Real-Salt-Lake-LogoReal Salt Lake

Last Season: RSL fulfilled their regular season ambitions by finishing in a respectable play-off place. Jason Kreis’ side came 2nd overall, finishing behind eventual Supporters Shield winners San Jose Earthquakes in the Western Conference.

Only thrice did Real Salt Lake suffer back to back defeats, all coming mid season which never hampered any demolition from others. Alvaro Saborio played his part, with an outstanding 17 goal return, finishing 3rd overall in the standings, behind Kenny Cooper and MVP Chris Wondolowski.

However the play-offs failed to display any of the regular season form as the team Rio Tinto Stadium got dumped out by Seattle Sounders, and to make matters worse for RSL, they were unable to find the back of the net in either of the two legs. And prior to the end of season, RSL were also eliminated for the Concacaf Champions League, within the group stages, spelling the need to dismantle the current roster.

beckermania2Strengths: Whenever people highlight the organisation of RSL, Kyle Beckerman’s name is imminently present. Beckerman is a natural leader, with a frequent voice of encouragement echoing both on the field and within the locker room environment. The armband represents so much to Kyle Beckerman, a privilege it certainly is, and every ounce of effort and passion bleeds dry for the cause. After a massive shake up of the RSL roster throughout the off season it was key the number five remained, in order to orchestrate and take the club forward along with Jason Kreis. Fierce in battle Beckerman can also contribute his fair share, notching up four goals and four assists last season, giving him a platform to jump from heading into 2013. Having previously played for Rocky Mountain Rivals Colorado Rapids, Beckerman is Real Salt Lake through and through, relating this to the fans at every given opportunity.

Already possessing Alvaro Saborio in their ranks, Robbie Findley made his return to Rio Tinto during the off season to try emulate his 2009 return. Saborio was the stand out forward in 2012, an impressive 17 goals made sure RSL were staying well in the bunch. His goals are going to be even more important in 2013 as he has a different strike partner to adjust to as well as the build-up players. The Costa Rican is a scorer of all types of goals, tap in’s, astute flicks and thunderbolts from a considerable range, any chance given to Sabo will definitely be heading only one way. Robbie Findley arrives back having tried his look in England with Nottingham Forest, very used to the Utah scenery, the American played a pivotal role in the 2009 MLS Cup success. During that season he reached 12 goals for the season and scoring in the penalty shootout to send the MLS Cup to Salt Lake City. His goals are going to be crucial this season with no Espindola, the goals are going to need to come from somewhere and Findley will be expected to grab the chance with both hands.

Despite an off season clearance sale, the spine of the side remains firmly intact. Nick Rimando, Nat Borchers, Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales and Alvaro Saborio have not altered, and these guys are going to be crucial in Jason Kreis’ plan for the season ahead. Already played under his stewardship, the Head Coach will count upon his spine to get him through tricky games and steer forward the younger generation of RSL players. A spine to a side is vital in sustaining a winning side and currently occupying room are a number of MLS veterans, which could see success fall the way of the team in Claret and Cobalt.

Weakness: As soon as RSL were defeated in the CCL, an off season removal system was going to be inevitable. Having previously been heard from the clubs GM, that the current roster had one last push at glory in the Champions League, moves were going to be present. Espindola and Olave found a new home in New York Red Bulls and Will Johnson joined Porter’s Timbers. With so much experience of their side removed and bringing in the likes of Aaron Maund (22), Cole Grossman (23) and Devon Sandoval (21), the rebuilding process could take more time than expected. Time to gel, time to learn new plans, time to learn the RSL way could cost the organisation dearly in a year they will be expected to make more of a push for the MLS Cup. Having spoken to a couple of fans from Utah they see a successful season is one of play-off certainty. However possessing such inexperience, a flip of a coin could decide their faith.

Joao Plata surprised a huge number in making his way to RSL after being traded from Toronto. A replacement for Espindola has been touted, which is confusing. An indifferent couple of seasons in the colours of TFC, the Ecuadorian scored 3 goals in 2011 and zero goals in 2012 prior to his move back to his homeland. Fabian Espindola scored nine goals and three goals from his replacement will not wash with the fans. If he can perform he will become an instant favourite with Kreis as well as the fans, however if he doesn’t then it could be a hard time in Utah for the little Ecuadorian.

Notable In’s: Joao Plata, Cole Grossman, Robbie Findley, Devon Sandoval, Aaron Maund

Notable Out’s: Jamison Olave, Fabian Espindola, Will Johnson

Seattle Sounders FC v Real Salt LakeOne To Watch: Robbie Findley – Findley returns for his second stint at RSL, his role this season will be to share the fair load of goals to help catapult the club into the play-off picture.

My Prediction: Jason Kreis’ men are used to being involved in the end of season knockout and I guess this year could jeopardise their chances. Incoming so much change can rattle the bandwagon, but if all goes well I can see them making the play-offs.

San-Jose-Earthquakes-LogoSan Jose Earthquakes

Last Season: The Quakes stormed to a highly successful regular season, topping the Western Conference with a staggering 66 point total led to Supporters Shield success, tipping Sporting KC by 3 points. Throughout the season San Jose managed to win three matches on the bounce, four times, propelling them to a season of consistency and a never say die attitude.

Chris Wondolowski was pivotal in the achievements accomplished, the striker equalled Roy Lassiter’s 27 goal record, after a PK against Portland Timbers on the last day of the regular season, Wondo levelled with many expecting him to break it. However it was not meant to be.

Frank Yallop’s troops were renowned for their considerable goal scoring power, an astonishing 72 goals in 34 games came their way. San Jose scored more than two goals in eleven of their matches, hence the reason for the thunderous account.

Yet the play-off were a different story as they lost out to eventual winners LA Galaxy over two legs.

Strengths: San Jose Earthquakes are a side that doesn’t disappoint when turning chances into goals. Especially as talisman Chris Wondolowski notched up his record levelling tally of 27, a fox in the box combined with incredible movement Wondo will continue to find the net on a frequent basis. As well as Wondo, both Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart played there part in assisting, Gordon hit 13 for the season and Lenhart also rallied to double figures with a respectable 10. There is no doubting San Jose are a side who possess incredible goal scoring ability, and they have a knack of out-scoring the opponents giving them a chance of repeating that success as 2013 reaches first kick. The Quakes managed to provide score lines such as 5-0, 5-3, 4-1, 4-3, and 4-0 which ultimately sent the Supporters Shield their way.

179535hp2As well as scoring a considerable amount, San Jose leaked 43 goals going the opposite way. Uncompromised depth ignited the roster in the 2012 season, allowing the likes of Bernardez and co to take the full strength of games. Now with some astute manoeuvring throughout the off season, more numbers in the defensive positions have been added. Options such as Dan Gargan, Ty Harden and most recently Nana Attakora occupy roster space now, giving Coach Yallop more room to tinker with his backline. Jason Hernandez is reaching his 30th birthday and Victor Bernardez has reached the 30 mark, and age could be a problem for them to play every minute of every game. And having Ty Harden and Dan Gargan they have MLS seasoned professionals who can slot in with ease if asked to. Ike Opara’s move to Sporting KC now looks a distant memory as the organisation look to batter down the goal against hatches.

Weakness: Frank Yallop was strongly in negotiations with Simon Dawkins, Spurs and his representatives to allow the Englishman a return to the side he has spent the last two seasons at. However the acquisition of Dawkins took a turn for the worse as Aston Villa from the English Premier League stormed to the front of the queue to snatch the services of the winger. Dawkins has moved to Villa Park for a 6 month loan, allowing him the platform to finally show Tottenham fans what he has to offer. For six months at least Frank Yallop has lost an element of his pacey attack, leaving his side a little less feared. Dawkins was an integral part in the attacking advances in his period at Buck Shaw, and he was famous for finding the back of the net with extravagant flamboyancy, eventually leading him to reach an eight goal return. Which shows not only is pace and effective wing play is discharged, a fair tally of goals are removed heaping more pressure on the three recognised strikers to go beyond their means.

Notable In’s: Ty Harden, Mike Fucito, Dan Gargan, Nana Attakora

Notable Out’s: Khari Stephenson, Joey Gjertsen, Tim Ward, Ike Opara

Marvin+Chavez+I-h8mFQCDBhmOne To Watch: Marvin Chavez – After the omission of Simon Dawkins, Chavez will be required to provide the chances for the formidable three some to tuck away. He only scored three goals last term and with Dawkins now gone, the winger will be expected to get close to double figures in both the goal and assist charts.

My Prediction: San Jose Earthquakes attain the ability to score goals quite regular and with Wondolowski determined to overtake Lassiter’s record, I can see them becoming the highest scorers again. I can also see them using the play-off experience from 2012 to great affect and mount a serious challenge for MLS Cup this year.

sounders1Seattle Sounders

Last Season: Sigi Schmid’s Sounders accomplished play-off status after finishing 3rd in the Western Conference, the men in rave green provided a consistent season stretch as they didn’t suffer back to back defeats during their 34 fixtures. And that pattern continued in the end of season showdown, despite a 3-0 score line at The Home Depot Center, Sounders made a game of it at Century Link Field, but failed to overcome the deficit, and LA advanced to win the entirety.

Seattle began the season with a two wins at home, followed by a defeat. But the loss catapulted Sounders to a five game winning streak ,waking up the rest of the MLS to take notice. Montero and Johnson engaged enough to score the goals that made sure Seattle were not going to be uninvited to the play-off dance. Eddie Johnson during his return to MLS scored 14 in the regular season whilst Columbian Montero finished with an impressive 13.

After a successful Concacaf Champions’ League group stage – finishing 1st – campaign Seattle surge into the 2013 season knowing the quarter finals beckon.

Strengths: When Kasey Keller hung up his gloves at the end of 2011, there was an incredible unsettling eeriness around the club, as they knew the American left voluminous boots to fill. Located as the man to take over was Austrian Michael Gspurning, having previously played in Greece and Austria respectively, the stopper attained an understanding of playing in big games, and learning of the very best. The season moved month by month so did the stature and importance of Gspurning, his simple style and commanding approach assured all, that he has the gloves firmly in his grasp. Many times the gangly Austrian stood tall to save his team and without him between the sticks his team could of been looking at an early bath. The Sounders marked up only four regular season defeats with Gspurning filling the gloves, allowing a number of 12 wins to take shape, alongside 8 shutouts for the season. With a full MLS season under his belt, Michael Gspurning has the full support of everyone to become the Sounders number one for years to come.

Rosales51Pivotal to creating the chances for Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero has been the incisive creativity of Argentine expert Mauro Rosales. The skipper for Seattle is a magician who uses his talents to great effect, a will power to get forward and the desire to innovate new ideas, is the formidable reason for Johnson and Montero scoring the amount they did. Rosales is hitting his early 30’s making him incredibly delicate, a shortage of pace he might have, but his knowledge and know how allows him to influence games. Rosales has two season’s in MLS to count upon, and over the campaigns he has led Seattle, the wizard has hit 13 assists for the season twice, showing how consistent and special he is.

Fredy Montero left Century Link Field in the off season to return home to Columbia, Millonarios to be exact. A gapping space lays in his wake, and some Sounders supporters may not agree but I firmly believe they have a ready-made replacement in the form of David Estrada. The striker missed a majority of the season last term after sustaining injury, yet he showed glimpses of his potential, primarily his hat trick against Toronto during the opening game, outlined his ability to continue scoring. Reports have circled around that Sounders are looking to bring in Obafemi Martins as a DP to take over the Montero mantel, but Estrada will provide stiff competition.

Weakness: Even though Estrada has potential and all the attributes to make the Montero move a forgetful one, Seattle will again remain fully reliant on 14 goal season man Eddie Johnson to hit a similar ratio. The closest players to competing with Johnson and Montero in the scoring charts was David Estrada with 5 and Brad Evans 4. It shows that the enfaces is on the forwards. And without Fredy to count on, Johnson will carry pressure to propel his side to cup glory. If Schmid brings in Martins, his arrival will take time for the settle in process to take place, so for the short term it is Johnson who will be expected to help Seattle on their way.

Mauro Rosales stormed to the top of the assist chart at Seattle and with Montero not to be seen, his assist become more and more important in 2013. The Columbian forward chipped in with his fair share of assists to accommodate his skipper – 8 assists-. Brad Evans again trailed behind with his four, leaving the majority of playmaking prowess to come from the assured Argentines wand. Rosales is not getting any younger, meaning he will be limited to playing the full 90, also Tiffert seems to be heading for the exit, leaving the side a little starved on capable replacements.

Notable In’s: Shalrie Joseph, Djimi Traore, Lamar Neagle

Notable Out’s: Fredy Montero, Jeff Parke

web-Estrada-BrandonBleek-ProstAmerikaOne To Watch: David Estrada – Fredy Montero has left to help pursue his World Cup 2014 ambitions, and keen to make the most of opportunity will be David Estrada. He has the ability to contribute and combine effectively with Eddie Johnson, whether Schmid decides to go down this route is undecided.

My Prediction: Despite no Montero, Seattle Sounders still exhibit familiar faces from last season, allowing growth as a unit, rather than introduce considerable gelling time. And adding Shalrie Joseph makes Seattle Sounders that extra bit harder to break down. I think Seattle Sounders will become winners of MLS Cup 2013.

Sporting%20Kansas%20City%20logoSporting Kansas City

Last Season: The season couldn’t of have started any better for SKC as they accelerated seven wins from their opening seven games, with the rigorous run eventually ended by a single goal from Portland Timbers.

Peter Vermes guided his side to the Eastern Conference first place, three points off winning the Supporters Shield. But silverware came to the men in blue as they defeated Seattle Sounders on penalty kicks to claim the US Open Cup gong.

Regulars at hitting the back of the net Sporting were but there base came from having a solid backline, Nielsen occupying vast experience in goal combined with a solid back four allowed on 27 goals to leak.

A pretty dominant regular season, was distant within the play-offs as they were edged out by Houston Dynamo.

Strengths: SKC has a special player in their roster and he goes by the name of Graham Zusi. The long haired number eight was the release valve for his sides persistent attacking penetration, keen to be involved flew his ratings higher and higher, leaving him finishing top of the assist charts in Major League Soccer. 15 goals created came from the American, and his contribution was the main reason behind Kansas City’s claiming the top zone in the East. Despite Julio Cesar leaving, Vermes has integrated a like for like approach trading over Benny Feilhaber, the former Rev screens and shields, which will give Graham Zusi the licence to do what he does best and that his mobilising the keys to the car. With his outstanding assist record, Zusi is also capable of scoring a respectable number of goals, to make him the most complete midfield in MLS.

graham_zusi_sporting_kansas_city_pi_rf_070811_2011070819455559_730_350Sporting Kansas City finished of the 2012 regular season with a terrific goal against record. And there is no surprise they achieved this, having such a tight knit defensive unit. Jimmy Nielsen contributes his experience and magnificent shot stopping ability, in front of him sees Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler and Seth Sinovic provides the rest of a solid and unforgiving fourfold that kept 15 clean sheets during the 2012 regular season. It is clear to see that each of the defensive minded players have an understanding and a chemistry thats unbreakable. Different personalities they may have but when they step across that white line, soccer minds are switched on. And to make the defence more assured Matt Besler washed away all talk of him leaving by signing a new multi-year contract extension, indicating he is at Sporting Park for the long haul.

The off-season was a busy one for trading for Peter Vermes and the directors above him. Adding significant depth to an already strong and adapt friendly roster. Julio Cesar moved onto Toronto, releasing Vermes the license to trade Benny Feilhaber, despite a solid defence already Coach Vermes introduced competition in the shape of former Quake Ike Opara and to cover for the loss of Kei Kamara, Argentine Claudio Bieler signed as a DP. Prior to his move to SKC Claudio Bieler was playing his soccer in Ecuador for LDU Quito, where he scored 20 goals in 36, 6 of the goals coming as two hat tricks. His record shows what sort of investment the club has sanctioned.

Weakness: Kei Kamara made the move to England for a 6 month loan stint with Norwich City, in order to test himself against the best in that league in particular. After a number of impressive performances coming off the bench and most notably a goal against Everton, it looks as though the Sierra Leone forward will be remaining at Carrow Road. The loss of Kamara has removed a height outlet up front as well as an physical one too. Even though they currently have CJ Sapong and Teal Bunbury to take charge, Kamara’s presence on the field was key to the success of the club. His removed position from the roster has hit the side pretty hard, notwithstanding the fact they have signed Bieler. Claudio Bieler is a more fox in the box type of striker who thrives upon service over the top or in little pockets. Zusi and co will need to find other ways to exercise to his strengths in order recapture a repeat of 2012. But there is no denying that Kei Kamara will be missed in KC.

Notable In’s: Claudio Bieler, Ike Opara, Benny Feilhaber, Mikey Lopez

Notable Out’s: Julio Cesar, Kei Kamara, Michael Harrington

Bobby+Convey+Columbus+Crew+v+Sporting+Kansas+oHmZ0Vp8dLllOne To Watch: Bobby Convey – A disappointing season for the former Reading man last campaign -creating 2 assists in 16 games-,  Peter Vermes will be expecting Convey to put all that behind him in 2013. Convey has shown glimpses of his brilliance during pre-season, transforming that form into competitive action will be a true test of his character.

My Prediction: Similar to Seattle they have the foundations returning, giving them that added advantage. A top 3 finish in the East is reachable, the play-offs haven’t been kind so I expect them to fall within the early stages.

0gfaomjubvw58whdep6wToronto FC

Last Season: Rock bottom and a cause for concern emerged at a severe rate. A dismal season total of five wins set back the 2007 franchise.

The cause for concern came from minute one as the men in red failed to chalk up any points in their opening nine exchanges losing all of them with a massive whimper. Only towards the end of May did they finally reach victorious. A late Danny Koevermans header ensured it was tenth time lucky, as Philadelphia Union fell victim to a rare appearance.

Due to the horrendous beginning Aaron Winter was made unemployed and replaced by Paul Mariner, the Englishman steadied the ship somewhat but couldn’t ignite the flame to prevent Toronto slumping to an handful of wins.

Since their existence into Major League Soccer in 2007, Toronto have failed to finish any higher than 5th and failed to reach 40 + points over that period

One positive note was the Canadian Championship triumph, which made it four consecutive winners gong for Toronto. After playing to 1-1 draw at BC Place, Toronto forced a 1-0 score line at BMO Field to achieve the award.

Strengths: A defence that punctured a staggering 62 goals needed to be patched up and quickly. New president Kevin Payne has certainly backed the renovation process, allowing room to make Danny Califf a Toronto player. Califf styles very extravagant side burns with his slick combed mullet, showing off his personality in one glance. The former Chivas USA player has been around the league for the best part of 10 years having previously played for LA Galaxy and Philadelphia. A very acquired centre back, attached with the ability to read the game to great affect and instigate his proportion of interceptions. Along with Darren O’Dea at the back, Nelsen can rely on another experienced vocal performance to guide and navigate a defensive combination that has dwindled. Also bought in to provide healthy competition is Togolese youngster Gale Agbossoumonde. The 21 year old was acquired by Toronto through the weighted lottery, adding numbers to a once vulnerable department.

06-2011Toronto FC relied very much on DP Danny Koevermans to provide the killer touch in front of goal. Dutch Danny scored a respectable 9 prior to his season ending ACL injury in mid-July. Even with the addition of Eric Hassli the pain was never really numbed as the Frenchman lacked the instincts of Koevermans. After undergoing reconstruction the forward is on a rapid road to recovery, giving Ryan Nelsen hope. As well as this his weight seemed to be highlighted as a little on the chubby side forcing his lower limbs to take the full brunt of his short burst movements, but over the off season he has managed to shed the weight and he looks a completely different animal ready to roar for BMO.

Weakness: Kevin Payne’s reign has definitely been one of controversy. And even more bewildering was the appointment of New Zealander Ryan Nelsen as his new Head Coach. Nelsen was currently prolonging his playing career with Queens Park Rangers in the English Premier League, when given the role. What made it that extra bit weirder was that the former Blackburn captain does not currently hold any coaching badges. Which completely relies on him to clutch upon his playing experience, assistant Fran O’Leary and managers he has learnt from in order to ensure Kevin Payne has not made a complete howler. A leader for definite he is, but without any qualifications or experience previous in the hot seat, this could be a difficult ride for Toronto FC especially in his first season as he grasps the fundamentals of Major League Soccer.

TFC-RyanNelsenAs Danny Koevermans continues his road to recovery, it is very bleak to come across a particular player who will be able to find the net frequently enough to stop TFC slumping once more. Justin Braun is a player who sweats blood and will run all game long, but he lacks a constant purple patch of goals. And Luis Silva is needed to create, whilst Andrew Wiedeman is very inconsistent. So the goals could be a dried up source before Koevermans embarks, which is very worrying for a side needing to make amends. A striker of significant quality is a must and they lack that currently.

Notable In’s: Kyle Bekker, Emery Welshman, Danny Califf, Hogan Ephraim

Notable Out’s: Eric Hassli, Torsten Frings, Milos Kocic, Ryan Johnson

One To Watch: Luis Silva – 5 goals and 5 assists materialised for Luis Silva last campaign. Nelsen looks to have given Silva a licence to advance as a number 10, a role where he can fully affect the game. 2013 is massive for the trickster if he is looking to make waves in MLS.

My Prediction: I can see there being some improvement at BMO Field but not enough to challenge for the play-offs, or midway positions, I can see them finishing between 9th or 8th.

vancouverwhitecapslogoVancouver Whitecaps

Last Season: Year two in MLS existent planted a piece of success into the Whitecaps puzzle. Finishing in 5th spot to acclaim a play-off berth, Rennie’s side also finished top Canadian team in the Supporters Shield rankings, piping Montreal Impact by a singular point.

To and throw the tussle for fifth , losing 6 games in their last 10 threatened to scupper the Whitecaps chances of becoming involved in the Wildcard game. However a 4-0 romping of Chivas USA at BC Place ultimately solidified the opportunity to mingle with the best.

A great experience the play-offs were for Martin Rennie and his Whitecaps, despite losing out to eventual winners LA Galaxy in the first round clash. The game got off to the perfect start when Jamaican Darren Mattocks improvised the ball into the bottom corner. Yet The Home Depot crowd glorified their heroes to overturn the deficit and run out 2-1 victors. A vast improvement from 2011 as the men from BC ended rock bottom and without an away win to their name. The only way is up now.

Strengths: Martin Rennie already possessed considerable pace within roster in Darren Mattocks, but to make his side extra feared, the Scot has added 18 year old Gambian Kekuta Manneh and Erik Hurtado to add more galloping advancers to his register. All three players have raw pace which frightens defenders in Major League Soccer, a clean pair of heels can be the difference between winning and losing a soccer game. Especially against the possession orientated teams who dominate the soccer ball, Vancouver have weapons within their locker room that can spring defence into attack within the matter of seconds. Vancouver did lack that extra option in order to win games, but Rennie has weaved his magic to ensure his attacking wingers are going to cause major discomfort in 2013.

Martin Rennie has also been busy rectifying his defensive depth, there was some concern when looking past his first choice back four. To provide a fight for places and exceptional depth, Brad Rusin a central defender who has experience of playing in Europe with HG Kolge of the Danish Super League. Rusin has experience of playing under Rennie during his Carolina Railhawks days, and his move to Vancouver reunites the pair once again. Most recently through the Whitecaps welcome doors was Honduran Johnny Leveron. The 23 year old has captained his national side at the London Olympics as well as notching 20 senior caps for Honduras. These signings allows veterans Andy O’Brien and Jay DeMerit to remain on their toes and pressured to perform, otherwise they could see their spot taken by one of the new boys. Healthy competition is great to have within a roster and Vancouver have moved to ensure this happens.

The signing of the off season has to be the deal to bring 28 year old Nigel Reo-Coker to Vancouver Whitecaps. To make the move even more sweeter his contract is not categorised DP, saving the club finances and acquiring a wealth of soccer intelligence and leadership in the process. NRC has assured the club that his services in the white will be for the long term and he is not looking to parachute his way up to wealthier suitors. Reo-Coker has captained teams wherever he has been, the likes of West Ham and Aston Villa to name a few. Despite playing over 300 games in the English top flight and championship, both Rennie and Reo-Coker have agreed that he is still yet to hit his peak level as a professional, giving Whitecaps fans the opportunity to be the fortunate ones to witness his most successful performances. Not only is the former Villa man a natural born leader, he is also a versatile box to box midfielder, he can play right back, centre back as well as a defensive midfielder. With Nigel Reo-Coker’s presence on the field Vancouver certainly have something extraordinary.

botn_reocoker133Weakness: Darren Mattocks concluded his campaign as the Vancouver Whitecaps top scorer with 7 goals to his name. Despite his continuous running and positional sense, he failed to really seek help from DP Kenny Miller. A flop in his first year in Major League Soccer for a striker who has scored goals wherever he has been. Arriving in mid-July Miller briefly looked like sharing the duties of goal scoring with his Jamaican counterpart, yet the honeymoon period disappeared and the Scot slumped to finding the net twice in his 13 games. Not living up to his DP tag was a painful kick in the nuts for Rennie and the board above, the swing of a pendulum indicates whether he will be able to fulfil his billing this term.

Notable In’s: Kekuta Manneh, Nigel Reo-Coker, Brad Rusin, Daibo Kobayashi, Johnny Leveron, Paulo JR

Notable Out’s: Barry Robson, John Thorrington, Bryan Silvestre, Atiba Harris, Michael Nanchoff

One To Watch: Gershon Koffie – Koffie was one of the stand out names at Vancouver last year. And now with Reo-Coker potentially next to him within the midfield, Gershon Koffie will be keen to learn and take his career to the next level.

My Prediction: I have faith in the project Martin Rennie is pursuing, some superb additions to his roster make the Whitecaps much stronger. I think they will be in the play-off picture for sure.