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Los Angeles FC Favored to Win 2019 MLS Cup 1 Month into Season

Gary Gowers

by Gary Gowers in Soccer News

Updated Apr 9, 2020 · 5:03 PM PDT

Diego Rossi
Diego Rossi of the Los Angeles Football Club takes a shot on goal during an MLS soccer match against the Los Angles Galaxy. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)
  • LAFC is off to a blistering start in just their second season in the league
  • The Black and Gold have three wins and a draw in their four matches
  • The team’s odds have been improving with every single victory

In only their second season in existence, Los Angeles FC is among the favorites to lift this season’s MLS Cup. A flying start to the campaign, in which they have collected 10 points from their four games, has seen the Black and Gold soar to the top of the Western Conference.

With a quality squad at the disposal of manager Bob Bradley – who is considered US soccer royalty – their fans are dreaming big, and with good reason.

2019 MLS Cup Odds

Team 2019 MLS Cup Odds
New York Red Bulls +600
Los Angeles FC +600
LA Galaxy +600
Seattle Sounders +750
Atlanta United FC +1000

Odds taken 03/29/19.  

The above table pretty much says it all. LAFC opened at +1000 but as they head the Western Conference their odds of winning the MLS Cup are improving all the time. As a result of their blistering start to the season,  they have now been installed as favorites to win the Cup at +570 average odds.

Bradley’s New Squad

Bradley’s squad is packed full of quality which was, as ever, subject to a few notable ins and outs over the winter months. The squad that has started this season so well has a slightly different look and feel from the one that lost narrowly to Real Salt Lake in the 2018 knockout round.

The most significant departures over the winter were the veteran pairing of Benny Feilhaber and Marco Urena.

The most significant departures over the winter were the veteran pairing of Benny Feilhaber and Marco Urena, with Feilhaber, in particular, playing a key role in Bradley’s midfield last season. The former US international played in 34 matches in 2018 and had the most game time of any outfield player in the team. He scored three goals and added to those with six assists, but his contract expired at the end of the season and as a free agent took the opportunity to further his career at Colorado Rapids.

Urena’s season was average by comparison and was hindered by an injury halfway through the season. He still managed a goal and five assists in his 18 games with the club, but the Costa Rican forward has now returned to his homeland to join Alajuelense.

Moutinho to Orlando

Other departures were far less significant and Bradley has managed to maintain the core of the squad that performed so well in its first season, although full-back Joao Moutinho was eventually traded to Orlando City after being the first overall pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, and Aaron Kovar surprisingly announced his retirement at age 25.

In terms of new defensive players, center-back Eddcentreura arrived on loan from Colombian side Atletico Huila, with an option to purchase, and left-back Mohamed El-Munir arrived from Orlando as part of the Moutinho trade.

New Striking Options

In attack, they signed El Salvador international forward Rodolfo “Fito” Zelaya on a two-year deal, and added to their goalkeeping options by signing Mexican keeper Pablo Sisniega from Real Sociedad.

All of which adds up to a squad that is stronger than last season’s and which is equipped, in our view,  to take them all the way to the MLS Cup final. The momentum gained from home wins over Sporting Kansas City, Portland Timbers, and Real Salt Lake, and a good away draw at New York City can’t be underestimated.

The Black and Gold are in good shape and we believe that in only their second season they can pip Galaxy and the Red Bulls to the big prize.

Pick: Los Angeles FC (+600)

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