The MLS is back under way for the 2017 season, with FC Dallas and Seattle aiming to retain their titles as Supporters Shield and MLS Cup champions respectively. Dictate the Game are huge MLS fans and in particular, New York Red Bulls supporters, therefore we thought we would put together 11 players that you should look out for whilst watching MLS this year.
Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
New York Red Bulls’ goalkeeper is back for another season at the New Jersey-based club, as he closes in on Dax McCarty’s all time appearance stat (198) . The keeper is the first name on the squad list when Jesse Marsch decides his team, having made 142 consecutive appearances for the Red Bulls playing the full game in everyone of those. Robles will continue to impress for the franchise this season, as they try and win their first MLS Cup.
Tyrone Mears (Atlanta)
The English right back is entering his first season with expansion side Atlanta United after winning the MLS Cup last year with Seattle. Mears was ranked the 8th best right back by the Audi Player Index last season.
Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City)
Palmer Brown is back in America after spending 2016 on loan with Porto, but after they failed to build up the cash to sign him, he will compete starting centre back role at SKC. He has the potential to be an amazing player and a player that will play abroad one day.
Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls)
The young defender has impressed in the games he’s played in so far this season, after being promoted from NYRB II, after spending the end of last season on loan with the Red Bulls’ first team. Long was named USL’ Best Defender last season as he helped NYRB II to the Regular Season title and USL Cup. Long has replaced Collin in the team so far and seems to be making an lasting impresssion on the fans and management.
Ashley Cole (LA Galaxy)
The former Arsenal, Chelsea and England international has impressed in past seasons in limited spells due to injuries, but this season is a good chance for Cole to really make an impression in the league. Last season, he was rated at 11th best left back by the Audi Player Index.
Daniel Royer (New York Red Bulls)
Daniel Royer only played a number of games for the Red Bulls last year after signing from FC Midtjylland, but has already came into his own this season so far, after scoring a goal in the team’s comeback against Atlanta United. Royer can be a very good left midfielder for both the New York Red Bulls and in MLS.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire)
I have tried to keep away from including big European players in this list as it is these players that always get the headlines in the US, but I had to include Schweinsteiger as he recently joined Chicago, and Bastian can be become one of the best midfielders in the MLS.
Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls)
Where to start with Kljestan? Runner up MVP last season. He became only the second player in MLS history to reach twenty assists in regular season history. The new captain of the New York Red Bulls. Sacha is a huge player for the Red Bulls and is a player to look out for.
Jack Harrison (NYCFC)
The young Englishman was the Number 1 pick in the 2016 SuperDraft by Chicago, before being traded to NYCFC. He made his debut for the club in the Hudson River Derby which NYCFC lost 7-0 to Red Bulls. He played 23 games, scoring 4 goals for the franchise. Jack looks a real talent and could a MLS star in the future.
Bradley Wright Phillips (New York Red Bulls)
The Englishman-turned American for this season, will continue to score goals for the New York Red Bulls, having scored 70 goals for the franchise in MLS and 78 in all competitions. Having missed out on the MVP to David Villa last season, but having won the Golden Boot with 24 strikes, one more than Villa. He will be hoping to score more goals again for the club.
David Villa (NYCFC)
David Villa is the right type of player for the MLS. Yes, he may be a DP and played for big clubs, but he treats the MLS with respect. He puts his head down and gets on it, and scores goals in the process, having hit 23 goals last year and won the MVP Award. He is vital to NYCFC success this year.
Well there was Dictate the Game’s Player Lookout for the MLS 2017 season. You may have realised I have selected 5 Red Bulls’ players, and this is because of where they rank on mlssoccer.com and using other stats. Disagree with our player lookout? Tweet us your XI to look out for at @DictateTheGame on Twitter!
Other articles you may enjoy:
- Best XI: Yugoslavian XI of 2017
- Best XI: Sky Bet League Two Young Players
- Underrated XI: Premier League
- Interview with Jordan Rideout, Kansas City Player
- Interview with Derrick Etienne Jr, New York Red Bulls player