The 2022 MLS Cup champions will be…

Well, here’s how this fan sees the season playing out.

EASTERN CONFERENCE top 7 (aka the playoff teams)

  1. Philadelphia Union
  2. New England Revolution
  3. New York City FC
  4. Atlanta United
  5. Toronto FC
  6. Orlando City
  7. Columbus Crew

One team that might sneak into the playoffs: Chicago Fire

Photo: Anthony Moretti, 16April2016

WESTERN CONFERENCE top 7 (aka the playoff teams)

  1. Seattle Sounders
  2. Nashville SC
  3. Sporting KC
  4. Colorado Rapids
  5. LA Galaxy
  6. Portland Timbers
  7. LAFC

One team that might sneak into the playoffs: FC Dallas

The top three clubs in each conference appear to be ahead of their rivals. If that’s the case, then here are some questions to consider:

-Will Philadelphia finally get over the hump and win a title? The Union have been one of MLS’ more consistent sides in recent years, but a championship banner continues to elude the club.

-How much will New England drop off? A club that seem destined for the 2021 championship didn’t even make it to MLS Cup. Will that shocking finish serve as an impetus to advance further in 2022?

-Are the champs good enough to repeat? Winning back-to-back titles in MLS is rare (2012 was the last time it happened), so history suggests NYCFC won’t be the last team standing this year.

-Is Seattle the league’s best side? It sure looks that way, and there’s a deep reservoir of success to tap into as the Sounders seek to win another title.

-Nashville SC continues to win and often by smothering its opponents with defensive intensity. Will the move to the West and the longer road trips interrupt the team’s success?

-Sporting KC seems to always be in the championship conversation at the beginning of the season and in the what-went-wrong conversation at the end. Will that again be the message in 2022?

Put it all together, and I think MLS Cup 2022 is won by…


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