16.03.2021 - The 2021 MLS season has been pushed back to mid-April and the slight delay has allowed franchise teams to make any further changes to their roster. With the addition of Austin FC to the ranks, the division will now feature 27 sides, all of whom will be aiming for glory with the MLS Cup final scheduled for mid-December.
"Bob Bradley" (CC BY 2.0) by Doha Stadium Plus
The playing staff will have the final say as to who claims that silverware while the pressure is on each of the respective coaches. There are some new faces in dugouts across North America this year and we’re about to run the rule over some of the bigger names.
Bob Bradley: Los Angeles FC
Despite having never won the MLS Cup since debuting in the division back in 2014, LAFC are the favorites to win the title this season. The US sportsbooks who are currently affiliated with sbo.net have the ‘Black and Gold’ out in front, just ahead of Seattle Sounders, Columbus Crew and Toronto FC.
Looking to steer the franchise to their first ever taste of glory is Bob Bradley who has been with Los Angeles since 2014. Outside of the country, Bradley is best known for leading the USMNT from 2006 to 2011 and during that time he led the nation to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
During a long coaching career that now dates back some forty years, Bradley has enjoyed some success. He’s also third in the all-time MLS lists for most wins in the regular season and the postseason. Back in 1998, he won the MLS Cup with Chicago Fire and he’s tipped for a repeat in 2021.
To see if Bradley can pull it off, readers can stay tuned to sbo.net for news and opinion pieces on the MLS. The betting markets will continue to be updated and it will be possible to take advantage of sportsbook offers and promotions for those who want to get involved.
Phil Neville: Inter Miami
David Beckham’s Inter Miami played their first season of MLS soccer in 2020 and it was a steady start for the new franchise. The team finished tenth in the Eastern Conference and that was enough to progress to the play-in round but Miami’s campaign came to an end at the first knockout stage.
When it became clear that Diego Alonso’s reign as coach was coming to an end, there was really only one name in the frame to replace him. Former England women’s coach Phil Neville stepped in but what are his credentials, other than the fact that he played with Beckham at Manchester United?
Having been linked with the manager’s job at his final club Everton, Neville took over the reins at England women in 2017. While with the Lionesses, he won the Shebelieves Cup in 2019 in a tournament that also included World Cup Winners the USA.
It’s a short CV but David Beckham clearly feels that his old teammate has potential and it will be fascinating to see how far Inter Miami can go in 2021.
Bruce Arena: New England Revolution
New England’s Bruce Arena took his side to the Conference finals in 2020 and few coaches can ever hope to match his record. Another former leader of the USMNT, Arena has won more postseason games than anyone else and he’s been named as MLS coach of the year on three separate occasions.
Arena has won the MLS Cup twice with two different teams - DC United and LA Galaxy. New England Revolution aren’t exactly among the favorites for success in 2021 but many will argue that they’ve got the best coach in the business.
Brian Schmetzer: Seattle Sounders
Another veteran coach, Brian Schmetzer has been with Seattle since 2016 and in that time he’s overseen some of the club’s greatest achievements. The Sounders won the MLS Cup for the first time in Schmetzer’s debut season of 2016 and they went on to repeat that success three years later.
Seattle were widely expected to add a third title last season but they failed to show in the MLS Cup final, losing out 3-0 to Columbus Crew. It was a big setback for the franchise but they’re heavily tipped to go one step further in 2021.