Why Weren’t The Sounders Favorites for MLS Cup?

by Michael Martinez

The Seattle Sounders are first in the Supporter’s Shield race, first in the Western Conference, and they have yet to lose a game this season. So why did it take so long for the Sounders MLS Cup odds to go up? You would think they would have been favorites from the start.

The Sounders are having an excellent start to the season, their best ever in fact.  This has not come as a surprise because the Sounders are synonymous with winning. They have arguably been one of the best teams in MLS over the last 5 years. 

This year specifically has been great for the team. Best goal difference (+11), least goals allowed (3, ZERO from open play), and the second best goal scoring team on top of that (14 goals to SKC’s 15). 

So with all that in mind, you would think that they would have had the best odds to win MLS Cup right? Well, it took the bookies 7 games to finally put them at the top. Why? 

You could argue they should have been at the top from the beginning but it seems others have had their doubts. The reason for this could have been our injury problems to some key players. Many of which are out for a longer while.  

 We have yet to see Nico, our DP #10,  all season due to knee issues, JMO out for the season after picking up another torn ACL in Swansea, Delem out with an ACL tear, and now Frei out for the foreseeable future due to complications with his knee injury. All such key components to the team. 

For most teams, when you lose important players like that, your form has a tendency to take a big dip. That has to be exactly what they were thinking when the season started. That is why the Sounders were second on the list. No one knew what to expect, including Sounders fans. 

Thankfully, the team has stepped up so immensely in the absence of these players. Brian Schmetzler has changed the formation up and the team is performing. Playing a 5-3-2 has paid off immensely. Every single player has stepped into new roles and are playing with a tenacity I have not seen in a while. 

Image via Seattle Sounders FC Twitter

Even without Nico and JMO, the team is still creating plenty of chances and scoring goals. The new emergence of the kids is paying off as they look like they have been part of the team for years. I am excited to see how the team plays when Nico comes back, but for now fans can sleep comfortably knowing the team will still perform. 

As we speak, the Sounders are now getting the best odds in the league at +400 to win the MLS Cup, according to Sports Betting Dime. That’s higher than what LAFC had at the start of the season! 

Things can only get better from here for the Sounders. If they stay on this path, then there is no reason to believe that they won’t win the cup. They’ll also break some league records along the way. Let’s hope the bookies agree with us.

The Sounders now head into the upcoming FIFA international break, with the club pausing from league duty until Saturday, June 19 when they play LA Galaxy (6:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Prime Video, ESPN +)

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