7. San Jose Earthquakes
Last season finish: 35 points; 14th in West, 26th in League
Player to watch: W Cade Cowell
Luchi Gonzalez is in for the volatile Matias Almeyda, and the former FC Dallas boss should be the steadying hand needed for the floundering Quakes.
The top line talent of Jeremy Ebobisse, Cristian Espinoza and Carlos Gruezo --- combined with a solid supporting cast --- should be enough to get San Jose back in the playoffs. The only real questions are at center back, where injuries and lack of top quality could hurt them once again.