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MLS Update: Philadelphia Union

Last Season Finish: 8th 

Points: 48

Record: 11-8-15

Top Scorer: Sebastien Le Toux (12)

In: Chandler Hoffman, Chris Albright

Out: Stefani Miglioranzi, Justin Mapp, Faryd Mondragon, Sebastien Le Toux, Kyle Nakazawa

Looking to build on their less than exciting first season in the MLS, the Union “dooped” their way 6 spots up the table in 2011.  The Union’s depth in attacking power is nothing to doubt.  Even with the losses of winger Justin Mapp and leading scorer Sebastien Le Toux their attack still will be one of the more exciting teams in the final third this season.  Freddy Adu, Danny Mwanga, Roger Torres, Jack McInerney, and first round draft pick Chandler Hoffman will have to step up and cover for the goals department which I think they will have no problem doing, it just depends on who it is.  I think this is a great year for Mwanga to step his goal total up and become a top 5 goal scorer in the league.  Jack McInerney should also be set for a break-out year.  Scoring 6 goals in 35 regular season appearances, he could prove to be a real threat for Philly.  He is an all around striker that scores goals in every way.  Hes quick, has great tactical awareness, and fantastic finishing abilities, but do not be surprised if he uncorks one from range too.  I do not believe that the loss of Mondragon will be a problem.  He was a great keeper and a great leader, but Zak MacMath is another quality keeper and will be great building for the future of the club.  Overall i expect them to be the Sporting Kansas City of this year, the surprise first place finisher and advance much further in the playoffs and possibly make a finals appearance.

RM

MLS Update: New York Red Bulls

Juan Agudelo Thierry Henry #14 and Juan Agudelo #17 of the New York Red Bulls particapates in a open practice on March 15, 2010 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

Last Season Finish: 10th 

Points: 46

Record: 10-8-16

Top Scorer: Thierry Henry (15)

In: Kenny Cooper, Wilman Conde

Out: Luke Rodgers (Maybe), Tim Ream, John Rooney, Frank Rost, Carlos Mendes, Chris Albright, Bouna Coundoul, Sacir Hot, Matt Kessel

I am going to do my best to keep the Juan Agudelo talk to a minimal.  Agudelo needs to find a way into the starting XI.  With Kenny Cooper being added this off season he may be stuck in the same limbo especially if Luke Rodgers’ visa is approved sometime soon.  Hopefully, a good performance in the the Olympics, if ultimately selected, could propel him up the depth chart.  The Red Bull’s midfield has multitude of options anchored by the Estonian, Joel Lindpere.  The back line has lost many players over the past few months and the goalkeeper problems are continuing.  Coundoul’s and  Rost’s contracts were not extended.  Choosing to keep the controversial Mexico captain, Rafa Marquez could prove to be money wasted.  Last season his carelessness in the back lead to much havoc making Tim Ream’s season even longer and tougher then it already was.  As for an overview, they under performed for a team that has a midfield that challenges for the strongest in MLS as well as having one of the most prolific scorers to play in the EPL.  I anticipate the Red Bulls needing to score many goals this year to stay in the chase for the playoffs because of the lack of experience and depth in the back .  Hopefully we will see some great goals like we saw out of Agudelo and Lindpere this season.