- DC United have been cruising this season
- Ben Olsen’s team have picked up seven points from a possible nine
- DC United’s odds to win the MLS Cup are now down to +1000
It’s very early days in the new MLS season but in the Eastern Conference, DC United have got off to a flyer.
While they have been helped so far by a friendly schedule, Ben Olsen’s team have picked up seven points from a possible nine, with home wins over Atlanta United and Real Salt Lake, and an away draw at New York City. Ahead of this Sunday’s game away at Orlando City, they look in great shape.
2019 MLS Cup Odds
|Team||Odds to Win MLS Cup 2019|
|New York Red Bulls||+600|
|Los Angeles FC||+600|
|Atlanta United FC||+1000|
*Odds taken 03/29/19. Click on the link in the table above to see all betting options.
What the above table doesn’t show is the effect DC United’s storming start to the season has on on their own odds. They opened at average odds of +1600, and were +2100 ahead of the season’s opening day, but now some bookmakers have them as short as +1000 odds to win the the 2019 MLS Cup.
— dcunited (@dcunited) March 29, 2019
Comfortable Start for DC
It’s an interesting one though, and should be viewed on the basis of them having so far had two home games and a relatively short trip to New York. And let’s not forget this is a team that has seen some big names depart, with the likes of Ian Harkes, Nick DeLeon, Yamil Asad, David Ousted, and Darron Mattocks all leaving the club.
As well as those notable departures, the turnaround of players has seen defender Leonardo Jara, midfielder Lucas Rodriguez, and midfielder Chris McCann all join the club for the 2019 season.
Rooney Among the Goals
The Black-and-Red also retained the services of their star man, Wayne Rooney – the second highest goalscorer in the England Premier League – who has picked up where he left off last season by scoring three goals in his first three games.
Rooney has picked up where he left off last season by scoring three goals in his first three games.
Júnior Moreno has also started the season on fire with three assists in his three starts and they have yet to concede a goal, so keeper Bill Hamid has three consecutive clean sheets to his name. Also worth noting is that the seven goals they have scored have been shared around the team with five different players on the score sheet.
Unchanged Starting XI
Another key element to DC’s good start is that Olsen has had a fit and healthy squad to pick from and has been able to name an unchanged starting XI in all three games. He’s expected to keep the same side for Sunday’s game in Orlando.
NEWS | D.C. United Are Off to The Best Defensive Start in Club History! ??♂️?
— dcunited (@dcunited) March 21, 2019
While this is generally a good sign all-round and allows Olsen to adopt the “never change a winning side” philosophy, it’s especially important for a goalkeeper and his back-four to build up an understanding of each others’ strengths and weaknesses, in particular between the two center-backs.
Rock Solid Defence
So, a backline that comprises goalkeeper Bill Hamid and defenders Steve Birnbaum, Frederic Brillant, Joseph Mora, and Leonardo Jara is the biggest factor in their great start.
There are many tougher tests to come for DC, but the momentum that can be gained from a strong start to the season should not be underestimated.
There are many tougher tests to come for DC, of course, but the momentum that can be gained from a strong start to the season should not be underestimated. Even at this early stage, it’s understandable that DC fans will be hoping to see their team get into the end-of-season playoffs and this time progress beyond the knockout round.
— email@example.com (@CodeFourSoccer) March 21, 2019
DC to Improve on 2018 Campaign
We happen to think they will improve this season, and while it’s way too early to talk about them being MLS champions, we’d tentatively suggest they have what it takes to get to their conference final. And once they get there, who knows?
Rooney will be desperate to win another medal and we can see him leading DC on this charge, but their early season form has been matched by Los Angeles FC in the Western Conference, and we happen to think their +600 odds are a fair reflection of their chances.
Pick: Los Angeles FC (+600)