The MLS has been even more unpredictable than usual over the course of the current season, and that much is a fact. From the first game of the campaign all the way up to the present day, there’s a lingering sense of not knowing what’s going to happen on every single matchday.
At the top of the pile in the Western Conference, though, Los Angeles FC have made it their own and have led the way from the rest – who have been swapping positions back and forth for weeks on end.
In the East, it’s all a little bit more unpredictable. While NYCFC and Philadelphia are in the driving seat to finish in first and second place, not too far behind them is Atlanta United – the reigning MLS Cup champions.
Forcing the issue
They’ve spent the few months gradually building their way back up to prominence after a less than convincing start to their season. In the position that they currently find themselves in, we’re confident in suggesting that they are well and truly flying under the radar as one of the shining lights prior to the playoffs.
In addition to their ability to score plenty of goals through their elite level attacking prowess, they’re starting to put in some defensive performances that could bode very well for them when the playoffs do eventually roll around.
Defense wins championships as we’ve heard so many times throughout the years, and that’s not just true of the Gridiron – as it turns out.
In their most recent game against FC Cincinnati, as reported by Yahoo Sport & ESPN, they were able to showcase both of their primary talents in a win that took them a big step towards that next level.
Both of their goals against lowly Cincy came in the second half, and they were within just a few minutes of each other. Josef Martinez scored both and took his goalscoring streak in Major League Soccer to a huge 15 games, as he continues his pursuit of the Golden Boot accolade.
Time for a repeat?
He’s still battling it out with both Carlos Vela and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and in many ways, we quite like that Josef is still in the mix. He, in many ways, has been thriving in North America for much longer than Vela and Zlatan, who seem to have just burst onto the scene in the last twelve months or so.
Ibrahimovic regularly calls himself the best player, and goalscorer, in Major League Soccer. We couldn’t disagree with that any more if we tried, and Martinez is continuing to make his case for that crown.
If you’re a betting man or woman and you’re looking into the possibility of MLS Cup winners odds, then we’d highly suggest you consider Atlanta. The ATL is buzzing right now with United’s recent success, and while their inconsistency is frustrating to see, they’ve got every quality necessary to make a run towards the championship.
If they don’t get the job done this time around it isn’t going to be the end of the world, but we still think they’re in with a shot.