Major League Soccer 2019 Season Preview – Football Betting

Cincinnati inclusion brings balance to the MLS

Football Betting

A new name appears on the MLS roster in 2019. FC Cincinnati’s inclusion means there will be a more balanced look to the regular season in the sense that all of the teams will play the others in their conference twice and the 12 in the other conference once to make up a 34-game schedule.

FC CINCINNATI will play its first match away to Seattle Sounders this weekend with the expansion club’s first home match taking place on March 17 against the Portland Timbers. The Orange and Blues will play at the 33,800-capacity Nippert Stadium and will be coached by South African Alan Koch. He doesn’t have a long pedigree of coaching at the top level and Cincinnati’s squad lacks any real superstars but does include former Arsenal defender Justin Hoyte and Argentinian Emmanuel Ledesma, who played in the Championship with Middlesbrough and Brentford. FC Cincinnati will go into the Eastern Conference and are 80/1 with 888sport to win the MLS Cup at the first attempt but that looks a tall order.

MLS Conference Standings 2018 Regular Season

Eastern Conference and Western Conference (Below)

Points Overall Home Away
Club PTS PPG GP W L T GF GA GD W-L-T W-L-T
1 New York Red Bulls 71 2.09 34 22 7 5 62 33 29 14-2-1 8-5-4
2 Atlanta United FC 69 2.03 34 21 7 6 70 44 26 11-2-4 10-5-2
3 New York City FC 56 1.65 34 16 10 8 59 45 14 12-1-4 4-9-4
4 D.C. United 51 1.5 34 14 11 9 60 50 10 13-2-2 1-9-7
5 Columbus Crew SC 51 1.5 34 14 11 9 43 45 -2 11-2-4 3-9-5
6 Philadelphia Union 50 1.47 34 15 14 5 49 50 -1 9-6-2 6-8-3
7 Montreal Impact 46 1.35 34 14 16 4 47 53 -6 11-4-2 3-12-2
8 New England Revolution 41 1.21 34 10 13 11 49 55 -6 8-4-5 2-9-6
9 Toronto FC 36 1.06 34 10 18 6 59 64 -5 8-7-2 2-11-4
10 Chicago Fire 32 0.94 34 8 18 8 48 61 -13 6-7-4 2-11-4
11 Orlando City SC 28 0.82 34 8 22 4 43 74 -31 6-7-4 2-15-0

Points Overall Home Away
Club PTS PPG GP W L T GF GA GD W-L-T W-L-T
1 Sporting Kansas City 62 1.82 34 18 8 8 65 40 25 10-2-5 8-6-3
2 Seattle Sounders FC 59 1.74 34 18 11 5 52 37 15 10-5-2 8-6-3
3 Los Angeles Football Club 57 1.68 34 16 9 9 68 52 16 9-1-7 7-8-2
4 FC Dallas 57 1.68 34 16 9 9 52 44 8 10-2-5 6-7-4
5 Portland Timbers 54 1.59 34 15 10 9 54 48 6 11-2-4 4-8-5
6 Real Salt Lake 49 1.44 34 14 13 7 55 58 -3 11-2-4 3-11-3
7 LA Galaxy 48 1.41 34 13 12 9 66 64 2 8-5-4 5-7-5
8 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 47 1.38 34 13 13 8 54 67 -13 7-5-5 6-8-3
9 Houston Dynamo 38 1.12 34 10 16 8 58 58 0 8-6-3 2-10-5
10 Minnesota United FC 36 1.06 34 11 20 3 49 71 -22 10-6-1 1-14-2
11 Colorado Rapids 31 0.91 34 8 19 7 36 63 -27 6-8-3 2-11-4
12 San Jose Earthquakes 21 0.62 34 4 21 9 49 71 -22 2-9-6 2-12-3

MLSATLANTA UNITED are the defending champions having won the MLS Cup in just their second season. They are only a best 11/2 to emerge triumphant again at the end of the year. Coach Tata Martino and star midfielder Miguel Almiron have left but Frank De Boer is now in charge of team affairs and new signing Pity Martinez was the South American Footballer of the Year in 2018.

PORTLAND TIMBERS will have to play their first 12 games of the season on the road as their Providence Park Stadium is undergoing renovation but 17 of their last 22 matches will be at home so they should have a strong end to the campaign. The Timbers just missed out in 2018 but it was no surprise to see them bounce back this season, though long-serving Liam Ridgewell, who captained the Oregon side to MLS Cup success in 2015, has left.

Despite the goals of Zlatan Ibrahamovic, LA GALAXY failed to make the play-offs last season. A second failure is almost unthinkable and Ibrahamovic is just 15/4 to be the MLS top scorer in 2019 with 888sport. His team are a best 7/1 to lift the MLS Cup and 2/1 favourites to be crowned Western Conference champions with Guillermo Barros Schelotto appointed as head coach after leading Boca Juniors to the Copa Libertadores final.

NEW YORK RED BULLS are a best 5/1 to win the MLS Cup for the first time having set a new league record for points in a season in 2018. They’ve kept their successful squad largely intact and Bradley Wright-Phillips will again have a key role to play. The two-time MLS Golden Boot winner is 33 now but is only 9/2 to make history and become the first player to be Top Goalscorer three times – he’s about to start his sixth full season in Major League Soccer having signed from Charlton Athletic in 2013.

Wayne Rooney is 11/2 to be Top Goalscorer in his first full season in the MLS. England’s record goalscorer joined DC UNITED halfway through last season and had an immediate impact. But it remains to be seen how focussed strike partner Luciano Acosta will be after a proposed big-money move to PSG broke down at the last minute. If the Argentinian puts that behind him, the Washington team have the potential to go all the way this year so it’s a surprise that they have 30/1 quote from one bookmaker.

Rooney’s former Manchester United team-mate Nani has joined ORLANDO CITY SC but his target will be get his new team into the play-offs for the first time. It may be mission impossible with the Florida franchise priced up at 200/1 with 888sport to win the MLS Cup and 100/1 with the same firm to win the Eastern Conference. Orlando lost 22 matches last year in the regular season.

MLS Cup 2019 Outright Betting

New York Red Bulls 5/1
Atlanta United 6/1
LA Galaxy 7/1
Los Angeles FC 8/1
New York City FC 9/1
Seattle Sounders 11/1
Sporting Kansas City 12/1
Portland Timbers 16/1
Toronto FC 18/1
FC Dallas 20/1
Philadelphia Union 25/1
DC United 33/1
Columbus Crew 40/1
Real Salt Lake 50/1
Montreal Impact 60/1
Chicago Fire 66/1
FC Cincinnati 80/1
New England Revolution and Vancouver Whitecaps 100/1
Minnesota United 125/1
San Jose Earthquakes 150/1
Colorado Rapids and Orlando City 200/1
(Odds correct at 10.30am February 28)


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