We know that coming off a terrific 2019 season, Los Angeles Football Club have to be considered favorites on paper for the MLS is Back Tournament.
There are, of course, a few caveats to these odds, which seem a bit stretched even if I agree LAFC are among the favorites. For starters, will all of LAFC’s players be available? If a key player is missing, that jenga piece may be too much to overcome.
Second, will there be a wider range of teams’ abilities because of the long layoff due to the coronavirus and it being a short tournament? Or will those factors make the field much more muddled? To me, it seems likely the second outcome is more likely, teams will be all over the place in terms of ability and with only seven games to win it all, a few surprises are surely going to make a good run. That means LAFC’s perceived advantages of talent, cohesion and style of play may not prove as dominant as we expect.
The third factor looms over everything, still: will we even see soccer? The coronavirus continues to rise around the country, including Florida, where MLS is expected to head over the next couple weeks. With the Orlando Pride opting out of the NWSL Challenge Cup, set to begin Saturday in Utah, altogether, there’s no guarantee of anything these days.
Having said all of that, LAFC are the favorites. Now, they’ll need to head out and try and live up to the hype.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.