Western Conference Preview

Friday, March 28, 2008

Listed in predicted order of finish:

Houston Dynamo

Coach: Dominic Kinnear (third year).

Last Year: 15-8-7, defeated New England in MLS Cup.

The Main Man: Dwayne De Rosario does not have a mammoth salary or attract fans like some foreign stars, but it would be difficult to name a player more valuable to their club than this Canadian midfielder, who has led the Dynamo to consecutive titles.

In: D Bobby Boswell (D.C.), F Franco Caraccio (Arsenal, Argentina).

Out: D Ryan Cochrane (San Jose), GK Zach Wells (D.C.), F Nate Jaqua (Altach, Austria), F Joseph Ngwenya (Karnten, Austria).

The Big Question: Does Houston have the scoring punch and motivation to make a run at a record third straight league championship, or will it need to upgrade the roster at midseason?

Chivas USA

Coach: Preki (second year).

Last Year: 15-7-8, lost to Kansas City in Western semifinals.

The Main Man: Having developed his skills with both Chivas and the Olympic-bound U.S. under-23 national team, MF Sacha Kljestan (13 assists last season) seems ready to make the leap into stardom.

In: F Alecko Eskandarian (Real Salt Lake), MF Raphael Wicky (Sion, Switzerland), F Atiba Harris (Real Salt Lake).

Out: D Jason Hernandez (San Jose), MF Ramon Nunez (Olimpia, Honduras), GK Preston Burpo (San Jose).

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