The 2023 Major League Soccer season will begin on February 25 and the regular season will conclude on October 21. This will be the 28th season of Major League Soccer (MLS) and Los Angeles FC are the reigning MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield champions. Philadelphia Union are the defending Eastern Conference champions and during the regular season, each of the league’s 29 teams will play 34 matches, split evenly between home and away games. Read on as we look at the teams we believe are the early favorites to succeed in the MLS this season.
Who are Looking the Early Favorites in the MLS
Los Angeles FC
We begin with the defending MLS Cup champions, Los Angeles FC. They finished 11 points clear of their nearest rivals at the top of the Western Conference and finished top of the overall table, winning the Supporters’ Shield having recorded more wins than Philadelphia Union. USMNT defender Aaron Long has joined following his departure from New York Red Bulls while Stipe Biuk and Denil Maldonado have joined from Croatian and Honduran football, respectively. With most of the key players remaining from last season, it is easy to see why Los Angeles FC are the early favorites in the MLS with the sportsbooks. If you enjoy betting on soccer from your mobile, the 2023 MLS season is going to extremely exciting, with many mobile betting opportunities.
Philadelphia Union won the 2022 Eastern Conference, finishing 2 points clear of CF Montréal and well clear of the other teams in the conference. They missed out on the Supporters’ Shield having won 2 fewer games than Los Angeles FC and went all the way to the MLS Cup Final.
It was a fitting end to the season as Philadelphia Union met Los Angeles FC but a last minute equaliser in extra time saw Philadelphia Union taken to a penalty shootout, which they lost. At the time of writing, Philadelphia Union have retained the services of striker Dániel Gazdag, who scored 22 goals last season but they have lost attacking midfielder, Paxten Aaronson, who has gone to Germany. Andrés Perea, Julián Carranza, and Richard Odada are three of the players to have joined ahead of the new campaign.
Austin FC reached the Conference Finals in 2022 where they lost to eventual MLS Cup winners Los Angeles FC. However, having been founded in 2018 and played their first season in the MLS in 2021, Austin FC have enjoyed a rapid rise to the top of MLS. Austin FC started last season on fire as they scored 10 goals in their first two matches, which is an MLS record. They finished second in the Western Conference, thanks largely in part to the goals of Sebastián Driussi, with the Argentine netting 22 times. Driussi remains at the club and with two home fixtures to begin the new season, 6 points would see Austin FC move quickly to the top end of the Western Conference with the playoffs once again the aim this season.
LA Galaxy have not been afraid to splash the cash in the transfer window and have added defensive midfielder Gastón Brugman to their ranks from Italian club Parma for a fee of over $2 million. another big name player to join LA Galaxy for the 2023 campaign is Riqui Puig from Barcelona. However, Rayan Raveloson and Kévin Cabral have both left the club having played regularly for LA Galaxy last season, so it will be interesting to see how they cope without those two players.
NYCFC Kickstart Campaign In ChicagoSome of the other teams who will believe they can reach the MLS Cup Final this coming season include New York City FC, Nashville SC, CF Montreal, and Seattle Sounders.