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All About the MLS Cup Final Teams, LAFC and the Philadelphia Union, in 2022

LAFC Ahead of the MLS Cup final

28 teams have quickly become two as MLS Cup beckons. On Saturday, the best of the east and the best of the west will go head-to-head with the ultimate prize on the line. To up the stakes, as if that needed to be done, whoever prevails in this MLS Cup final out of LAFC and the Philadelphia Union will be a first time winner!

What Can You Expect from the Two MLS Cup Finalists?

Western Conference- LAFC

Starting first out west with the team who went all the way in the regular season. At one point, LAFC seemed untouchable at the top and whilst the Union ran them close, it was Steve Cherundolo’s men who prevailed. Bob Bradley led the black and gold to their first ever MLS trophy, and now, in his inaugural season, Cherundolo has done the same.

LAFC’s other Supporters’ Shield winning team were record-breakers, were as this one is excellent in its own right. In the post-season, where they have previously come up short, they won El Trafico before making very light work of a strong Austin FC team.

These are two teams with very different ideals and LAFC are of the flashy design. Star player after star player has arrived at the Banc of California Stadium with a wide variety of success. Christian Tello and Gareth Bale are formerly of Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, yet neither has featured much a lot since going stateside.

Legendary Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini has made an impact both on and off the field but his status for the MLS Cup final is seemingly hanging in the balance. When discussing LAFC, it isn’t all about the big names, particularly this year. They may have brought in this elite talent, but they also made some great acquisitions from within MLS.

Maxime Crepeau was one of the best goalkeepers in the league last year in Vancouver. Kellyn Acosta is a USMNT stalwart who has thrived previously in both Dallas and Colorado. Ryan Hollingshead, when fit, was an excellent piece for FC Dallas, constantly delivering when going forward and defensively too. Alongside that, Chicho Arango upfront is so underrated and such a quality player. One has to give a nod to just how well LAFC have recruited, even if you don’t approve of the money spent.

Read More: Union Rally Late to Beat NYCFC and Advance to MLS Cup Final

Eastern Conference- Philadelphia Union

Turning attentions now to the representative of the east in the MLS Cup final and the odds are stacked against the Philadelphia Union in many ways. 11 teams in this league has it been a case of the highest-ranked team hosting the final. On only three of these occasions have the side playing away from home prevailed, these being Portland (2015), Seattle (2016) and NYCFC (2021). Jim Curtin’s side are set to make the trip to California and so this stat argues against them prevailing.

The Union being written off is pretty commonplace in this Curtin era though and so it won’t faze them one bit. It is a true underdog story in which they are regularly punching above their weight and going above and beyond over-and-over again. On the road to this MLS Cup Final, Philly edged out FC Cincinnati in classic style before coming from behind to beat NYCFC, the defending champions.

When looking at the players on the field for both sides, it is much easier to predict who the Union will go with from the start. All over the pitch there are consistent performers who can be relied upon to deliver at Subaru Park and on the road too.

Andre Blake and Daniel Gazdag were a duo of excellent performers in the running for league MVP, as a superb shot-stopper and a dual threat in the attacking third respectively. Beyond that, the defence that in front of the Jamaican goalkeeper, Kai Wagner, Jack Elliott and Jakob Glesnes being the main three. Alejandro Bedoya at the base of midfield is the experienced head who has been there from the start, able to keep the younger players focused and ticking over.

All-in-all, this promises to be a fascinating encounter between two great teams. Not only are they two great teams, they are the two best teams, as the regular season has shown us- how fitting for an MLS Cup final. LAFC have the chance to secure a much sought-after double whilst Philly could reap the rewards of such an impressive process that they’ve beat in MLS under Jim Curtin’s stewardship.

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