The race for the MLS Cup is heating up and what better way, then to check out the top three teams that are in contention.
Record so far: 9-4-4 (win-draw -loss)
Coach: Brian Schmetzer
Top goal scorer in 2020: Raúl Ruidíaz (9 goals)
Odds to win the MLS Cup: +550
It is no wonder that Seattle Sounders are favorites to claim the MLS cup when they have scored the third-most goals in the league with 35, headlined by Raul Ruidiaz who has been in great form for the Sounders bagging nine goals in an interrupted season.
The Sounders started off in fantastic fashion winning their first two games of the season in March before the coronavirus pandemic halted the MLS.
When the MLS resumed through the ‘MLS is Back’ tournament in August, the Sounders didn’t quite find their feet as they only managed one win in three games, but still finished second in their group, but were knocked out in the round of 16 by Los Angeles Football Club (LA FC).
When the league resumed later that month they went undefeated in August albeit they only played two games knocking off Portland Timbers 3-0 and LA FC 3-1. Since then the Sounders have been in patchy form. Their last five games have seen them win three games defeating LA Galaxy, Vancouver Whitecaps, and Real Salt Lake as well as dropping games against Portland and just recently LA FC.
Another part of why the Sounders are favorites to claim the MLS is because they have a deadly triple threat. As mentioned, Ruidíaz is the third best striker in the league this season with nine goals, but there are other strings to Schmetzer ‘s bow.
If for some reason or another the Sounders cannot count on Ruidiaz to score goals they have Jordan Morris who is equal fourth with most goals scored as he has banged in eight goals. If that isn’t enough to get your hopes up for the Sounders than this perhaps will, midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro has been an instrumental component to Schmetzer’s side as the 31-year-old has bagged eights assists in 14 games, and is equal second in the league.
Record so far: 8-7-2
Coach: Óscar Pareja
Top goal scorer in 2020: Chris Mueller (8 goals)
Odds to win the MLS Cup: +600
Orlando could be one of the more surprising teams to be in contention for the MLS cup and one to keep your eye on. Sure they don’t have the big wins on the board nor do they have the most goals, but they are consistent and at this stage of the season that is all you can ask for.
After COVID-19 shutdown the MLS, the Lions made an emphatic return to action when they took part in the ‘MLS is Back’ tournament in which they topped their group with two wins. They managed to get to the final but just fell short losing to the Portland Timbers 2-1.
When the league resumed they suffered a defeat to Inter Miami CF but that seemed to spark Pareja’s men into action as since then they have been undefeated in 11 games dating back to August 27 which included five draws and six wins.
Record so far: 7-3-7
Coach: Bob Bradley
Top goal scorer in 2020: Diego Rossi (12 goals)
Odds to win the MLS Cup: +600
Despite currently sitting fourth place in the Western Conference, LA FC has proved they are the most exciting team to watch this season. They have scored a whopping 39 goals this season the most out of any team. Diego Rossi is obviously to thank as the 22-year-old has scored 12 goals and is in first place for the most goals scored.
When Rossi isn’t delivering on all cylinders they can turn to the ex-Manchester City player and 35-year-old Bradley Wright-Philips who has eight goals in 15 matches and is equal fourth in the league.
Bradley’s men may score a lot of goals but they have been able to be inconsistent. For instance, in August they did not a win a game (albeit they only played three games), and by September they had a 5-1 win over San Jose Earthquakes but a week later they lost to lowly placed LA Galaxy 3-0, and then suffered another 3-0 defeat the next game.
This has been the case especially in their last five matches where they began with a big 6-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps but dropped the following game before winning their next two matches. Their winning streak came to an end on Thursday when they fell to the Whitecaps 2-1.
Image by: Fancy Crave
*Odds correct at time of publication.
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