Why the 2015 MLS Season Will Be the One to Watch

With many items ahead of the 2015 season on the MLS checklist, it will be the year to watch the league grow
by Katherine Rupp   |   Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Major League Soccer (MLS) 2012 Season Preview

With another season in the books, the 2014 year won’t be remembered just for being Landon Donovan’s retirement season or Thierry Henry’s last season with the New York Red Bulls, but also for recording the biggest attendance levels throughout the history of Major League Soccer as well as topping off a record amount of people – nearly 2 million – who watched the 2014 MLS Cup Final, a game between the LA Galaxy and the New England Revolution.

But with the end of one season comes the off-season and then the start of a new season. And the 2015 season looks to bring about a fresh and revitalized MLS, including the addition of two new clubs, some new television deals, a new CBA, the loss of one team, and of course – from year to year – exciting players either coming into the league, getting in shape to make a difference for their team, or trades to welcome veteran players onto a team.

The 2015 season will welcome New York City FC, who will make Yankee Stadium their home for, hopefully, as few seasons as possible while the team makes arrangements for a soccer specific stadium or permanent home – and also Orlando City SC, who will be playing at the Citrus Bowl for the inaugural season before moving into the club’s soccer specific stadium. With the recent re-entry and expansion drafts, both NYCFC and OCSC acquired quite a few strong players including Ned Grabavoy, Patrick Mullins, and Chris Wingert to New York City FC while Orlando City SC added Aurelien Collin, Amobi Okugo, and Donovan Ricketts to its squad.

Although 2015 will see NYCFC and OCSC join MLS, it should be noted that the Eastern conference might not be as strong as the Western conference. However, with a decent 2014 playoff record, some teams such as the New England Revolution, the New York Red Bulls, and DC United, will be teams to watch.

Turning attention over to the Western conference, with two new additions to the Eastern conference, that means Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo transfer to the West and will take on teams like the reigning MLS champs LA Galaxy, as well as the Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, and Colorado Rapids.

With all that is happening before the start of the 2015 season, if it’s not – at least – MLS 2.5, then it certainly is MLS 3.0. The talent and skill of players is most certainly on an exponential curve with more and more players being recognized, not just by fans on the street, but also by sports reports and sports broadcasts. Additionally, with reports from former and current international players – those such as Thierry Henry, David Beckham, and Diego Valeri – that MLS is very much an up-and-coming league where players should want to play, gives clout to the fact that 2015 will also be the year that two new designated players, Frank Lampard and Kaka, will begin their MLS careers.

Along with those two exciting players coming into the league, better player, league and team agreements will lead to more appropriate compensation, the addition of NYCFC and OCSC, and MLS in its 19th year, the league looks to – most likely – its most thrilling, enthralling, and competitive season yet. The 2015 season will definitely be the season to watch for newbies as well as seasoned MLS supporters and fans.

Katherine RUPP

Nationality:
USA
College:
Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.
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