MLS Cup Final Picks, Odds and Tips
Major League Soccer concludes its season this weekend as Los Angeles FC and the Philadelphia Union play for the MLS Cup at Banc of California Stadium.
This season has been one of the most memorable in MLS history, and for the first time since 2010, we are guaranteed to get a new name on the MLS Cup trophy. Following are our tips and picks for the final.
Philadelphia Union at Los Angeles
Nobody is surprised to see these two in the final. During the season, it felt like a guarantee that LAFC and the Union would win their conferences.
LAFC is the favorite at -140, but that shouldn’t overshadow Philadelphia's spectacular run since February. It put together the best defensive record in MLS regular season history by conceding 26 goals in 34 games. Combine that with its record of allowing only one goal in its two playoff games, and it's fair to say the Union is the best defensive team North American soccer has ever seen.
The goal it conceded came in the last game against New York City, as the Union had to fight from a goal down. With a goal each from star players Julián Carranza and Dániel Gazdag, the Union were behind for only eight minutes, scoring twice within two minutes midway through the second half. Cory Burke's score later sealed a 3-1 win for Philadelphia.
The Union's major concern coming out of that game is that it possessed the ball only 34% of the time. In a similar situation against LAFC, always a scoring threat, it could pay a price.
LAFC made easy work of Austin in the playoffs, also scoring three goals. By also conceding none, LAFC put in arguably its best performance of the season with 10 shots on target from 22 efforts. Philadelphia had just six shots on target against New York City FC from 10 efforts.
Cristian Arango was the main man again for Los Angeles against Austin, scoring his 21st goal of the season in his 40th game. Kwadwo Opoku scored off the bench, as Gareth Bale sat on the substitutes bench once more.
We don’t agree with the odds in this match, based on the Union’s incredible defense. On the other hand, Carlos Vela, Cristian Tello, Arango, Bale and Opoku could be the perfect ensemble to end Philadelphia's record-breaking defensive run.
The Union won’t be easy to beat. However, with LAFC on its home turf and off the back of easily beating Austin, losing would constitute a major upset. It’s time for Los Angeles to finally win the MLS Cup after four exceptional years in the competition.
LAFC to win and both teams to score is +210 with Caesars.
This Week’s Schedule with Moneylines (All Times Eastern)
- Los Angeles FC (-140) against Philadelphia Union (+300), 4 p.m.
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