LAFC to clinch their first MLS title
LAFC is without a doubt the most powerful offensive team in the MLS, boasting the MLS scoring leaders from last season Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi. Both are players with experience in European soccer and know what it takes to win.
The lethal duo is more than capable of game-winning moments and this is the edge that they will carry throughout the season. It will be a real task to keep the LAFC offence quiet.
If Vela can overcome his knee ligament injuries, then LAFC will stand as clear favourites. At the other end of the pitch, Los Angeles has made some excellent additions to the roster that they’ll hope will fill any gaps in the squad last season.
Right-back Kim-Moon-hwan and Portlands’ Marco Farfan were brought in to bolster the teams’ defence, which was the one thing that was highlighted as a weakness during the postseason. Expect to see a hungrier LAFC side this year.
Columbus Crew to make it back-to-back titles
Columbus Crew was ruthless in the MLS Cup final last year, sending the Seattle Sounders home without a sniff of winning it. A comprehensive 3-0 win was all it took.
They had the most well-rounded team in the MLS last season and this is the reason they won the league. While there were other teams that were more prolific in offence, they were efficient at both ends of the pitch.
Staggeringly, Columbus only conceded 21 goals in 23 regular-season games throughout the 2020 season. This kind of form will be difficult to repeat for a second-year in a row.
However, Caleb Porter is certainly one of the few coaches in the league that can rally his team to perform consistently once again, even after the elation of winning the title. Gyasi Zardes was key in the attack last year, Porter and the team will look to him to find the net once again.
To win the MLS Cup
FC Dallas to surprise the oddsmakers
At odds of 19.00, this is definitely an outside shot. But, why do we back Dallas to challenge for the title against the likes of LAFC and the reigning champions?
Well, you’d certainly be forgiven for wondering, as they only managed a sixth-place finish in the Western Conference last year. But, they only narrowly lost out to the Seattle Sounders in the Conference semifinals in 2020 - so there’s reason to be optimistic!
They have a solid base, with Maurer in goal and Santos tidying things up in the middle of the park. The Brazilian was a great anchor for the defence and was the link to Dallas’ attack at the base of midfield.
The area where this side is lacking is the ability to put the ball in the back of the net, which is of course a major problem in soccer. If they can find goals somewhere, they will be able to challenge for the title in the postseason.
To win the MLS Cup
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