The regular season kicks off on the last day of February, then we have over seven months of MLS action before we find out who will be crowned 2020 MLS Cup champions. The rosters have been assembled and teams will have been getting well-acquainted in the preseason.
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The quality of the league is constantly improving, which makes it difficult to say who will come out on top in the 2020 MLS. But as things get underway, we will quickly learn which teams were productive in the offseason.
Let’s take a look at which teams could be champions.
LAFC stormed the Western Conference last year, winning it by a clear distance. They were unlucky in the MLS Playoffs, losing out to the MLS champions the Seattle Sounders.
But they’ll be hungry to amend that this season. They go in as hot favourites to win the competition in 2020. A squad touting players like Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi justifies the favourable odds for The Black and Gold.
LAFC signed a number of players, including a couple of Uruguayan midfielders, to bolster there squad. But the focus hasn’t been on marquee signings but bringing the current players into the squad and maximizing the potential of an already excellent roster.
General manager John Thorrington has proven himself to be one of the better managers in the league. He’s bought in the right players and developed them well. The young Uruguayan prospect Brian Rodriguez is one to watch.
Take LAFC to win the 2020 MLS Cup.
Seattle Sounders (8.00)
The Seattle Sounders took the MLS Cup in 2019 and will look to replicate it this season. Despite winning last year, the Sounders come in as third-favourites with the majority of bookmakers.
Seattle had a great season and was deserved champions. But they simply don’t have the depth in their squad, when compared to other teams. Though we saw it in England with Leicester, it isn’t always about the quality of the players.
They lost Victor Rodriguez to Elche CF in the offseason, but they brought in a number of new players and resigned loanees. The likes of Miguel Ibarra, Alex Roldan, and João Paulo will freshen up the squad and bring some new faces to a championship-winning side.
Team management is a tough task. Even after winning a major competition, ensuring players are ready to go and again and not bringing in too much fresh blood, which may unsettle the rest of the squad, is no straightforward task.
Pick the Seattle Sounders to win the 2020 MLS Cup.
Toronto FC (9.00)
The Reds finished fourth in the Eastern Conference last season but managed to get to the final of the MLS Cup. They lost out 3-1 to the Sounders, but they showed great spirit and determination to overcome the odds on numerous occasions.
Toronto hasn’t had a great preseason, picking up 2 wins in five games. But they still have strike star Jozy Altidore to put up the goals for them this season. He managed 12 goals and 5 assists last season. He’ll again be coupled with Alejandro Pozuelo, which makes for some partnership.
Omar Gonzalez came in at the midpoint of the season in 2019 and studied the ship for The Reds. US Veteran Michael Bradley remains at the club and will be a great asset to the team.
Greg Vanney & the board took a punt on the 30-year old Argentine Pablo Piatti. It’s too early to say if this will work out or not, but if it does they’ll have another decent winger to work with as the season wears on.
Go with Toronto FC to win the 2020 MLS Cup.