Kent Tukeli | Mon 18/02/2019 - 22:31 EST
Can a Canadian Team Celebrate the MLS Cup in 2019?
After Toronto FC set the league on fire in 2017, Canadian soccer appeared to follow an upward trajectory, including the Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact serving as notable challengers in the MLS. Last year, all three unexpectedly missed the playoffs as the New York Red Bulls earned the Supporters’ Shield and Atlanta United FC the MLS Cup. In 2019, MLS future bets favor the reemergence of the L.A. Galaxy, along with strong seasons from Atlanta and the Red Bulls.
What Are The Chances Of The Canadian Teams?
Multiple sports betting sites consider Toronto FC as the Canadian team most likely to excel during the 2019 season. The Reds will be among the better dark horse candidates at +1200 odds to win the MLS Cup, behind favorites like Atlanta United and the Seattle Sounders, along with teams from New York and Los Angeles.
The eastern conference features a bit more depth compared to the west, which will increase the level of difficulty for the Montreal Impact and the Reds. Montreal helped to boot TFC out of playoff contention last season, earning a bit of revenge for the 2017 playoffs. The Impact are considered longshots at +5000 for the MLS Cup, unlikely to make the post season.
Vancouver had some of the best young talent in the MLS, but the realities of the international football market forced the Whitecaps to accept the transfer of Alphonso Davies, who now plays wing for Bayern Munich – a Bundesliga powerhouse. Vancouver had the best record of Canada’s MLS teams last season, but they’re expected to fall out of contention with MLS Cup odds of +8000 – an extreme longshot.
The 2019 Season
The regular season MLS schedule commences on March 2nd, starting with the Philadelphia Union visiting Toronto FC and finishing with the newest team in the league, FC Cincinnati, facing the Seattle Sounders. This campaign finishes on decision day, featuring a dozen matches which kick off simultaneously on October 6th.
Playoff brackets will change drastically for the 2019 season, responding to league growth by allowing more teams to compete for the MLS Cup. Decision day and the start of the knockout rounds will start earlier than previous years. As a result, the 2019 MLS Cup will take place on November 10th, avoiding cold December temperatures.
Instead of 12 teams, the playoffs will consist of 14 competitors. The top two clubs from each conference will earn a bye week, reducing the importance of MLS standings and playoff positioning.
Instead of two legs after the knockout round, the MLS playoffs will feature a single elimination bracket. This type of format allows for a greater probability of playoff upsets, increasing the odds for Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
A couple of years ago, this would have worked against Toronto FC, when the Reds lined up arguably the best team in MLS history. In 2019, without Giovinco and Victor Vazquez, Toronto doesn’t have the same attacking depth as years prior. As such, the single elimination format will benefit Toronto FC, Montreal and Vancouver immediately.
MLS Future Bets 2019
MLS 2019 Favorites
NY Red Bulls +400
The Red Bulls continue to endure a playoff curse which started in 1996, when the MLS began. This streak intensified since the turn of the decade, with New York unable to proceed past the conference round for ten years despite five first-place regular season finishes.
A combo of Kaku and Bradley Wright-Phillips will help New York maintain midfield and attack superiority, while another healthy year of goalkeeping from Luis Robles is expected to guide the Red Bulls defense into another superb season – at least before the playoffs begin.
Atlanta United +450
Another feel-good story from a young franchise, Atlanta rose above the competition to win the cup last year. In 2019, Atlanta United will remain among the favorites to win the MLS Cup in November.
Most impressive about Atlanta’s championship was the fact that they ran the table without significant opposition, remaining ahead of NYC FC, the Red Bulls and the Timbers throughout the process. There’s no reason why United can’t repeat their amazing sophomore season.
LA Galaxy +500
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored 22 goals in 27 games during his strong Galaxy debut, and he promises to break every record in the MLS this season. L.A. were disappointed to fall out of the playoffs, especially with the talent in their lineup.
The Dos Santos brothers will attempt to rebound after the Galaxy missed the playoffs for two consecutive seasons. With good health, L.A. should return to the top echelon of the west.
Los Angeles FC +700
LA FC broke Atlanta’s record for most points by an expansion team with 57 during the 2018 season – one more than Atlanta in 2017. Los Angeles wants to emulate Atlanta, leveraging a strong inaugural season into an MLS Cup.
Rossi, Vela and Horta form as fine a trinity as you’ll find in the MLS, shifting power in the western conference to Los Angeles. They don’t have Zlatan, unfortunately.
New York City FC +800
David Villa no longer strikes from the wing, signalling a new era for New York City FC. Instead, Alexandru Mitrita will be the designated player expected to fill the shoes of the legendary Spaniard.
He’ll need to prove himself in New York before soccer sportsbooks improve the 2019 MLS futures odds for NYC FC. Medina and Moralez will also need to dominate as vital DPs.
MLS Cup Dark Horses
Toronto FC still boasts a deep club without Giovinco and Vazquez, who were sent to the Middle East after a disappointing 2018 season. There’s plenty of talent available, along with the funds needed to recruit a difference maker to fill Seba’s shoes. Toronto might turn into an excellent value over the summer.
Seattle and Portland have been excellent competitors out of the west for the last half decade, but the balance of power has shifted sharply to Southern California. Los Angeles continues to attract top talent from around the world, making it difficult for other western conference clubs.
- Seattle Sounders +1000
- Portland Timbers +1200
- Toronto FC +1200
MLS Cup Longshots
The Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps join a long list of longshots who are extremely unlikely to transcend the odds.
- Sporting Kansas City +1600
- FC Dallas +2000
- Philadelphia Union +2000
- DC United +2000
- Columbus Crew +3300
- Chicago Fire +4000
- Montreal Impact +5000
- Real Salt Lake +5000
- FC Cincinnati +6600
- Houston Dynamo +6600
- San Jose Earthquakes +6600
- New England Revolution +6600
- Vancouver Whitecaps +8000
- Minnesota United +10000
- Colorado Rapids +12500
- Orlando City +12500
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:
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