Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

Who will win the Supporters' Shield in 2014? DeseretNews.com ranks MLS clubs from 19 to 1

By Herb Scribner, Deseret News

Published: Tue, March 4 5:15 p.m. MST

 Real Salt Lake team members celebrate after winning the Western Conference finals in the MLS Cup soccer playoffs against the Portland Timbers Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Real Salt Lake team members celebrate after winning the Western Conference finals in the MLS Cup soccer playoffs against the Portland Timbers Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

(Don Ryan, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

There's no question that 2014 is going to be an important year in MLS history.

With money juggernaut New York City FC and grassroots-fueled Orlando City SC joining the league in 2015, this upcoming season for MLS will be the end of an era. And to close out this chapter, there are several interesting storylines to watch as the league kicks off on Saturday, March 8.

For Utahns, Real Salt Lake's upcoming season is an important point of interest. Salt Lake lost last year's MLS Cup final in a shootout to Sporting Kansas City, and then proceeded to lose some key players and gifted manager Jason Kreis to NYCFC. With Jeff Cassar leading RSL, it's unknown whether the players can continue the run of form that led them to an MLS Cup victory in 2009 and a runner-up spot in 2013, or whether the club will die off into the pitfalls of the MLS standings.

Nationally, there are a tremendous amount of storylines to watch this year. Can Toronto FC — having signed United States men's national team general Michael Bradley, Brazilian No. 1 goalkeeper Julio Cesar, experienced England striker Jermain Defoe and young Brazilian Gilberto — make waves in the Eastern Conference after so long at the bottom? Can USMNT star Clint Dempsey find a drop of success in Seattle? Will the L.A. Galaxy return to form and make moves toward an MLS Cup?

It's all building toward what will be a dramatic and nail-biting MLS season. And one that hardcore and new fans alike won't want to miss out on.

Here's a rundown of all 19 MLS clubs and where they'll finish at the end of the 2014 season:

CLICK HERE TO VIEW LIST

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @hscribner

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