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If Scottish DP Kris Boyd can bang in the goals, the Timbers will take the next step, into the playoffs.
5. San Jose
Among the Earthquakes' deft off-season pickups were Colombian playmaker Tressor Moreno and former Dallas midfielder Marvin Chávez. Chris Wondolowski is a proven finisher.
Uncertainty over possible European moves for young stars Brek Shea and George John could be a distraction.
Óscar Pareja, in his first year in charge of the Rapids, is going to need some time to establish his system.
New coach Martin Rennie has a wealth of attacking options and has improved the defense.