Atlanta United made a statement by signing Almiron. He did not come cheap, but 23-year-old Paraguayan internationals with interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe don't ever come cheap. There's a real chance that Almiron is an immediate star and one of the most fun players in the league. He could either be that long-time face of the club, or bring in a huge transfer fee if the big clubs remain interested (maybe after next year's World Cup?). Either way, this already looks like one of the biggest signings in the league.
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Sebastian Blanco (Portland Timbers)
The Lucas Melano experiment was a disaster for Portland, who desperately needed attacking help. They're getting that in Blanco, who looks like an ideal third option next to Diego Valeri and Darlington Nagbe. If he's as good as the Timbers hope and his preseason minutes have shown, Caleb Porter will have one of the best attacks in the league.
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Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo)
Elis shone at last year's Olympics and has already played his way into the Honduras senior team. Not bad for a 21-year-old. The Dynamo are betting on him developing and being one of the league's better attackers in the future, but his present track record isn't so bad either -- he scored 19 goals for Olimpia last season.
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Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United)
Ibarra was an obvious signing for Minnesota. He's played for the U.S. national team and flashed the dynamic attacking prowess that the expansion team needed. More than that, he played for the Loons in the NASL and was a fan favorite. For a new team that isn't spending a ton, getting someone to be the face of the club isn't easy, but Ibarra is the perfect man for United.
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Fredy Montero (Vancouver Whitecaps)
Montero was one of the best players in MLS when he played for the Sounders. His move to Portugal started brilliantly and, while he eventually fell out of favor and went to China, there's no questioning his ability to shine here. He's still only 29 years old, so age isn't a huge concern, and he'll be a huge addition to an anemic Whitecaps attack. That he's a Sounders darling only makes things sweeter for the rival Whitecaps.
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Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago Fire)
The Fire desperately need help all over the pitch, but especially up top. Nikolic has been one of the better strikers in the Hungarian and Polish leagues, giving Chicago reason to believe he can find the back of the net in MLS. If he scores at nearly a goal per game, like he did abroad, the Fire got themselves a steal.
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Fafa Picault (Philadelphia Union)
The Union attack was woeful last year, especially at the end of last season. Chris Pontius was the only man who provided any sort of threat and, while he played well, he was hardly a transcendent star. Picault has never been a dominant player, but he proved he was a good 2.Bundesliga striker and his style should fit in Philadelphia.
Albert Rusnak (Real Salt Lake)
Real Salt Lake have the unenviable task of replacing Javier Morales and are betting Rusnak can do that. He's a skillful, creative player who was very good in the Eredivisie. Making things even better, he's only 22 years old. If he can shine, RSL landed themselves the focal point of their attack for the next decade.
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Jonathan Spector (Orlando City)
Spector joins an Orlando team that needs help in defense, so his addition isn't just about quality, it's about being exactly what the Lions are desperate for. He's been a fullback for most of his career, but Spector has played some center back and is a good fit in the heart of a defense. That's crucial because Orlando need a center back and they need a leader back there. Spector looks to be exactly what they've been lacking.
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Marcos Urena (San Jose Earthquakes)
Urena has always impressed for Costa Rica, making an impact even when goals were hard to come by. Chris Wondolowski has had to carry the attack solo for far too long and getting someone like Urena to share the burden, whether it's keeping possession or making runs to free up others, in addition to score, is something the Quakes should have done long ago.