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As Book Opens on M.L.S.’s 21st Season, the Subplots Abound

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Fabian Castillo of Colombia and Mauro Diaz of Argentina will lead an F.C. Dallas team that has built one of the league’s strongest rosters.

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Icon Sportswire, via Associated Press

The M.L.S. season that opens Sunday will be the league’s 21st, a fitting number for a year that will feature the debut of the 21-year-old striker Jordan Morris.

Morris, who joined the Seattle Sounders in January after a brief flirtation with Germany’s Werder Bremen, was the most noteworthy pickup for M.L.S. in a budget-conscious off-season. A former Stanford all-American, he arrives with a salary-cap-friendly contract and the unenviable task of replacing Obafemi Martins, a highlight-reel regular who was lured away by the deeper pockets of China’s Super League.

Morris’s ability to forge an attacking connection with Clint Dempsey in Seattle will have major implications for both the Sounders’ title hopes and the United States national team’s 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign. But it is not the only…

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