Albert Rusnak - Real Salt Lake - 2017 preseason

We all remember what happened once Uruguyan magician Nicolas Lodeiro joined forces with the long-suffering Seattle Sounders, right? (HINT: It ends with an MLS Cup and some choice words for Portland. Google "Dempsey" + "parade") That in mind, we're taking a look at the Top 25 MLS Newcomers for 2017.


The order comes from a totally scientific, double-blind poll of MLSsoccer.com content staffers that was neither based in science, or blind. Slack might've been involved. Basically, get up in those @SimonBorg mentions with any complaints.


The First Five


  1. Miguel Almiron (Atlanta)
  2. Romain Alessandrini (LA Galaxy)
  3. Sebastian Blanco (Portland)
  4. Albert Rusnak (Real Salt Lake)
  5. Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago)
View from Couch: Top 25 MLS Newcomers for 2017 - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/Almiron-to-ATL-with-scarf.jpg

Almiron's acquisition leads the list not only because of the 23-year-old Paraguay international's potential as a No. 10, but also the battle cry Atlanta United FC unleashed upon the inaugural season graveyard, a declaration that this was no happy-to-be-there expansion side.…Alessandrini represents something of a reset for the LA Galaxy, an age-27 terror on the wing intended to slot alongside Giovani dos Santos, who's been handed the keys…Blanco has Portland Timbers fans forgetting Lucas Melano's name with the quickness…Rusnak so impressed Real Salt Lake head coach Jeff Cassar that he earned a style-of-play switcheroo for the squad…Nikolic rounds out the group, a Serbian-born, Hungarian international whom the Chicago Fire found playing in Poland, hoping his stellar scoring touch makes the trip across the pond.


The 2nd Tier


  1. Josef Martinez (Atlanta)
  2. John Mensah (Columbus)
  3. Cristian Colman (FC Dallas)
  4. Haris Medunjanin (Philadelphia)
  5. Maxi Moralez (NYCFC)
View from Couch: Top 25 MLS Newcomers for 2017 - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/medunjanin.jpg

Martinez lit up the preseason for ATLUTD, and could threaten double-digit goals…Mensah was the highest-profile signing by Columbus Crew SC, who sent Michael Parkhurst packing, and they expect "immediate impact"…Colman was reportedly being pursued by Lanus, Club León and a pair of Brazilian squads before a big fee helped find the way to FC Dallas…Bosnian-born, Netherlands-raised Medunjanin (pictured) comes to the Philadelphia Union with size and savvy, if not speed…Though Moralez was mired in a muddled coaching carousel while playing in Liga MX, he provides a top-tier talent in his prime for NYCFC.


Best of the Rest


  1. David Guzman (Portland)
  2. Hector Villalba (Atlanta)
  3. Gerso Fernandes (Sporting KC)
  4. Victor Vazquez (Toronto FC)
  5. Mohammed Abu (Columbus)
  6. Latif Blessing (Sporting KC)
  7. Alberth Elis (Houston)
  8. Anibal Chala (FC Dallas)
  9. Yordy Reyna (Vancouver Whitecaps)
  10. Joao Pedro (LA Galaxy)
View from Couch: Top 25 MLS Newcomers for 2017 - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/SKC%20welcome%20Blessing.png

Guzman has inspired more than a few "BEAST MODE" references around the MLS Digital offices. Side-by-side with Diego Chara? Whoo, boy…Villalba and them ATL DPs, bruh. #TheyGoHard…Fernandes (Portugal's Primeira) and Vazquez (Barcelona academy) bring strong pedigrees to MLS…Ghana's Abu came to Columbus via their Scandinavian pipeline, while Blessing won the Ghana Premier League MVP with 17 goals in his first season for the senior squad, showing great speed…Elis might be faster…Ecuador's Chala and Portugal's Pedro should earn impressive time at D-mid vs. their relative youth, while Reyna should fit nicely in Vancouver once he recovers from injury.


Five for Fun


  1. Chris Mavinga (Toronto FC)
  2. Benjamin Angoua (New England)
  3. Marcos Ureña (San Jose)
  4. Antono Mlinar Delamea (New England)
  5. Danny Hoesen (San Jose)