MLS Cup 2019: Odds, Predictions and Favorites

Regular favorites top the odds boards like Seattle Sounders, Toronto FC, and LA Galaxy. However, it is the younger franchises like LAFC, Minnesota United, and Atlanta United that are capturing the hearts of fans and oddsmakers.

Overview

The 2019 Major League Soccer season is in its 24th iteration.

The regular season began on March 2, 2019, and will conclude on October 6, 2019.

The MLS Cup Playoffs will begin on October 19, 2019, and conclude with the MLS Cup 2019 on November 10, 2019. It will follow a new format that differs from previous seasons. The playoffs will use single-match rounds and include 14 teams.

The total number of MLS clubs grew to 24 this season, with FC Cincinnati joining the fold.

New York Red Bulls are the defending Supporters’ Shield champions, while Atlanta United FC are the defending MLS Cup champions.

2019 MLS Cup Preview

The 2019 MLS Season is drawing to a close. While it has been an absolutely thrilling year in both conferences, a specific few have risen to the top as the most impressive performers of the season.

In the Western Conference and the league, Los Angeles FC is leading the table with absolutely massive points and goal differential. In the Eastern Conference, New York City FC are at the top of the table with Philadelphia Union closing in on them.

The Favourites to Win the MLS Cup

Los Angeles FC

Statistics as of 18 Sep 2019

Manager: Bob Bradley

Record: 19-7-4, 64 points (2.13 per game), 1st in Major League Soccer (1st Tier)

Home Record: 35 points (11-2-1) Away Record: 29 points (8-5-3)

Goals: 77 (2.57 per game), Goals Against: 33 (1.10 per game), Diff: 44

Coming into 2019, Los Angeles FC had a tough task ahead after their fantastic inaugural campaign the previous year. After finishing fifth in the West last year, it is looking more and more likely we’ve found a new king in Los Angeles.

Currently sitting at the top of the table and the top of the Western Conference, Los Angeles FC are in the driver’s seat in the MLS. Currently owning 28 goals on the season, Carlos Vela is leading LAFC to unprecedented success.

The current strength of LAFC lies in their incredible attack. Both Diego Rossi and Carlos Vela have been machines in front of goal this season while the support of Mark-Anthony Kaye and Eduard Atuesta from midfield has provided excellent playmaking. Their firepower makes them easy favorites.

New York City FC

Statistics as of 18 Sep 2019

Manager: Domènec Torrent

Record: 16-9-5, 57 points (1.90 per game), 2nd in Major League Soccer (1st Tier)

Home Record: 35 points (10-5-1) Away Record: 22 points (6-4-4)

Goals: 56 (1.87 per game), Goals Against: 37 (1.23 per game), Diff: 19

After the retirement of David Villa, many were confused as to how New York City FC would perform. What many failed to foresee was that the blues were able to rally around a team-oriented attack and scrappy defensive effort. Their performance has surprisingly launched them up the table.

While the designated player trio of Medina, Moralez, and Mitrita have provided excellent production for the blues this season, the contributions of Brazilian forward Heber have made them dangerous from anywhere on the pitch.

The goal for NYCFC until the end of the season will be to stay healthy and maintain their course. Seven players were missing due to either injury or suspension in their last match against Toronto FC. They’ll need their full complement in the crucible that is the MLS Playoffs.

Philadelphia Union

Statistics as of 18 Sep 2019

Manager: Jim Curtin

Record: 15-7-8, 52 points (1.73 per game), 3rd in Major League Soccer (1st Tier)

Home Record: 34 points (10-4-2) Away Record: 18 points (5-3-6)

Goals: 55 (1.83 per game), Goals Against: 43 (1.43 per game), Diff: 12

Philadelphia Union are shocking the world with their performance this season. Not only have they been brilliant against top sides, but they are also closing in on NYCFC for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Performance aside, it seems that the Philadelphia Union‘s biggest rival is in their ownership. While their performance on the pitch has been excellent, it seems that their ownership isn’t so invested in their success.

Mis-scheduled plane rides and fan criticism aside, Union are a gritty team that wholly represent their city on the pitch. They aren’t setting the world alight with goals or stopping their opposition dead in their tracks. But timeliness and efficiency has showed their performance in high-pressure situations, is quality.

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Eastern Conference

The MLS Eastern Conference seems rather set at the top of the table. NYCFC and Philadelphia Union are almost certainly locked for the top two positions in the playoffs. With NYCFC likely to take the first-round bye.

In the middle of the group, the talent is brutal. Atlanta United, Toronto FC, and DC United are within a mere three-points of each other. A single fixture could make their playoff first-round hopes exciting or incredibly daunting based on the matchup.

Also, keep an eye on the bottom of the playoff race. While the New England Revolution own the seventh seed, for now, a veteran Montreal Impact side and enigmatic Chicago Fire outfit are a mere three points from tying their points total. Matchups are certain to change every team’s chances.

Safe Bet(s): New York City FC, Philadelphia Union, Atlanta United

Good Secondary: New England Revolution, Toronto FC

Western Conference

Whatever is in the water in LA, clearly only LAFC have been drinking it. At the top of the table by a wide margin, the black and gold seem to be the clear favorites. A goal difference of 44 shows their quality seems to be of a higher standard than their conference-mates.

Anything can happen in the playoffs though. With the new single-fixture playoff format, seeding from two to seven is crucial. Seattle Sounders seem the obvious challengers to LAFC due to their historical success, but the young Minnesota United are a stout defensive unit allowing only 1.33 goals per game.

Legendary MLS side LA Galaxy sit in the bottom half of the table. However, their talent level including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jonathan dos Santos, and Daniel Steres is nothing to discount. They may be comfortable in the lower half of the table, knowing their city rivals will be waiting for them in the second round.

Safe Bet(s): Los Angeles FC, Seattle Sounders

Good Secondary: LA Galaxy

WSN Picks

2019 MLS Cup: Los Angeles FC

Secondary Picks: New York City FC, Atlanta United

Longshots: Toronto FC, LA Galaxy

MLS Cup Odds

Winner MLS 2019 – Odds

The latest odds to win the MLS 2019 Championship are provided by 888Sport NJ and Fox Bet NJ.

Good luck!

Team888SportFox Bet NJ
Los Angeles FC+110+150
NYCFC+450+450
Atlanta United FC+800+800
PHI Union+1400+1200
NY Red Bulls+1800+1600
LA Galaxy+2000+2200
SEA Sounders+2200+2000
Toronto FC+2200+2000
MIN United+2500+2500
NE Revolution+2500+2500
SJ Earthquakes+2500+2000
DC United+2800+2500

Final Thoughts

The talent gap in the MLS is growing slimmer and slimmer. Regular favorites top the odds boards like Seattle Sounders, Toronto FC, and LA Galaxy. However, it is the younger franchises like LAFC, Minnesota United, and Atlanta United that are capturing the hearts of fans and oddsmakers.

The new playoff format will allow the top team in each conference a first-round bye. Meanwhile, the remaining teams will play a single fixture to determine who will progress on to the second round. Criticisms of the format aside, this makes predictions even tougher than they once were.

Will it be tenure and experience that wins the cup or youthful enthusiasm? Incredible goals, fantastic defending, and all-world level skill is coming to this years MLS Cup Playoffs. We’ll have all the coverage you need at WSN.com!

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