For the first time in a long time, the actual two best teams in the league meet in the 2022 MLS Cup (a No. 1 vs. No. 1 matchup hasn't happened since 2003). No upsets this year as both top seeds — LAFC and Philadelphia — took care of business to set up this title clash. You’ll want to read this article to get a full breakdown of the game, plus can’t-miss picks of the 2022 MLS Cup.
2022 MLS Cup Preview
Both these teams tied in the regular season for points at 67, however, LAFC won the tiebreaker on the account of having more seasonal wins. That gave them not only the Supporters’ Shield, but also home-field advantage in the MLS Cup. They might need it cause this is a super close matchup anyway you preview the 2022 MLS Cup.
There’s zero question about LAFC’s talent. Los Angeles has the most-stacked roster which features several players that’ve made waves internationally — Garett Bale (though, injuries have kept him mostly sidelined), Giorgio Chiellini, and Carlos Vela, among others. This surplus of talent has been the case since its inaugural season in 2018, but this year’s squad has shown a different killer instinct, which was evident in the prior two postseason matches. First came an injury-time go-ahead goal against rival Galaxy followed by a 3-0 beatdown of Austin in the conference title.
Then there’s the Philadelphia Union, who like LAFC, finally got over the hump in 2022. Last year’s Supporter Shield winners avenged their 2021 postseason defeat to NYCFC in the Eastern Conference finals. Philadelphia used a three-goal outburst in 11 minutes to rally past the reigning champions NYCFC.
Neither team has ever won an MLS Cup so we’re guaranteed a first-time winner on Saturday, October 5. The game kicks off at 4 pm EST sharp at Banc of Californian Stadium — an arena in which LAFC has won 11 of the past 12 matches at.
2022 MLS Cup Betting Picks
We will be making more than one pick in the 2022 MLS Cup. We’re eying two bets, in particular. Here’s where our money is going at top-used soccer betting sites:
Over/Under 3 Goals
|Over 3 goals||-110||-110|
|Under 3 goals||-110||-110|
This matchup pits two of the league’s best offensive AND defensive teams. Union led the league in both categories, scoring 72 goals and allowing just 26. Its defense is historically one of the stingiest in MLS history. LAFC wasn’t as prolific, but did net 66 goals (second-best) and surrendered only 38 (third-best).
If the stats didn’t prove just how evenly matched both sides are, we have to mention they drew a 2-2 match in its only regular-season meeting. This was back in May and also in LA’s home stadium.
Playoff soccer has a way of turning up the intensity, however, which is why we’re betting the under. As we said, the Union is historically good at stopping goals, and being at home should also fuel LAFC’s defense. Take the under three goals here.
There’s one important thing we forgot to mention about the previous meeting in May: LAFC has made big moves to its roster since then. The most notable one is the acquisition of Chiellini. The Italian’s presence gives this team an added boost defensively, and experience too.
But Chiellini isn’t alone. The other impact player LAFC added is winger Denis Bouanga. After a slow start, Bouanga is now clicking with his teammates. He bagged two goals against the Galaxy, which makes LAFC’s attack with Vela and Christian Arango even deadlier. Watch out for that transition game, even if you have a great defense like the Union does.
Philly goalkeeper Aaron Blake is as good as they come, but we think LAFC’s pressure upfront (and from the home crowd) will be enough to make them crack once or twice. We’re putting money on LAFC to take the title. This is as close to a “dream team” as we’ve ever seen in MLS, which warrants the wager. Expect LAFC to pull off the somewhat rare Shield-Cup double with a home victory.
How To Watch & Bet 2022 MLS Cup
Want to follow your bets in real-time and watch the 2022 MLS Cup? Well here’s how: if you’re in the United States, the game will air on two networks — FOX and Univision. Of course, the FOX broadcast is in English, while the latter is in Spanish.
Last thing before we let you go: visit one of the underneath bookmakers to place your MLS Cup bets. They’ll have up-to-date odds on the game, and not just on the two bets we covered, but also a bevy of props. You can read out in-depth sportsbook reviews in case you want to compare sites, but take our word for it, each is an industry leader.
You can go from reading this sentence to dropping bets within a matter of minutes. Each site below offers different deposit methods — credit or debit card, bank wire, crypto, etc. — which makes inserting money easy and safe. From there, you can bet at will on the MLS Cup or even the upcoming World Cup tournament.