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MLS 2019 season preview Football/Soccer

Atlanta United wins MLS Cup in second season

Atlanta United won the MLS Cup in only their second season in the competition with a 2-0 win over Portland Timbers. MLS Most Valuable Player Josef Martinez opened the scoring on 39 minutes with his 35th goal of the season and Franco Escobar added a second after the break. It's the first championship for the city since the Atlanta Braves won the World Series in 1995. But also Atlanta boss Gerardo Martino's final game in charge before he becomes head coach of Mexico.

2019 MLS season

The 23-team league will expand to 24 this season with the arrival of Cincinnati's expansion team, followed by Miami and Nashville in 2020. Major League Soccer added Cincinnati in its latest round of expansion in May 2018, rewarding a city that set attendance records during three seasons of United Soccer League play and has a stadium deal in place. Cincinnati will continue to play at the University of Cincinnati's football stadium while a 21,000-seat soccer stadium is built in the city's low-income West End neighborhood. The stadium is expected to be ready for the 2021 season.

TeamTitles20142015201620172018
LA Galaxy5title1/81/4--
D.C. United41/41/41/8-1/8
Houston2---1/2-
Kansas City21/81/81/81/81/2
San Jose2---1/8-
Portland1-title-1/4final
Salt Lake11/4-1/8-1/4
Columbus11/4final-1/21/4
Seattle 11/21/4titlefinal1/4
Toronto1-1/8finaltitle-
Atlanta1---1/8title
Colorado1--1/2--
Chicago1---1/8-
NY Red Bulls-1/21/21/41/41/2
Dallas-1/41/21/4-1/8
NY City---1/41/41/4
Vancouver-1/81/4-1/4-
New England-final1/8---
Montreal--1/41/2--
Philadelphia---1/8-1/8
Los Angeles-----1/8
Orlando------
Minnesota------
Cincinnati------

The overall number of titles for each club in Major League Soccer since 1996 and their success in the last five seasons. Conference finalists (1/2), Conference semi-finalists (1/4), wild-card round (1/8), not qualified for the MLS Playoffs (-).

Atlanta appoint De Boer as new head coach

MLS champions Atlanta United have appointed Frank De Boer as their new head coach. The Dutchman is back in management for the first time since his short-lived spell in the Premier League at Crystal Palace at the start of last season. De Boer was fired by the EPL team in September last year after five games and 77 days in charge. Palace had lost all four of their Premier League matches without scoring a single goal during his time in charge. De Boer was more successful during his time as Ajax manager, winning four Eredivisie titles with the Dutch club. Atlanta were looking for a new coach after Gerardo Tata Martino decided not to renew his contract with the club at the end of the season. Martino went out on a high, winning the MLS title in just the club's second season in the league.

LA Galaxy hire Guillermo Barros Schelotto as new coach

Guillermo Barros Schelotto was named the LA Galaxy's head coach in January, taking over the five-time MLS champion franchise after three seasons with Boca Juniors. He had been in charge at Boca since March 2016, winning two championships in his native Argentina's top division. Schelotto replaces Dominic Kinnear, who finished out last season as the Galaxy's interim coach in place of Sigi Schmid. The Galaxy missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year despite a stellar debut season by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

This page is introduction to the 2019 Major League Soccer season. Latest news, statistics, results and predictions you can find on our main MLS page.

Luchi Gonzalez named FC Dallas head coach

FC Dallas hired FC Dallas Academy director Luchi Gonzalez as its new head coach. Gonzalez takes over from Oscar Pareja, who left for Club Tijuana after the 2018 season. Pareja also led Dallas' academy before becoming head coach, though he spent two seasons as the head coach of the Colorado Rapids before returning to take the Dallas top job. The 38-year-old will becomes the second youngest head coach in the MLS when he takes charge for the new 2019 season.

Crew confirm Porter as new head coach

Caleb Porter has been announced as the new Columbus Crew head coach, replacing Gregg Berhalter, who departed the club to take the United States national team job. Porter led the Portland Timbers to the 2015 MLS Cup, defeating the Crew in the final match. Porter also led the University of Akron to an NCAA Championship in 2009. Also joining the Crew is Tim Bezbatchenko, who will serve as the new team President. Bezbatchenko comes over from Toronto FC where he served as General Manager and led the club to an MLS Championship.

#TeamPtsGDW-D-L
Eastern Conference
1New York z712922-5-7
2Atlanta x692621-6-7
3NY City x561416-8-10
4D.C. Utd. x511014-9-11
5Columbus x51-214-9-11
6Philadel. x50-115-5-14
7Montreal46-614-4-16
8New Eng.41-610-11-13
9Toronto36-510-6-18
10Chicago32-138-8-18
11Orlando28-318-4-22
Western Conference
1Kansas z622518-8-8
2Seattle x591518-5-11
3Los Ang. x571616-9-9
4Dallas x57816-9-9
5Portland x54615-9-10
6Real x49-314-7-13
7LA Galaxy48213-9-12
8Vancouv.47-1313-8-13
9Houston38010-8-16
10Minnesota36-2211-3-20
11Colorado31-278-7-19
12San Jose21-224-9-21

The 2018 MLS regular season standings. z - Conference winners, x - clinched playoff spot.

Dos Santos named new head coach of Vancouver

Marc Dos Santos has been named the new coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps. The 41-year-old, who has agreed to a three-year contract, is replacing Carl Robinson who was fired late last season. Dos Santos joins the Whitecaps from Los Angeles FC, where he was an assistant coach under Bob Bradley. One of the most highly-regarded coaching prospects in the league, Dos Santos has never led an MLS side before but brings ample experience from previous stints in Portugal, Canada, Brazil and the United States.

Who's The Favorite To Win The 2019 MLS Cup?

Atlanta United won the 2019 MLS Cup with an exciting team led by record goal scorer Josef Martinez. But it was the New York Red Bulls who actually won the Supporters' Shield, setting a league record for points in a season. So, not surprisingly, New York Red Bulls rank at the top of the list for the 2019 MLS odds.

TeamOddsTeamOdds
New York Red Bulls5Columbus Crew33
LA Galaxy6Montreal Impact40
Atlanta United6Real Salt Lake50
Los Angeles8Chicago Fire66
New York City9Houston Dynamo67
Seattle Sounders9New England Revolution80
Portland Timbers12Minnesota United80
Toronto12Vancouver Whitecaps100
Sporting Kansas City12Cincinnati100
Dallas20San Jose Earthquakes125
DC United25Colorado Rapids150
Philadelphia Union25Orlando City150

The preseason odds for the outright winner of the 2019 MLS

Major League Soccer finals (MLS Cup) in last five seasons

2018   Atlanta United - Portland Timbers   2:0
2017   Toronto - Seattle Sounders   2:0
2016   Seattle Sounders - Toronto   5:4 (penalties after 0:0)
2015   Portland Timbers - Columbus Crew   2:1
2014   Los Angeles Galaxy - New England   2:1   (aet)

Key players
(transfer market value in m€)

Atlanta United

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan (1); Defense: Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (2.3), Florentin Pogba (1.5), Michael Parkhurst (0.6); Midfield: Gonzalo Martinez (20), Ezequiel Barco (8), Hector Villalba (4), Julian Gressel (2.5), Eric Remedi (1.8); Forward: Josef Martinez (10), Darlington Nagbe (1.8).

Chicago Fire

Goalkeeper David Ousted (0.5); Defense: Marcelo (1), Johan Kappelhof (0.8), Diego Campos (0.4); Midfield: Bastian Schweinsteiger (2.5), Aleksandar Katai (1.8), Przemyslaw Frankowski (1.5), Dax McCarty (1.3), Nicolas Hasler (0.6); Forward: Nemanja Nikolics (4.5), C.J. Sapong (1.3).

Cincinnati

Goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton (0.6); Defense: Kendall Waston (0.9), Greg Garza (0.8), Mathieu Deplagne (0.8), Alvas Powell (0.8); Midfield: Leonardo Bertone (1.5), Roland Lamah (1.3), Victor Ulloa (0.8), Kekuta Manneh (0.8); Forward: Fanendo Adi (1.8), Darren Mattocks (0.8).

Colorado Rapids

Goalkeeper Tim Howard (0.5); Defense: Tommy Smith (1.3), Keegan Rosenberry (0.8), Danny Wilson (0.7), Axel Sjoberg (0.6); Midfield: Kellyn Acosta (2), Sam Nicholson (0.8), Jack Price (0.8), Johan Blomberg (0.7); Forward: Kei Kamara (0.8), Diego Rubio (0.8).

Columbus Crew

Goalkeeper Zack Steffen (5); Defense: Milton Valenzuela (1), Jonathan Mensah (0.8), Harrison Afful (0.7), Josh Williams (0.7); Midfield: Wil Trapp (3), Pedro Santos (2.5), Artur (2), Justin Meram (2); Forward: Gyasi Zardes (3.5), Patrick Mullins (0.5).

D.C. United

Goalkeeper Bill Hamid (0.8); Defense: Leonardo Jara (3), Steve Birnbaum (1.5), Joseph Mora (0.6); Midfield: Lucas Rodriguez (3.3), Luciano Acosta (1.8), Paul Arriola (1.3), Junior Moreno (0.7), Zoltan Stieber (0.7); Forward: Wayne Rooney (8), Quincy Amarikwa (0.6).

Dallas

Goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez (0.8); Defense: Matt Hedges (1.8), Reto Ziegler (1), Bressan (1), Marquinhos Pedroso (0.8); Midfield: Carlos Gruezo (2), Michael Barrios (0.9), Santiago Mosquera (0.8), Pablo Aranguiz (0.8); Forward: Dominique Badji (1.3), Cristian Colman (0.7).

Houston Dynamo

Goalkeeper Joe Willis (0.6); Defense: Aljaz Struna (1), Adam Lundqvist (0.9), Alejandro Fuenmayor (0.6); Midfield: Alberth Elis (2.5), Romell Quioto (2), Tomas Martinez (1.5), Marlon Hairston (0.8), Darwin Ceren (0.8); Forward: Mauro Manotas (2.5), Ronaldo Pena (0.7).

Los Angeles Galaxy

Goalkeeper David Bingham (0.6); Defense: Diego Polenta (2.8), Jorgen Skjelvik (0.8), Dave Romney (0.8); Midfield: Jonathan dos Santos (3.5), Sebastian Lletget (0.9), Perry Kitchen (0.8), Juninho (0.8); Forward: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (3.5), Romain Alessandrini (3), Chris Pontius (0.8).

Los Angeles

Goalkeeper Tyler Miller (0.8); Defense: Danilo Silva (1.5), Walker Zimmerman (1.5), Steven Beitashour (0.8); Midfield: Carlos Vela (10), Andre Horta (6), Lee Nguyen (0.9), Latif Blessing (0.8); Forward: Diego Rossi (4.5), Adama Diomande (2.5), Christian Ramirez (0.9).

Minnesota United

Goalkeeper Vito Mannone (2); Defense: Romain Metanire (1.8), Ike Opara (1.5), Francisco Calvo (0.8); Midfield: Darwin Quintero (2.5), Jan Gregus (1), Miguel Ibarra (0.9), Kevin Molino (0.8), Ethan Finlay (0.8); Forward: Angelo Rodriguez (1.3), Abu Danladi (0.5).

Montreal Impact

Goalkeeper Evan Bush (0.6); Defense: Daniel Lovitz (0.8), Jukka Raitala (0.8), Rudy Camacho (0.6); Midfield: Saphir Taider (3), Ignacio Piatti (2), Samuel Piette (1), Orji Okwonkwo (1), Harry Novillo (0.9); Forward: Maximiliano Urruti (1.5), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (0.6).

New England Revolution

Goalkeeper Matt Turner (0.5); Defense: Michael Mancienne (1), Edgar Castillo (1), Andrew Farrell (0.9); Midfield: Diego Fagundez (1.8), Cristian Penilla (1.8), Carles Gil (1), Scott Caldwell (0.8); Forward: Juan Fernando Caicedo (1.9), Teal Bunbury (1.3), Juan Agudelo (0.8).

New York City

Goalkeeper Sean Johnson (1.5); Defense: Anton Tinnerholm (1.8), Maxime Chanot (1), Alexander Callens (1), Ben Sweat (1); Midfield: Maxi Moralez (3), Alexander Ring (1.8), Keaton Parks (1.5), Ebenezer Ofori (1); Forward: Alexandru Mitrita (3.5), Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (1.3).

New York Red Bulls

Goalkeeper Luis Robles (1); Defense: Kemar Lawrence (1.8), Tim Parker (1.5), Aaron Long (1.5), Michael Murillo (1.3); Midfield: Alejandro Romero Gamarra (4.5), Daniel Royer (2), Sean Davis (0.9), Marc Rzatkowski (0.9); Forward: Bradley Wright-Phillips (1.8), Brian White (0.3).

Orlando City

Goalkeeper Brian Rowe (0.4); Defense: Lamine Sane (1), Joao Moutinho (0.5), Danilo Acosta (0.5); Midfield: Nani (5), Sacha Kljestan (1.3), Sebastian Mendez (0.8), Will Johnson (0.8), Cristian Higuita (0.7); Forward: Dom Dwyer (2.5), Tesho Akindele (0.6).

Philadelphia Union

Goalkeeper Andre Blake (1.5); Defense: Auston Trusty (0.8), Jack Elliott (0.7), Raymon Gaddis (0.7); Midfield: Marco Fabian (3), Alejandro Bedoya (1.8), David Accam (1.3), Haris Medunjanin (1), Ilsinho (0.8); Forward: Cory Burke (0.8), Sergio Santos (0.5).

Portland Timbers

Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella (0.8); Defense: Jorge Villafana (1.5), Jorge Moreira (1.5), Larrys Mabiala (1.3), Zarek Valentin (0.8); Midfield: Diego Valeri (4.5), Sebastian Blanco (4), David Guzman (0.8), Andy Polo (0.8); Forward: Tomas Conechny (1), Lucas Melano (0.9).

Real Salt Lake City

Goalkeeper Nick Rimando (0.3); Defense: Nedum Onuoha (1), Justen Glad (0.8), Brooks Lennon (0.7); Midfield: Albert Rusnak (2), Damir Kreilach (1.8), Joao Plata (1.5), Jefferson Savarino (1.3), Everton Luiz (1); Forward: Corey Baird (0.8), Sam Johnson (0.7).

San Jose Earthquakes

Goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell (0.5); Defense: Guram Kashia (1.5), Nick Lima (0.8), Harold Cummings (0.5); Midfield: Valeri Qazaishvili (2), Cristian Espinoza (1.5), Florian Jungwirth (1.3), Magnus Eriksson (1), Anibal Godoy (0.8); Forward: Danny Hoesen (1.3), Chris Wondolowski (0.5).

Seattle Sounders

Goalkeeper Stefan Frei (1); Defense: Brad Smith (1), Kelvin Leerdam (1), Nouhou (0.8); Midfield: Nicolas Lodeiro (4), Cristian Roldan (2.5), Victor Rodriguez (1), Gustav Svensson (0.8); Forward: Raul Ruidiaz (5), Will Bruin (0.9), Jordan Morris (0.8).

Sporting Kansas City

Goalkeeper Tim Melia (1); Defense: Andreu Fontas (1.5), Matt Besler (1), Graham Zusi (0.7); Midfield: Felipe Gutierrez (2.5), Ilie Sanchez (1.3), Yohan Croizet (1.3), Daniel Salloi (1.3); Forward: Johnny Russell (1.8), Gerso (1.5), Erik Hurtado (0.4).

Toronto

Goalkeeper Alex Bono (1.5); Defense: Laurent Ciman (1.3), Eriq Zavaleta (0.8), Justin Morrow (0.8), Nick DeLeon (0.8); Midfield: Michael Bradley (2.5), Jonathan Osorio (2), Marky Delgado (0.9), Jay Chapman (0.5); Forward: Jozy Altidore (5), Terrence Boyd (0.4).

Vancouver Whitecaps

Goalkeeper Zac MacMath (0.4); Defense: Erik Godoy (1.5), Jake Nerwinski (0.7), Jasser Khemiri (0.6); Midfield: Lucas Venuto (1), Felipe Martins (0.9), Lass Bangoura (0.7), Russell Teibert (0.7); Forward: Fredy Montero (2.5), Joaquin Ardaiz (1.5), Yordy Reyna (0.9).