MLS futures betting: 2022 MLS Cup predictions
With the 2022 MLS season set to begin, we pick out three teams worth backing for the MLS Cup,
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The 2022 MLS season is set to kick off on February 26, and will be the first to feature 28 teams following the addition of Charlotte FC.
The pre-season favorites are Los Angeles FC at +650, closely followed by defending champions New York City FC at +700, and Seattle Sounders at +750.
New England Revolution, who won the 2021 Supporters’ Shield, are fourth favorites at +900, with Philadelphia Union at +1000, and Nashville SC at +1200.
But which teams are worth backing as we head into the season?
The Sounders have been one of the best teams in MLS since their inception in 2009, and will be chasing their third MLS Cup in 2022.
Seattle has reached the playoffs in each of their 13 seasons in MLS, and has featured in four of the last six MLS Cup finals, including triumphs in 2016 and 2019.
The headline during the offseason has been the arrival of Albert Rusnak from Real Salt Lake. The Slovakia international has been one of the best attackers in the league since his arrival in 2017, and should add some serious firepower to an attacking corps that also includes Jordan Morris, Fredy Montero and Raul Ruidiaz.
With Nicolas Lodeiro and Joao Paulo running things in the middle of the field, this is a Sounders squad with more than enough quality to launch a serious playoff run.
New England was the best team in MLS in 2021, winning 12 more points than anyone else in the regular season but failing to convert that form into postseason success as they lost to eventual champions New York City FC in the Conference Semifinals.
A couple of high-profile departures in Tajon Buchanan and Scott Caldwell could have weakened the squad, but the arrivals of Sebastian Lletget, Jozy Altidore and Omar Gonzalez have more than softened the blow.
Lletget should play a particularly important role for New England, slotting in alongside reigning MLS MVP Carles Gil in the Revs midfield.
With five-time MLS Cup winner Bruce Arena at the helm, New England looks like good value at this price to win its first championship.
Long shot: Portland Timbers +2500
Portland followed up their win in the MLS Is Back tournament by reaching the MLS Cup last season, only to fall on penalties to NYCFC at home.
It is a big surprise, then, to see them priced at a massive +2500 to lift the MLS Cup in the coming 2022 campaign.
The loss of club legend David Valeri was a big blow in the offseason, as was the departure of goalkeeper Steve Clark, but the Timbers have also made some shrewd acquisitions.
The signing of exciting young midfielder David Ayala from Estudiantes looks to the best of the bunch, with the 19-year-old having all the tools to succeed in MLS.
Portland will need creator-in-chief Sebastian Blanco to stay fit amid concerns about his knee, but should he do so, then they should cruise into the playoffs.
Once they get to the postseason, the Timbers have proved their ability to win elimination matches, so could be worth a pre-season punt at +2500.