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Is the West as weak as everyone seems to think?

There are a lot of questions surrounding Western Conference rosters.

Last Updated
7 min read

If you’ve been looking at preseason power rankings, you’ve probably noticed a pretty consistent trend: Virtually everyone agrees that the Eastern Conference is likely to be stronger.

A quick rundown:

I'm sure I could dig up more, but you get the idea. The West is considered relatively weak.

The upshot, though, is virtually everyone has the Sounders listed as the top team in the West. At, 12 of 17 pundits picked the Sounders to win the West, and no one had them lower than third. Backheeled also picked the Sounders to win the West, along with Broadway Sports Media. Again, it's a very obvious trend.

I suspect that's mostly due to the Sounders returning all their playoff starters, while also adding Young Designated Player Pedro de la Vega, centerback Nathan and forward Danny Musovski. It can certainly be argued that the Sounders' ceiling hasn't been raised very much, but their foundation at least seems quite a bit more stable. For the first time in a long time, the Sounders should have some real competition for several starting spots. Combined with their history of success, the Sounders certainly feel like a safe bet.

Conversely, the other teams in the West have undergone the kind of change that makes them a bit more unpredictable. Here's a rundown of what the rest of the Western Conference teams have done (in alphabetical order):

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