The 2022 MLS season is here with a new team, new stars, and a first-time defending champion. One year after Austin FC made their debut, Charlotte FC are the new expansion side in the MLS. They will debut on the road at D.C. United on Saturday.
Xherdan Shaquiri is ready to debut with the Chicago Fire while Lorenzo Insigne’s debut with Toronto FC will come after the Italian Serie A season. Douglas Costa joins LA Galaxy after winning titles for Bayern Munich and Juventus while USMNT defender DeAndre Yedlin joins Inter Miami after a stint in England.
Now with 28 teams, the 34-game season begins on Saturday with the regular season slated to end October 9. Charlotte’s addition to the Eastern Conference puts both conferences at 14 teams. Here are a couple of the top games for Matchweek 1 in the MLS 2022 season so you can bet against their MLS Odds.
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Champs Start in Los Angeles
Last year finally had the magical ending that NYCFC have been dreaming about. Time and time again since joining the league, NYCFC had fantastic regular seasons, even setting MLS point and goal records, only to fizzle out early in the playoffs. But last year they did the opposite, hanging close through the season and then taking off in the playoffs, upsetting New England, Philadelphia, and Portland to win their first title.
This season the Pigeons start off the MLS season with a game at LA Galaxy, a perennial contender looking to get back on top. The Galaxy added Douglas Costa to the roster and the Brazilian star brings firepower to the team with Chicharito, Kevin Cabral, Sacha Kljestan, and Julian Araujo.
NYCFC has an advantage heading into Sunday’s kickoff as they have already played competitive games. The champs dispatched Santos in a two-legged CONCACAF Champions League round of 16 match, winning 2-0 and 4-0. The 4-0 win on Wednesday was in Los Angeles so NYCFC avoids the cross-country travel before facing the Galaxy.
For Sunday’s kickoff, MyBookie has the Galaxy as slight home favorites at +130 and they are a -½ goal favorite as well. NYCFC is +185 to win and a draw is +240. The goal total is 2.5 with the over at -149 and the under at +107.
Revolution Start in Portland
Two of the teams upset in NYCFC’s march to the title last winter will begin the season against each other as Portland Timbers host New England Revolution. The Timbers had a couple surprises of their own in the MLS Cup Playoffs and ended up hosting the final, but lost in penalty kicks to NYCFC. The Revolution meanwhile had a dominant 2021 regular season, winning the Supporters’ Shield, MVP, and Coach of the Year, but lost to NYCFC in penalty kicks in their first playoff game.
Bruce Arena and the Revs added Omar Gonzalez and Sebastian Lletget in the offseason and kept most of their main playmakers from 2021. Gustavo Bou, MVP Carles Gil, and Adam Buksa are still in NE though Tajon Buchanan and Teal Bunbury moved on. Goalkeeper of the Year Matt Turner is still there, for now, he will move to Arsenal in the summer.
The Timbers open the season at home, right where last year’s season ended with heartbreak. They resigned Sebastian Blanco as a Designated Player and added David Ayala from Argentina while losing Diego Valeri.
At MyBookie, the Timbers are a ½ goal favorite with a +121 money line. The Revolution are +200 on the moneyline with a draw at +255. The total goals is 2.5 with the over at -158 and the under at +114.