- The Major League Soccer regular season begins on March 2
- The LA Galaxy have the shortest odds of any Western Conference team to win MLS Cup
- Can the Galaxy improve after missing the playoffs last season and make a run to the final?
The Los Angeles Galaxy have a new general manager, new head coach, and a second year of Zlatan Ibrahimović.
Despite missing the playoffs for the second-straight season, the LA Galaxy have some of the shortest odds to win MLS Cup 2019. Are they worth a bet?
Odds To Win MLS Cup 2019
|Team||Odds at Bovada||Odds at BetOnline|
|New York Red Bulls||+400||+500|
|New York City FC||+800||+900|
*All odds taken 2/15; follow the link in the table to see odds for all teams
The Galaxy opened up 2019 with average MLS Cup odds of +650. That was the shortest price of any team in the Western Conference and the third-shortest price of any team overall.
From January 10 and on, that price has continued to shorten with LA now being priced at an average of +570.
Galaxy Were At Least Fun In 2018
For much of the 2018 season, the Galaxy were one of the most fun teams in MLS to watch. You knew they would score goals with Zlatan and company, making them always dangerous.
However, you also knew their backline was no better than a group of turnstiles and goals were destined to find the back of their net as well.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) February 9, 2019
LA allowed the the fourth-most goals in the West with 64.
After the late Sigi Schmid stepped down as head coach with six games remaining in the regular season, assistant Dominic Kinnear took over. Things tightened up briefly and the team went 3-1-1, but in their final match they blew a 2-0 halftime lead to lose 3-2 to Houston, which cost them a playoff birth.
New Leadership In LA
For 2019 Kinnear returns to his position as assistant, with new head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto now in charge.
Schelotto has been the head coach of Argentine side Boca Juniors since 2016 and won two league titles in Argentina’s top division. He’s also fresh off a defeat to River Plate in the Copa Libertadores finals.
Schelotto also won a 2013 Copa Sudamericana championship as coach of Lanús. As a player, he had plenty of success with Boca and made ten international caps for Argentina. But he’s also well-versed in the world of MLS.
👊 Guillermo Barros Schelotto is coming back to @MLS.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) January 3, 2019
Schelotto played with the Columbus Crew from 2007-2010. In 2008 he won league MVP, MLS Cup MVP, and won the title with the Crew.
In 2008 he [Schelotto] won league MVP, MLS Cup MVP and won the title with the Crew.
He’s not the only new face in the management ranks, as LA also hired a new general manager in Dennis te Kloese.
The Dutchman has spent most of his career since 2003 in Mexico. His most recent position was that of director of Mexico’s national teams.
Is the Backline Improved?
Fresh faces on the sideline and front office are great, but fans and bettors will be more concerned if the Galaxy can keep the ball out of their net in 2019.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) February 7, 2019
LA have parted ways from players like Michael Ciani, Sheanon Williams, and Ashley Cole. Much will be expected from incoming defender Diego Polenta, whom they signed through Targeted Allocation Money.
The 28-year-old Uruguayan has experience in Uruguay’s first division as well as in Italy with Genoa and Bari.
DP Crisis In LA
There are some franchises in MLS who struggle to pay for one or two Designated Players (DPs) and rarely fill out the maximum allotment of three on their roster. Then there’s the LA Galaxy who actually have too many.
There's no way #LAGalaxy can have all four of its DPs in 2019 without Gio Dos Santos giving up $4.5m in guaranteed cash (🙄) or #MLS looking the other way. MLS needs to step in before it seriously calls into question the integrity of its own competition: https://t.co/AqyAGzF0qX pic.twitter.com/adm1qXNu67
— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) February 14, 2019
With Ibrahimović now taking up a DP spot, one of Romain Alessandrini, or the brothers dos Santos, Jonathan or Gio, will either have to take a pay cut or be shipped out of town for the Galaxy to remain cap-compliant.
It’s not the worst problem to have, but still a problem. Losing one of the three certainly won’t improve their chances for 2019.
Will The Galaxy Return To Glory?
I won’t say the Galaxy are a bad bet, they may just not be the best bet right now.
There are still many questions in LA and I feel at some point this season they’ll be offered at a better price. For similar prices, I’d feel much more confident betting either of the Eastern finalists in Atlanta or New York Red Bulls.
Take a closer look at last season's AT&T Rookie of the Year. ⬇️ https://t.co/y0jQx8QmA6
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) January 28, 2019
Average prices of +1000 or +1200 on Seattle or Portland in the West, two teams always in the mix, also offer better value.
The most tempting price could be Western Conference semi-finalists Real Salt Lake who offer massive average odds of +4700.