In the year of 2016 there was one bright spot amongst a sea of darkness. The MLS. It shone gloriously upon the great people of Seattle, Toronto, Colorado, New York, and the beautiful unsettled land called “Montreal.” It was a guiding light in places like Orlando. Kaka like Arogorn in a forest of Orcs. For those of us who are merely fans of high intensity low density soccer. We are #Blessed.

But the season is over. It has been since Jordan Morris and the unkillable Sounders squeaked their way past Toronto in the MLS Cup Finals on December 10th. The most unthinkable of stories came to a close, with the heavy underdogs to start the playoffs pulling out the big glorious win. First Cup win in team history. But…it’s over.

So now what do you do? Here’s some suggestions:

Figure out what the MLS Expansion draft is and why it mattered

Guess what Don Garber has on his mind at all times? Things expanding. Growing. He’s a grower. 20 teams wasn’t enough for his greedy paws. He needed 22. Oh wait, now he needs 28?! Yes you read that correctly, the league is expanding from 20 to 22 teams and then 28. So get ready for MLS in your f’ng face.

The expansion draft allows new teams to steal players from other teams as long as the existing team doesn’t tag them as “protected.” So this time teams 21 and 22, Atlanta United and Minnesota United FC, got to steal up to five players from the rest of the league. Read about how it works here and who they picked up. Atlanta United, Minnesota United FC Expansion draft info.  The biggest news here was that Clint Irwin got plucked from Toronto by Atlanta United and then TRADED BACK TO TORONTO. Seriously, Toronto? Atlanta United just smoked your asses.

Before I go on. Can I just comment on how terrible the team names are here? Atlanta United and Minnesota United FC? Really? AU and MUFC. First of All, MUFC is the acronym for another minor club, Manchester United FC. And they’re a bit bigger. Second of all, terrible creativity here. I’m not a huge fan of “Americanizing” the soccer team names, aka Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, etc. but let’s get a bit more creative than just adding United to a word and making it a soccer team. OK moving on.

Here’s what the plans are for MLS and the expansion to 28 teams: Garber’s plans for going to 28 teams. The basic gist is that teams 25 and 26 will be announced in 2017, and the two after that (27, 28) will be announced sometime after that but they’re unsure when. Also, it now costs $150MM to join the league. Are you wondering what happened to teams 23 and 24? Look no further, because HotFooty has the good sh*t. It’s Los Angeles FC (who has the sickest logo. I bought a hat, sorry NYCFC) and a supposed team that is popping up in Miami, headed by David Beckham. This has been in the works for a LONG time, but David’s never truly pulled the trigger, and you know how Don Garber feels about not pulling the trigger. He’s miffed and wants a decision ASAP . Guess what the group is called that is heading the Miami MLS bid…MIAMI BECKHAM UNITED. If you ever catch me naming something United you have permission to throw this blog in the garbage.

Read up on your favorite players

Best MLS Players? We’ve got em right here. In addition to the wonderful treat we enjoy known as Google, HotFooty Who’s this dude posts catch you up on your favorite players while you’re waiting for the new season to start. Here’s a few:

I’m going to leave you with that for now, but there’s more to come. HotFooty will be cataloging the entire offseason for better or worse. But honestly, I just hope I can make it to February without seeing beautiful Pirlo dancing around the pitch. This will have to do in the meantime…

Pirlo pillow - smooth like barolo

you can seriously buy this. which you should.

-Hoff