Despite returning its entire starting lineup from last year's MLS Cup, a lot changed for Columbus Crew SC this past offseason. And pretty much all of it for the better.

Despite returning its entire starting lineup from last year's MLS Cup, a lot changed for Columbus Crew SC this past offseason. And pretty much all of it for the better.

But maybe you don't know about that. Maybe the bitter taste of disappointment lingered well past Dec. 6 for you. Or maybe you joined the bandwagon late last year and sort of lost track in the offseason.

Well, let's get to it then.

The good

Another Precourt home run: It really doesn't get any better than Crew SC's new TV sitch. No blackouts. No more Time Warner exclusivity. Anyone with or without cable can watch the majority of games.

The (potentially) bad

Assuming Crew SC isn't the defensive sieve it was last year, the team's only other glaring weakness is its lack of central midfield depth. And even still, it feels like I'm nitpicking considering Mohammed Saeid returns after a stellar 2015 campaign. But should injuries strike Saeid or starters Wil Trapp, Tony Tchani or Frederico Higuain (should you likewise consider him a central midfielder), who steps up? Last year's backups Kevan George and Ben Speas are gone, and rookie Rodrigo Saravia, despite recently earning his first national team cap with Guatemala, is largely unproven (though talented).

The ugly

No matter how well intentioned, designing a jersey inspired by the horrendous city of Columbus flag is a guaranteed L. That said, they've grown on me! At least from the waist up. And even still, the best part of the kits came from watching Crew SC players read mean tweets about the atrocity.

The reinforcements

It's touched on in the storylines-to-watch piece, but worth mentioning here: Crew SC added depth to the backline and attack. Particularly promising are Scandinavians Emil Larsen and Ola Kamara, and veterans Conor Casey and Corey Ashe should add significant veteran presence to a fairly young group.

The minor

Crew SC's new minor league affiliation with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL should make for some fun road trips. Certainly better than Austin, Texas - in distance, at least, if not in cachet.