Part 2: A look at Major League Soccer's Western Conference ahead of next Saturday's season openers

With the resources and personel at their disposal, reigning champions LA Galaxy are clear favourites to secure a fourth MLS Cup title. Only Eastern Conference favourites New York come close to boasting a line-up with such talent. Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan are way to good to be plying their trade at this level, and add into the mix David Beckham's experience, Juninho's gusto, a solid defensive group and the returning Edson Buddle, you have quite a squad. Battling hard behind LA will be MLS's best supported team, Seattle, who have a reliable talent base themselves. Brek Shea and David Ferreira give FC Dallas a chance. Vancouver should be better than last year after adding Barry Robson and Sebastien Le Toux. If Kris Boyd finds his scoring boots again Portland could be a threat, as should a solid Real Salt Lake outfit. Colorado, San Jose and Chivas USA could be the ones to struggle.

Chivas USA

Name Origin: A type of sister organisation to Mexican giants Chivas de Guadalajara
Where The Club Actually Plays: Carson, California
First MLS Season: 2005
MLS Titles: 0
Last Season: Failed to reach the playoffs
Manager: Robin Fraser (2nd season)
Remember Me Great Britain? Former Aston Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel
Rising Star: Ecuadorian-born midfielder Miller Bolanos
Influential Foreigner: Brazilian centre half David Lopes

Colorado Rapids

Where The Club Actually Plays: Commerce City, Colorado
First MLS Season: 1996
MLS Titles: 1 (2010)
Last Season: Wildcard round
Manager: Oscar Pareja (1st season)
Remember Me Great Britain? Former Celtic and Aberdeen midfielder Jamie Smith
Rising Star: Youth team product Davy Armstrong
Influential Foreigner: Jamaican speedster Omar Cummings

FC Dallas (nee Dallas Burn)

Where The Club Actually Plays: Frisco, Texas
First MLS Season: 1996
MLS Titles: 0
Last Season: Wildcard round
Manager: Schellas Hyndman (5th season)
US international: Left sided phenom Brek Shea
Rising Star: Central defender Matt Hedges
Influential Foreigner: Flamboyant Colombian playmaker David Ferreira, 2010 league MVP

Los Angeles Galaxy

Name Origin: A "Galaxy" of stars in Los Angeles
Where The Club Actually Plays: Carson, California
First MLS Season: 1996
MLS Titles: 3 (2002, 2005, 2011)
Last Season: MLS Cup winners
Manager: Bruce Arena
Remember Me Great Britain? International star (off the field at least) David Beckham
Rising Star: US international defender Omar Gonzalez
Influential Foreigner: Robbie Keane, when he decides to show up from his loan spell at Aston Villa

Portland Timbers

Name Origin: From the area's logging industry
Where The Club Actually Plays: Portland, Oregon
First MLS Season: 2011
MLS Titles: 0
Last Season: Didn't qualify for the playoffs
Manager: John Spencer (2nd season)
Remember Me Great Britain? Recent Designated Player signing Kris Boyd
Rising Star: Attacking force Darlington Nagbe
Influential Foreigner: Jamaican defender Lovel Palmer

Real Salt Lake

Name Origin: European
Where The Club Actually Plays: Sandy, Utah
First MLS Season: 2005
MLS Titles: 1 (2009)
Last Season: Conference final
Manager: Jason Kreis (6th season)
Part-time US internationals: Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman
Rising Star: Uruguayan-born midfielder Enzo Martinez
Influential Foreigner: Imposing Colombian central defender Jamison Olave

San Jose Earthquakes (nee San Jose Clash)

Name Origin: California's susceptibility to the natural disaster
Where The Club Actually Plays: Santa Clara, California
First MLS Season: 1996
MLS Titles: 2 (2001, 2003)
Last Season: Didn't qualify for the playoffs
Manager: Frank Yallop
Remember Me Great Britain? Former Spurs trainee Simon Dawkins
Rising Star: Former Hertha Berlin forward Ellis McLoughlin
US international: Target man Chris Wondolowski

Seattle Sounders

Name Origin: Fan vote, traditional
Where The Club Actually Plays: Seattle, Washington
First MLS Season: 2009
MLS Titles: 0
Last Season: Conference semi-finals
Manager: Sigi Schmid (4th season)
Remember Me Great Britain? Fulham flop Eddie Johnson
Rising Star: Colombian striker Fredy Montero, already a major player
Influential Foreigner: Cuban midfielder Osvaldo Alonso

Vancouver Whitecaps

Name Origin: Geographical features surrounding Vancouver
Where The Club Actually Plays: Vancouver, British Columbia
First MLS Season: 2011
MLS Titles: 0
Last Season: Didn't qualify for the playoffs
Manager: Martin Rennie (1st season)
Remember Me Great Britain? Former Watford defender Jay DeMerit
Rising Star: 2011 1st overall pick Omar Salgado
Influential Foreigner: South Korean full back Lee Young-Pyo

Check out Part One: MLS - Eastern Conference Preview