MLS Betting Kicks Off in 2010
The MLS season begins this Thursday with the expansion Philly Union a huge +500 underdog to open the season. For a while, a strike threatened the season, but a deal was struck and play is set to begin with Real Salt Lake looking to repeat as champions.
Defending champion Real Salt Lake is a solid team, but they lost a few key players from last season’s title team. However, they still have Kyle Beckerham, Robbie Findlay Clint Mathis, Nick Rimando, and Javier Morales, so they will still be a dangerous team and a solid pick to repeat.
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The LA Galaxy were set for a title run this season, but there are some major concerns from the team from La La Land as the season begins. First of all a big question is will star striker Landon Donovan be in a Galaxy uniform all season? There are reports that Chelsea will make a bid for him. Second David Beckham is out for 4-6 months with an Achilles injury and many are thinking his best playing days are behind him.
Seattle made the playoffs in their first season in the league and they kept most of their core players, especially GK Kasey Keller and Freddie Ljungberg. Seattle will not sneak up on anybody this season and they have to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump. The Sounders added striker Blaise Nkufo from FC Twente and if he can be the main goal scorer Seattle may represent the West in the finals.
Columbus made a splash in the off-season by signing Colombian striker Sergio Herrera. Chad Marshall will be the anchor, once again, of a solid Crew defense, but striker Robbie Rogers has to start producing or Columbus may have another early playoff exit like last season.
Chicago has to learn to win at home, which they did not do last season. They were solid on the road last season and improved their lineup with the off-season additions of Collins John, Julio Martinez, and Krzysztof Krol. GK Jon Busch played poorly in the second half of last season and he has to play well this season for the Fire to go far.
Houston does have Eddie Robinson to anchor their defense, but will they be able to score enough to win? The veteran duo of Brad Davis and Brian Mullan will have to score from the flanks, but the Dynamo really need a central midfielder to feed these guys. The Dynamo lost Ricardo Clark and Stuart Holden to European leagues and that may really hurt.
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Colorado had a nice playoff run last season, but they were killed by injuries to some of their key strikers and that killed their title run. The Rapids have a dynamic and exciting team, but they need to stay healthy in order to make some noise in the playoffs.
DC United and New England lost a lot of veteran players in the off-season and their new youth movements may see some early season growing pains.
Much like in the last couple of seasons the MLS Cup is up for grabs. However, I think Real Salt Lake has the best chance to go all the way again, as they are solid on both sides of the field and they know how to win.