The MLS playoffs have reached the grand finale as Los Angeles FC take on the impressive Philadelphia Union in the MLS Cup final to crown the champion of 2022.
The two teams have been the stand-out sides across the Western and Eastern conferences this season and fittingly will go toe-to-toe in the final to see who really is the best of the best.
We'll break down the big game and both teams in it, then provide you with our best free MLS picks to see if we can earn you some extra cash for the upcoming holiday season.
|MLS Cup Final
|Los Angeles FC
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Los Angeles FC vs Philadelphia Union information
- Saturday, November 5th 2022
- 16:00 ET kick-off
- Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, California
- Live on FOX Deportes
LA FC season so far
The strongest team in the entire MLS without a doubt, Los Angeles FC lived up to the hype by claiming top spot in the western conference with a brilliant season, courtesy of the most winningest record in the conference.
They won six of their opening eight games of the season, losing just one - to the LA Galaxy. Through July and August they managed a seven-game winning streak, before four losses in their next five games put a real dent in their ambitions.
Thankfully for them though, wins over Houston Dynamo and Portland Timbers in the final three games were enough to seal them top spot and a bye in the playoffs to progress to the semi-finals, where they beat LA Galaxy 3-2 in a crazy game with a stoppage time winner.
They got to this stage with a dominant 3-0 win over Austin FC in the Western Conference finals, proving they're the best team on the west coast.
Their top scorer this season has been Cristian Arango with 18 goals in 36 appearances, closely followed by Carlos Vela's 12 goals in 34 games.
They added world superstar Gareth Bale to their ranks mid-season too, although he's managed just two goals in 12 games so far in Hollywood. With the World Cup just weeks away though, he will be looking to get into top form before going away with Wales.
Philadelphia Union season so far
Philadelphia opened the season in near flawless fashion, winning six of their opening seven games until suffering their first defeat of the campaign against Toronto FC.
They really struggled after that though with seven draws and just one win in their next eight games, which had them chasing the pack for a while before they really managed to click into gear and push on.
The Union went on to win 12 of their next 17 games of the season, with two separate five game winning streaks under their belt to waltz to the top of the Eastern Conference with the best goal difference across the entire MLS.
Los Angeles FC finished above them only by virtue of the most wins with 21, ahead of Philadelphia's 19 despite finishing on the same number of points.
They beat Cincinnati 1-0 in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, before a dominant 3-1 win over New York City FC last time out clinched their spot in the final this weekend.
Daniel Gazdag is the club's top scorer so far this season with 23 goals across all competitions, followed by Julian Carranza who has 15.
MLS Picks: LA FC to get the win
There's a very real possibility that LA FC are already the strongest and deepest squad in the entire Americas, so it's time for them to prove it.
Los Angeles FC finished the regular season in the no.1 spot in the Western Conference with a 21-4-9 which equals 67 points, a total only matched by Philadelphia Union. That’s still more points than any other team in the MLS, which won LAFC the 2022 Supporters’ Shield.
The team coached by Steve Cherundolo was, by far, the most dominant side in the conference, finishing the regular portion of the 2022 MLS season with 11 points more than the second-placed team (Austin FC).
The main reason behind LAFC’s impressive stats in 2022 is that their offense has been superb this year. With 72 goals scored in 36 games, they have the most productive attack in the conference, which is no surprise considering that they have some real legends on the roster.
Defensively they've been good too and they've really come alive in the playoffs, so expect them to go all the way.
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MLS Picks: Both teams to score
These are the two teams with the best attacks in the entire MLS, with 66 and 72 goals scored respectively during the regular season.
Defensively both teams are solid too, and usually that would make for a tight and cagey affair. But the way these two teams play, it seems highly unlikely that either side will sit back and be safe.
Expect both teams to try and dominate possession and play their own game, forcing their style on the opposition. In an open game, Philadelphia are dangerous but they'll be leaving themselves open the individual quality and fantastic ability that LA FC have.
An early goal will certainly help this bet, but don't be surprised to see it land in the second half where both teams are generally at their best.
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