Toronto FC looked like the best team in MLS for much of the 2016 playoffs, and probably should be celebrating their first championship this week.
But they’re not heavily favoured by Bovada’s sportsbook to go one better in 2017, per CBS Sports. Las Vegas has the Los Angeles Galaxy as the favourites to win next year’s title, with the two New York clubs, Seattle Sounders and Colorado Rapids also shorter odds than TFC.
It’s early days in the offseason, and the hedging on LA and New York City FC will stem from their open designated-player spots and ability to spend big money this winter.
That said, the Galaxy have lost their coach in Bruce Arena and their first signing of Jermaine Jones suggests they are still tempted by the prospect of bringing in ageing stars instead of players close to their prime.
Right now, they have an awful lot of work to do - as do NYCFC with a leaky defence - to be better than Toronto, Seattle and the New York Red Bulls, who would be my three early favourites (along with FC Dallas, whose regular-season record should not be forgotten). Colorado, meanwhile, are one of those teams who could either way after winning a lot of one-goal games in 2016.
But a lot of things can and will change over the course of the next 12 months. TFC, after all, were in a not totally dissimilar spot to New York City this time last year after a promising regular season was followed by a blowout playoff defeat.
Here are the odds in full (the categories are mine):
The favourites: LA Galaxy 11-2, NY Red Bulls 6-1, New York City FC 6-1, Seattle Sounders 7-1
In with a shot: Colorado Rapids 10-1, Toronto FC 11-1, FC Dallas 12-1, Real Salt Lake 12-1, Sporting Kansas City 12-1, Vancouver Whitecaps 14-1, Montreal Impact 14-1
Outsiders: Portland Timbers 20-1, Columbus Crew 25-1, D.C. United 25-1, Houston Dynamo 25-1, Orlando City 25-1, New England Revolution 33-1, Philadelphia Union 33-1, San Jose Earthquakes 33-1
Massive outsiders: Chicago Fire 100-1