Paid Their Dues: MLS Season Preview

Justin Mapp is my spirit animal. - Chris Gardner

With the MLS season about to start, we take a look at those who have left us.

Andrew Jacobson (FC Dallas)

Jacobson has been a starter under Schellas Hyndman for the past three years, but he appears to be the odd man out in Manager Oscar Pareja's 4-3-3. Following Hyndman's departure this Winter, FC Dallas poached Pareja from the Rapids. He then went onto to trade for Adam Moffat, and signed Hendry Thomas, who played for him in Colorado. The two newcomers will likely fill out the three-man midfield, with Mauro Diaz playing at attacking mid. Jacobson will see fewer minutes this year, and it's certainly possible that he get's traded due to his salary ($135k). Situation: Worsened.

Jordan Harvey (Vancouver Whitecaps)

The only other left back on Vancouver's roster is Sam Adekugbe, a 19-year-old who has only played 90 minutes for the Whitecaps' senior team. Unless he regresses in a major way this year, Harvey will play just about every minute this year, barring injury. Vancouver could--and probably should--sign another decent left back to keep Harvey on his toes. Situation: Stayed the same.

Chris Seitz (FC Dallas)

Seitz is still the No. 2 goalkeeper in Dallas, and will be as long as Raul Fernandez is on the roster. Since Peru isn't in the World Cup this time around, Fernandez will probably only miss a couple games due to international dates. Expect to see Seitz in U.S. Open Cup matches, and in games where Fernandez is missing, due to either international duty or injury. Situation: Stayed the same.

Danny Mwanga (Colorado Rapids)

The Rapids re-upped Mwanga's deal in the off-season, but Gaby Torres, Vicente Sanchez, Deshorn Brown, Marvin Chavez, and Edson Buddle will have no problem keeping him off the field. Danny will likely miss the start of the season, as he had a hernia that required surgery. Despite failing to score last season, Pareja kept giving him time. With the mid-season additions having a full off-season to acclimate, and a new manager, Mwanga will likely have a reduced role this season. Situation: Worsened.

Shea Salinas (San Jose Earthquakes)

Marvin Chavez has moved on to Colorado, so Salinas will see the ball on his flank far more often this year. Shea will likely be standing over the ball on set pieces this year, which is huge, considering the threats that the 'Quakes possess. If Salinas can play over 2000 minutes this season, which he hasn't done since coming into the league in 2008, he'll rack up assists like nobody's business. With Gordon, Lenhart, and a healthy Wondo awaiting his service, Salinas could have a breakout year. Situation: Improved.

Justin Mapp (Montreal Impact)

The gameplan will likely remain the same for Mapp and Montreal this season: Pass the ball to the Italian. Mapp will continue to be his usual, Arjen Robben self, but Montreal's success hinges on Marco Di Vaio's performance. I would likely to direct you to my Twitter header at this time. Situation: Stayed the same.

Ryan Richter (Toronto FC)

Ryan Richter played 13 games last year. That will not happen this year. As you may know, Toronto went nutballs this offseason, signing Mike Bradley, Jermain Defoe, and Gilberto. They also acquired Bradley Orr and Justin Morrow, both of whom will start at the fullback starts this season. Richter will be a utility back-up, but that's honestly where he belongs. Ya boy might see some silverware this season, though. Situation: Worsened, but he's gonna win some stuff, so: Improved.

Brian Perk (Los Angeles Galaxy)

Perk is still LA's third option at goalkeeper. If he plays this season, it'll be in the CCL. Situation: Stayed the same.

Chandler Hoffman (Los Angeles Galaxy)

The Galaxy signed Rob Friend and Samuel in the off-season, so that isn't very good for Chandler. He still has a shot at seeing some time in the CCL and USOC, but I wouldn't bet on it. Situation: Worsened.

Bakary Soumare (Chicago Fire)

Chicago's backline looked set at the end of last season, with Berry and Soumare on the roster. Then they traded Anibaba for Ianni and Kennedy Hurtado, and traded Berry to the Union about a week ago. Assuming that the Fire don't trade either him, Ianni, or Kennedy Hurtado between the publication of this article and First Kick, it's likely that Soumare will start. The moves this offseason are a clear message to Soumare: Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Suffice it to say that Bakary isn't exactly a fan favorite, and I doubt that he is universally liked in the locker room. Ianni will ensure that Soumare keeps working, and Chicago can easily bench him if he fails to perform. Situation: Worsened.

Chris Konopka (Toronto FC)

QPR have loaned Julio Cesar to TFC for the duration of the season, pushing Konopka down to third on the depth chart. He likely won't play this season. Situation: Worsened.

Brad Knighton (New England Revolution)

After Vancouver screwed him over with the signing of David Ousted in the middle of 2013, Knighton has a new opportunity in New England. After the retirement of Matt Reis, the spot in between the sticks is up for the taking. Shuttleworth will likely be given the spot for the opener in Houston, but he has by no means locked down the position. Knighton will have a better shot at starting in New England than he would've in Vancouver, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him pull on the jersey at some point. Situation: Improved.

Jeff Parke (DC United)

Parke killed it in Philadelphia last season, and there's no reason to believe that he won't do the same in DC. Boswell and Franklin are comparable to Okugo and Williams, while Christian holds an edge over Fabinho. The only real concern is team chemistry, but once they get that sorted, DCU look to be a very good team. Situation: Improved.

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