- Prior to the beginning of the MLS season, LAFC are the favorites to win the Western Conference and reach the MLS Cup
- The Reigning champion Seattle Sounders are in second
- Get the full odds for the MLS Western Conference below
With the 2020 Major League Soccer campaign beginning this weekend, we take an early look at the potential teams that could reach the final from the West. In the Western Conference, we have three extremely solid sides in LAFC, LA Galaxy, and the Seattle Sounders who will all battle it out for the Western Conference title this season.
MLS Western Conference Odds
|Minnesota United FC||+800|
|Sporting Kansas City||+800|
|Real Salt Lake||+1200|
|San Jose Earthquakes||+2500|
|Houston Dynamo SC||+6600|
Odds taken Feb 27
LAFC Searching for First Title
In just their second year as an MLS franchise, LAFC flaunted the best record in the league in 2019, going 21-9-4 to finish with the best regular season in the West and overall. However this year, they’ll be looking to advance past the Conference Finals, where Seattle beat them 3-1 en route to an MLS Cup trophy last season.
They’re currently the obvious favorite to win the West once again and reach their first MLS Cup. However, the season hasn’t even started and despite how impressive they were in ’19, they were still knocked out by the Sounders.
Bob Bradley’s side has arguably the best striking duo in the league though with reigning Golden Boot winner Carlos Vela and youngster Diego Rossi. Vela bagged 34 goals last season, while Rossi netted 16 times. The dynamic duo either assisted or scored 72 of LAFC’s 85 league goals last season.
Their quest for MLS glory will begin on Sunday as they take on one of the league’s newcomers, Inter Miami.
Can Seattle Repeat?
Despite finishing 16 points behind LAFC in second place in the West last season, the Sounders heroically took the league’s best team out in the Conference Finals and kept their momentum going in the MLS Cup Final, defeating Toronto FC on home soil. Brian Schmetzer’s squad scored 33 goals less than LAFC as well but still managed to knock them out.
The Sounders only had one player with over ten goals in Raul Ruidiaz, who scored 11 times last season. But numerous others did their part in the final third, such as Nicolas Lodeiro and Cristian Roldan. With the addition of Brazilian midfielder Joao Paulo in the offseason, the Sounders are even stronger than last year. Paulo will add lots of creativity in the middle of the pitch, while their attack should definitely bag their fair share of goals once again this season.
Seattle will look to be the first team since the 2013 LA Galaxy to win back-to-back MLS Cups.
Galaxy Lose Ibra, Add Chicarito
Zlatan Ibrahimovic finally returned to Europe after much anticipation, leaving the LA Galaxy for former club AC Milan during the transfer window. The Swede was spectacular in the MLS, compiling 52 goals in 56 appearances across two seasons.
With the departure of Ibrahimovic, the Galaxy brought in Mexican striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who’s spent time all over Europe, most recently with Sevilla and West Ham. Hernandez should be the perfect replacement for Ibra and although he may not score at the rate of his predecessor, the 31-year old should thrive in the MLS.
LA will be looking to be a lot sharper in their own end this year though, having conceded 59 goals in just 34 games last season. They begin their season on the road against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.
LAFC is Best Bet
Based on LAFC’s prolific season last year, they’re going to be hungry to get over the hump and win an MLS Cup this season. This team tasted defeat in the Conference Finals and will be doing everything imaginable to get past that same point.
With practically the same squad back from last year, I expect Bob Bradley’s men to really light up the league this season and run away with the Western Conference.