#1 Pulisic's Premier League transfer
The smoke is there, but when will we see the fire?
The expectations for Pulisic are and have been massive in the USA, and the transfer to one of the Premier League's top sides would be a logical next step. And there is reason to believe, with the money being talked about, that wherever he goes Pulisic will, at the very least, be given the chance to prove his worth.
Pulisic's transfer, or rumors of a transfer for the youngster, opens the year as the biggest story in U.S. soccer. If it comes through, how he fares with a new club will immediately become a hot topic of conversation, and if it doesn't the rumors will continue to fly.
- Ronald Martinez
#2 The USWNT and the Women's World Cup
If you're a fan of U.S. soccer you probably already know this, but the U.S. women's national team will be playing for a World Cup title in 2019, and they will enter the tournament as the team to beat.
While 2018 was a disappointment for the U.S. men's national team, the USWNT rolled to one of the best years it has ever put together. Alex Morgan was scoring goals for fun and looks to be the best player she's ever been, and the team went unbeaten through a year that included winning efforts at three tournaments.
#3 USMNT return to competition
It's been a while right?
The U.S. national team has not played a competitive match since that night in Trinidad that we're just not going to talk about. It's been more than a year, and by the time the USMNT takes the pitch to open the Gold Cup, nearly two years will have passed since last the side played in a meaningful match.
The Concacaf Nations League will follow, so there will be plenty of action - the real kind - to help us all forget about the bland friendly-fest that was 2018.
- Sarah Stier
#4 Gregg Berhalter takes charge of USMNT
Along with returning to competitive action, USMNT fans will get a nice long look at how this team will play under new boss Gregg Berhalter.
The first look will come at the end of January against Panama, with Costa Rica to follow in early February, but by the end of the summer there should be a real understanding of what the team will look like under the former Columbus Crew boss.
Will it be a drastically different team to the one we saw in 2017 and 2018? Can Berhalter bring the brand of attacking soccer most fans have been craving?
Nobody knows yet, and that's part of what has us salivating over the prospects of 2019.
#5 More Zlatan
There was a moment there where it looked like all we would get of Zlatan Ibrahimovic was one year in MLS.
Honestly, it wasn't going to be enough.
Ibrahimovic came into the league sporting a type of arrogance, grace and brilliance that MLS has lacked from day one. He was simply brilliant, and a full year with the Galaxy - along with a full offseason - promises to be special. Even if the big Swede slows down (he's shown no signs of this happening) and can't produce the brilliance on the field, another year of interviews is worth the price of admission.
#6 Tyler Adams at RB Leipzig
It's a brilliant chance for a player chalked full of potential, with Leipzig sitting fourth in the Bundesliga table and fighting for a Champions League spot.
Adams has a skillset that should translate well to the German top flight and watching his progression over the next year should be something of great interest to USMNT fans.
- USA Today
#7 Birth and rebirth in Ohio
2019 is a birth and rebirth for soccer in Ohio. FC Cincinnati is set to enter MLS after proving itself both on and off the field in the USL. Meanwhile, just over 100 miles south, the Columbus Crew are, in a way, reborn following a trying season that saw the club saved.
The Crew's rich history has been preserved by new ownership, and new grand plans for a downtown stadium. Following a full year of off-the-field politicking and ensuing uncertainty, the Club here to stay as the team heads into what genuinely feels like Crew 2.0.
Meanwhile, just north, FC Cincy takes the leap, joining MLS with a number of familiar faces leading the charge. They've thrived in the USL, but now they'll have to prove themselves in a world where expectations for expansion signs have risen astronomically.
Two teams, big changes and now, a Hell is Real derby. 2019 will be a special year for Ohio soccer.
#8 U-20 World Cup
The U.S. U-20s cruised their way through Concacaf, and expectations are high heading into this summer's U-20 World Cup.
Tab Ramos' side blitzed their way through World Cup qualifying, winning the Concacaf tournament for just the second time while outscoring opponents 46-2. Alex Mendez, Ulysses Llanez and Ayo Akinola all shined in a tournament where the U.S. was, for lack of a better word, dominant.
That team was also missing a number of age-eligible players, like Josh Sargent and Timothy Weah, who have been making waves with the senior team. Concacaf qualifying showed this age group is much deeper than that, with a number of players boosting their stock considerably heading towards this summer's tournament.
It remains to be seen who heads to Poland in May but, no matter which way you look at it, the U.S. will hope to make a deep run once again.
#9 U-17s eye summer glory
The U-20s aren't the only American youth national team eyeing a shot at glory this summer.
Player like Gio Reyna, Gianluca Busio and George Bello give the U.S. plenty of starpower heading into their own qualifying tournament. Reyna, in particular, is seen as a future star for the USMNT, and his presence alone should generate excitement around what should be an exciting team.
That team recently put together a solid run through the Nike International Friendlies, although their spot at the World Cup will have to be earned at the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship.
If they do book that trip to Peru, the U-17s provide another glimpse into the future of American soccer.
- Getty Images
#10 Sargent's growth
Josh Sargent has seemingly got a headstart on life in the Bundesliga. Already with two goals to his name, it wasn't supposed to come this soon for the 18-year-old striker.
But it has, and that means expectations are high heading into 2019.
Werder Bremen clearly think very highly of Sargent, who has scored two goals in three matches for the German side. Even now at the senior level, Sargent has shown an innate ability to show up in the right place at the right time, and the instinct has translated across every level in which he's played.
Sargent is seemingly rising to the challenge and, with forward still a weaker position for the USMNT, Sargent's growth over the coming years will be vital.