Who's the favorite to win the MLS Cup? We rank the teams from top to bottom:
1. NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY METROSTARS
Before F Clint Mathis went down with a torn right ACL last season, the Metros were MLS's best team. With Mathis healthy and with the league's No. 1 GK in Tim Howard, they'll stay on top this year.
2. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Defending champs picked up Ariel Graziani as 20-year-old Landon Donovan's new strike partner. Will this be Donovan's last MLS year before he heads to Europe?
3. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The Revs added the last two scoring champs, F Mamadou Diallo and M Alex Pineda Chacon, along with All-Star D Carlos Llamosa.
4. CHICAGO FIRE
The bad: No team stands to lose more players to World Cup duty. The good: With stars Chris Armas, DaMarcus Beasley, Ante Razov, Hristo Stoitchkov and Josh Wolff in the lineup, Chicago is a title threat.
5. COLUMBUS CREW
The Crew's topflight attack—forwards Brian McBride and Edson Buddie, midfielders Jeff Cunningham and Brian Maisonneuve—makes up for a defense that has holes.
6. LOS ANGELES GALAXY
New F Carlos Ruiz will make Angelenos forget the ill-fated signing of Luis Hernandez, but Greg Vanney's defection to the French First Division hurts the D.
7. D.C. UNITED
Coach Ray Hudson brings his wit and wisdom to United, but it will take more than that to rebuild a dynasty. How much longer can Marco Etcheverry man the midfield? Based on his last two seasons, not much.
8. COLORADO RAPIDS
Thanks to two new acquisitions, F Daniel Amokachi and D Pablo Mastroeni, the Rapids will make the playoffs—despite an iffy midfield.
9. DALLAS BURN
The Burn is banking on the Salvadoran connection of F Ronald Cerritos and M Zarco Rodriguez, but those vets aren't aging gracefully. Nor, for that matter, is the league's most consistently mediocre team.