Eastern Conference Preview

Friday, March 28, 2008

Listed in predicted order of finish:

D.C. United

Coach: Tom Soehn (second year).

Last Year: 16-7-7, lost to Chicago in Eastern semifinals.

The Main Man: Marcelo Gallardo, United's first multimillion-dollar signing, is from the same country (Argentina) as his playmaking predecessor (Christian Gomez), but offers a more possession-oriented style and a flair for the spectacular.

In: Gallardo (PSG, France), D Gonzalo Martinez (Millonarios, Colombia), D Gonzalo Peralta (Almirante Brown, Argentina), GK Zach Wells (Houston), F Franco Niell (Argentinos Juniors, Argentina), GK Jose Carvallo (Universitario, Peru).

Out: Gomez (Colorado), D Bobby Boswell (Houston), GK Troy Perkins (Valerenga, Norway), MF Josh Gros (retired), MF Brian Carroll (Columbus), D Greg Vanney (L.A.).

The Big Question: Will Soehn be able to blend the newcomers with a veteran corps and guide United back to MLS Cup after three straight playoff shortfalls?

New England Revolution

Coach: Steve Nicol (seventh year).

Last Year: 14-8-8, lost to Houston in MLS Cup.

The Main Man: F Taylor Twellman, one of MLS's most prolific goal scorers, will need to put aside the disappointment of having a potential move to the English league blocked by the Revs.

In: D Chris Albright (Los Angeles), MF Mauricio Castro (Olimpia, Honduras), F Argenis Fernandez (Santos, Costa Rica).

Out: F Pat Noonan (Aalesunds, Norway), MF Andy Dorman (St. Mirren, Scotland), D Avery John (free agent).

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