With the 2014 campaign set to kick off this weekend, Al Hain-Cole has taken a look at who will be in the running when the championship trophy is handed out in December
Having surrendered the trophy they had won for the previous two seasons last campaign, Bruce Arena’s men are 11/2 (6.50) favourites with bet365 to regain the MLS Cup at the first attempt.
|Odds from bet365
|NY Red Bulls/Sporting KC||6/1|
|Real Salt Lake||11/1|
|SJ Earthquakes/NE Revolution||16/1|
The departure of club legend Jason Kreis has cast a shadow over the Claret and Cobalts’ own ambitions of going one further in their first ever MLS season without the former striker at the helm, with odds of 11/1 (12.00) reflecting the challenge facing untested new boss Jeff Cassar.
After lifting the trophy for the first time in over a decade, holders Sporting Kansas City are available at 6/1 (7.00) to become just the fourth reigning champions to retain their title, with their busy schedule of Concacaf Champions League action providing a potential distraction.
New York Red Bulls delivered their first piece of silverware last season with a Supporters’ Shield triumph and Thierry Henry and Co. are among the favourites at 6/1 (7.00) to be crowned champions this time out.
Portland Timbers took the league by storm under new boss Caleb Porter last season after finishing top of the Western Conference and are now touted at 7/1 (8.00) to build on that success by collecting their first ever MLS Cup victory.
This year’s dark horses must be Toronto FC, whose high-profile acquisitions of Julio Cesar, Jermain Defoe and USA national team stalwart Michael Bradley have seen odds on them lifting the title tumble to 10/1 (11.00) - despite never previously having even reached the play-offs in their short history.
Other outsiders include Houston Dynamo 12/1 (13.00), who fell one step short of third consecutive MLS Cup final appearance last season after a semi-final defeat to eventual champions Sporting KC, as well as an exciting young San Jose Earthquakes 16/1 (17.00) outfit and a New England Revolution 16/1 (17.00) side reinvigorated under manager Mark Watson.
|LA Galaxy to win the MLS Cup for a 1pt stake at 11/2 (6.50) with bet365
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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.