2024 MLS Season – What to Expect

The 2024 MLS season is almost here. With the new Major League Soccer campaign set to kick off on February 17, now feels like the perfect time to preview the forthcoming season. 

FC Cincinnati dominated the regular season last year, claiming their first-ever Supporters’ Shield. However, the Columbus Crew turned up the heat during the playoffs, securing their second MLS Cup in four years. 

Will the Ohio teams dominate once again? Can Lionel Messi fire Inter Miami to glory? Could we see a brand-new name on the trophy? Here’s what to expect from the 2024 MLS season. 

If you are interested in soccer picks, check out How To Bet La Liga Totals.

2024 MLS Season Preview 

  • Edition: 29th 
  • Pre-Season: January 19 – February 17 
  • Regular Season: February 21 – October 19 
  • Playoffs: October 19 – December 7 
  • Defending MLS Cup Champions: Columbus Crew 
  • Defending Supporters’ Sheild Champions: FC Cincinnati 

The 29th Major League Soccer season will begin on Saturday, February 17. Due to the lengthy nature of the 2024 MLS season, the MLS Cup final is slated for December 7. 

As I already mentioned, the Columbus Crew are the defending MLS Cup champions, having defeated Los Angeles FC in last year’s showpiece. Meanwhile, FC Cincinnati will aim to defend the Supporters’ Shield after an unrivalled regular season in 2023. 

MLS Cup 2024 Odds 

  • Inter Miami (+300) 
  • Los Angeles FC (+800) 
  • Columbus Crew (+900) 
  • FC Cincinnati (+1200) 
  • New York Red Bulls (+1400) 
  • Philadelphia Union (+1600) 
  • Seattle Sounders (+2000) 
  • Orlando City SC (+2200) 
  • Houston Dynamo (+2500) 
  • Los Angeles Galaxy (+2500) 
  • New York City FC (+2500) 
  • Atlanta United (+2800) 
  • Nashville SC (+2800) 
  • Sporting Kansas City (+3300) 
  • St. Louis City SC (+3300) 
  • New England Revolution (+4000)
  • Real Salt Lake (+4000) 
  • Austin FC (+5000) 
  • D.C. United (+5000) 
  • FC Dallas (+5000) 
  • Minnesota United (+5000) 
  • Portland Timbers (+5000) 
  • Vancouver Whitecaps (+5000) 
  • CF Montreal (+6600) 
  • Charlotte FC (+6600) 
  • Chicago Fire (+6600) 
  • San Jose Earthquakes (+6600) 
  • Colorado Rapids (+10000) 
  • Toronto FC (+10000) 

Despite missing out on the playoffs last season, Inter Miami is the bookies’ favorite to win the 2024 MLS Cup. Spearheaded by Lionel Messi – arguably the greatest soccer player of all time – the Herons are expected to make a big impact this year. 

Los Angeles FC is the second favorite, while Columbus completes the top three. LAFC triumphed in 2022 before losing last season’s final to the Crew, who have won two of the previous four titles. 

With a whopping 29 teams to choose from, there is no shortage of betting value on offer in the 2024 MLS season outright odds. So, let’s take a closer look at the top contenders and potential sleepers ahead of the new campaign. 

Analyzing the Top Contenders – 2024 MLS Season 

Inter Miami is the clear favorite to lift the trophy in 2024. The Herons possess the lowest outright odds by a considerable margin, with LAFC and Columbus the only other teams priced under +1000. 

  • Inter Miami (+300) – Tata Martino’s star-studded roster is stacked with big-name players. Of course, Messi is the standout star, Inter Miami can also call upon Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. After failing to qualify for the playoffs last year, the Herons will aim to dominate the league in 2024. 
  • Los Angeles FC (+800) – LAFC may have only entered the league in 2018, but they already boast an exceptional record. The Black and Gold claimed the Supporters’ Shield in 2019 before winning it all in 2022. Having lost the MLS Cup final last season, LAFC will be eager to go one better this year. 
  • Columbus Crew (+900) – Odds of +900 for the reigning champions to defend their crown are bound to attract plenty of attention. Led by goal-machine Cucho Hernandez, Columbus came alive in the playoffs last year. Has the Crew got what it takes to win back-to-back titles? Time will tell. 

Sleepers to Keep Tabs On – 2024 MLS Season 

It’s fair to say that there are lots of sleepers to keep an eye on during the 2024 MLS season. The outright odds present excellent value across the board, but I have selected two standout candidates with odds of +2200 and +3330. 

  • Orlando City SC (+2200) – The Lions finished second in the Eastern Conference last season, losing just seven of their 34 matches. Orlando also posted the joint-best defensive record in the East, so I expect Oscar Pareja’s men to pick up where they left off and mount another serious title charge. 
  • St. Louis City SC (+3300) – The 2023 Western Conference winners enjoyed a remarkable debut season in Major League Soccer, defying the odds throughout the campaign. Having averaged 1.8 goals per game last year, St. Louis City will be confident of outscoring any opponent going forward. 
2024 MLS Season
Luis Suarez and Messi reunited in the MLS

Top Players to Watch – Potential MVP/Golden Boot Winners 

We are still waiting for the bookies to release their player awards odds for the 2024 MLS season. Still, that won’t stop me from discussing the potential winners of the MVP award and the Golden Boot. 

  • Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) – What can I say about Messi that hasn’t already been said? The Argentine magician has won everything there is to win in soccer, scoring countless goals along the way. Even at 36, Messi is still an unstoppable force capable of winning individual awards. 
  • Denis Bouanga (Los Angeles FC) – The 2023 Golden Boot winner scored 25 goals in 36 MLS appearances last year, including five in five postseason games. As a result, Denis Bouanga’s record for LAFC stands at 41 goals in 58 appearances. 
  • Luciano Acosta (FC Cincinnati) – Thanks to a tally of 19 goals and 12 assists, Luciano Acosta secured the MVP award last season. The Cincinnati playmaker was pivotal to his team’s Supporters’ Shield triumph and looks destined to enjoy another successful campaign. 

Who Will Be the Winners of the 2024 MLS Season? 

The 2024 MLS season is set to be one of the most exciting campaigns in the league’s history. With a new wave of big-name superstars – led by Messi – taking over the league, MLS fans have a lot to be excited about. 

Naturally, Messi’s Inter Miami is the favorite to lift the trophy, but I can see the Herons flattering to deceive. All of their best players are in their mid to late thirties, so I expect them to burn out towards the end of the campaign. 

In my opinion, LAFC is the best bet for the 2024 MLS Cup, while Orlando City is the best sleeper pick. Thanks to the generous outright odds, you can back both teams and still make a profit if one of them fails!