2015 MLS Power Rankings: Preseason (VIDEO)

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Welcome to another season of Major League Soccer here on The View From Avalon, your home for all things Los Angeles Galaxy. The View’s preseason MLS Power Rankings are out, fresh off the presses, and, as expected, the Galaxy are atop the list. Newcomers New York City FC and Orlando City are at the bottom with nothing to lose and everything to gain. There will be movers and shakers galore in this, the 20th season of the league’s existence.

This the 2015 MLS Power Rankings on The View From Avalon, part of your FanSided Network of sports awesomeness and it starts…now.

Feb 2, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; President Barack Obama (M) poses with Los Angeles Galaxy players and coaches at a ceremony honoring the NHL Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings and the MLS Champion Galaxy in the East Room at The White House. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

1. Los Angeles Galaxy

Great teams don’t rebuild. They reload, reload, reload some more, and in extreme cases…reload. Such is the case with Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy, the best team in Major League Soccer for Season 2014 and, as a rule, are at the top of the preseason Power Rankings for Season 2015. The one glaring omission from this year’s roster is…Landon Donovan, who has the league MVP award named after him, among many honors.

Robbie Keane is expected to regain the captaincy heading into this season. He is the defending league MVP after recording 19 goals and 14 assists on the year. While the heralded Steven Gerrard won’t be arriving to Victoria Street until July, there are other notable players coming back, including forward Gyasi Zardes (16 goals), midfielder Stefan Ishizaki (five goals, seven assists), defender Omar Gonzalez and goalkeeper Jaime Penedo (81 saves). On the other hand, the Galaxy will need to find a fourth designated player to sign, since Sacha Kljestan escaped their hands.

Jan 15, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; The draft table of New England Revolution at the 2015 MLS SuperDraft at Philadelphia Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

2. New England Revolution

Nguyenter was supposed to come for Jay Heaps’s New England Revolution with midfielder Lee Nguyen pacing the team with 18 goals in 2014. However, Chris Tierney turned from hero to villain in the MLS Cup Final, and he will need to pick up the pieces this season if the Revs are to return to prominence and finally shed their hard-earned status as the Buffalo Bills of the competition.

Notable players returning to the Revolution include defender Jermaine Jones, forward Teal Bunbury (four goals, six assists), midfielder Diego Fagundez (five goals), forward Charlie Davies (four assists), defender Andrew Farrell and goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. New England are expected to get a massive boost with Juan Agudelo returning to Major League Soccer. Could he be one of the early frontrunners for Comeback Player of the Year? Stay tuned on our sister sites, Playing For 90 and the MLS Multiplex.

Aug 30, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid and Colorado Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni greet prior to the game between the Seattle Sounders FC and the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

3. Seattle Sounders

Cop that, #SigiOUT leg-humpers. The man is back in town, so don’t you mess him around. If Bon Scott is turning in his grave after I just said that, tough, tough, tough as nails! Sigi Schmid’s Seattle Sounders had a fantastic, rock-my-emerald-socks year, winning the U.S. Open Cup and the Supporters Shield, the latter for the first time. But Juninho decided to invoke the Meghan Trainor and declare that 2014 was indeed all about that bass, and…well, you figure out the rest. Go on, the View dares you.

Still, the Sounders have a solid corps of players returning to the team in a bid to finally secure the holy grail, the holy trinity, the domestic Triple Crown from downtown of The Major League Soccer. Obafemi Martins is the Sounders’ leader in goals and assists with 17 and 13 respectively. Clint Dempsey has been no slouch either, with 15 goals and 10 assists last season. And with nine goals and assists each in 2014, Lamar Neagle provides a third option in the Sounders’ attack.

Jan 15, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Red Bulls supporters celebrate their team

4. New York Red Bulls

The shock firing of Mike Petke and the hiring of the somewhat-proven Jesse Marsch by the battle-hardened Ali “Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee” Curtis has set the tone for a season full of questions to answer at the New York Red Bulls. In addition, the retirement of Thierry Henry and the departure of Tim Cahill means that Bradley Wright-Phillips is the main designated player on the squad. While the club has made up for the losses somewhat by bringing in Sacha Kljestan, the Red Bulls will need to find better production from Dax McCarty, Peguy Luyindula and Lloyd Sam to contend for the MLS Cup this year.

One new face that should make an impact this season is midfielder Leo Stolz, who is the 2014 MAC Hermann Trophy Award winner and a player with years of experience slogging it out in his native Germany. The loss of left back Ambroise Oyongo will no doubt put pressure on Chris Duvall and the oft-maligned Roy Miller to carry the weight in the defense.

Jan 15, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; The draft table of FC Dallas at the 2015 MLS SuperDraft at Philadelphia Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

5. FC Dallas

Oscar Pareja’s FC Dallas have a solid corps of players returning this season, the most noteworthy being forward Blas Perez (11 goals, six assists), forward Fabian Castillo (10 goals, four assists) and defender/midfielder Michel (eight goals, five assists). The 2014 MLS Rookie of the Year, forward Tesho Akindele (seven goals), is poised to ramp up his production this season. An interesting battle will take place at the goalkeeper position, with two proven stoppers in Chris Seitz and Dan Kennedy vying for the No. 1 spot.

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