The resurgence of players with New England ties is poised to continue heading into the 2018 MLS season. Over the past few years, the increased success of local college programs piped several integral contributors into the American top flight. This injection of youth combined with a strong veteran core to produce one of the most successful campaigns for New Englanders a year ago.
Even with the departure of former UConn star Cyle Larin to Turkish side Besiktas this winter, the group is strong enough to leave projected regulars such as MLS Rookie of the Year Julian Gressel and Jake Nerwinski (Vancouver Whitecaps/ UConn) off a short list of players to watch this season.
Here are five MLS players — excluding the raft of New England-tied Revolution standouts — to monitor (including the dates of their visits to Gillette Stadium) as the new season unfolds: