela, but they just need the mental fortitude to go the distance in the postseason. Talk of Vela leads to the second storyline, the Golden Boot race. Vela’s 2019 tally of 34 puts him in the lead, but no one has ever retained the MLS Golden Boot year-on-year, and the likes of Atlanta’s Josef Martinez and New England’s Gustavo Bou are keen to take the crown. And of course, there’s a new goalscorer in California: Javier Hernandez, who will be looking to give LA Galaxy a return on investment.
And Chicharito chat leads us to point three: the host of big moves that have happened since the last MLS ball was kicked. Argentine winger Pablo Piatti is Toronto’s latest Designated Player, Joao Paulo has come from Rio to the Seattle Sounders, and Dutchman Siem De Jong will be trying to shore things up at Cincinnati.
Now, Cincy didn’t exactly set the league alight last season, but our fourth storyline revolves around the first of a brace of new expansions teams this season, Nashville SC. The Tennessee side has navigated some troubled waters in terms of their stadium in the last few weeks, but have sensibly prioritized defense and experience in their first roster. Their best signing is star center-back Walker Zimmerman, while Dax McCarty and Anibal Godoy should create a commanding spine to the team.
And finally, this is also the debut season for David Beckham’s franchise, Inter Miami. Much like Atlanta, the Florida newbies have built their side around a mix of young Latin American talent, like star player Rodolfo Pizarro, and MLS stars with experience, like Will Trapp and Lee Ngyuen. It’s set to be a rollercoaster of a season, let us know who you think will deliver, and who will falter @FCYahoo on your favorite social channels…and stay up to date on Yahoo Sports.