The Major League Soccer (MLS) season began in mid-April and will continue until mid-December, when the final will be played and the champion of the American tournament will be known. The playoff phase is scheduled to take place in November.
Although there are still a few months and many games to go to reach this stage of the competition, there are very marked and clear trends: certain teams have shown that they are ready to contest the title.
Seven teams from the Western Conference and seven more from the Eastern Conference advance to the postseason. The top places from both conferences advance directly to the next round, while the remaining 12 teams have to eliminate each other.
These are the five teams that are favorites to win MLS this season.
The Los Angeles team has shown a better performance than last season. The Galactics have been a tough nut to crack in the Western Conference. LA Galaxy has benefited from the resurgence of Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández, who has contributed to their cause with goals. The Spanish Víctor Vázquez little by little becomes a benchmark of this squad. After 17 days, the team led by Greg Vanney is in third place in their group.
The Big Apple team has the third most valuable squad in MLS, behind only Atlanta United and LAFC. The Ronny Deila-led cadre has seen a rebound in recent weeks and is third in the Eastern Conference. The trident made up of Jesús Medina, Valentín Castellanos and Ismael Tajouri Shradi has 19 goals this season. NYCFC will certainly be in the postseason and fight for the title.
At the beginning of the season, the bookmakers listed the Seattle team as the big favorite to take the MLS title. They currently march in second place in the Western Conference. From the hand of the Peruvian striker Raúl Ruidíaz, and the creativity of the Brazilian Joao Paulo, this team will seek its third league title. Brian Schmetzer’s painting can never be discounted.
The Kansas team leads the Western Conference after playing 18 games. The Peter Vermes-led squad boasts the best forward in their conference and is tied with New England Revolution for the best in MLS. Hungarian striker Dániel Sallói has been the great figure of Sporting KC this season, scoring 10 goals and giving six passes on goal. The Mexican Alan Pulido has collaborated with six annotations. This team is more than solid and from now on is one of the most serious candidates.
This squad doesn’t boast the most impressive names in MLS, but as a team they have been dominant this season. New England Revolution is in the first position of the Eastern Conference and takes seven points to the second place after 18 days. Veteran Bruce Arena’s team has the best forward in the conference and the league, as well as the second-best defense in the championship, behind only Kansas. Argentine Gustavo Bou and Pole Adam Buksa make up a scary front; between the two they add 18 goals. The Spanish Carles Gil has nine assists.