The top two teams from the West in 2012 kick off the 2013 season hoping to repeat recent successes.
|San Jose Earthquakes (4-4-2): Busch; Gargan, Bernardez, Hernandez, Morrow; Salinas, Baca, Cronin, Corrales; Wondolowski, Fucito.
|Real Salt Lake (4-4-2): Rimando; Beltran, Schuler, Watson-Siriboe, Mansally; Grabavoy, Beckerman, Gil, Velasquez; Saborio, Findley.
- Last season these teams finished first and second in the Western Conference. The Earthquakes advanced in their playoff matchup, only in the next round to the eventual MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy.
- Real Salt Lake disbanded a chunk of the core of the side that had contended in the West for the good part of three years. Fabian Espindola, Jonny Steele and Jamison Olave moved to New York, and crucial midfield cog Will Johnson joined Portland. Former RSL standout Robbie Findley returned from Europe. Joao Plata, Khari Stephenson and Josh Saunders provide depth.
- The Earthquakes largely kept the same squad that won the Supporters' Shield. Aside from the aforementioned Stephenson, the only notable loss was Ike Opara to Sporting Kansas City. Nana Attakora's return should mitigate that trade. Frank Yallop added depth at fullback by bringing in Ty Harden and Dan Gargan.
- Chris Wondolowski tied the all-time MLS record with 27 goals in 2012. That goal tally helped earn him a new Designated Player contract this offseason.
- Luis Gil returned early from the U-20 CONCACAF Championship early after helping the United States secure qualification to the U-20 World Cup.