There were some who looked at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, Florida as a bit of a bad idea. Unlike other sports, though, the MLS have had zero issues to deal with in the bubble in regards the health of the players. Yes, Dallas and Nashville were forced to withdraw, but that came before the tournament began and before teams arrived in the bubble, so leaving them at home was the best idea. There were also some who saw this as a meaningless tournament, but the MLS proved otherwise, making the group stage points count towards the regular season, while also offering up over $1 million to the winner, as well as a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League. You have to say that the players have risen to the occasions, because this has been a fantastic tournament. The Portland Timbers have already made it the final and will be joined by either Orlando City or Minnesota United, who will meet on Thursday night. The bookies see this as a tight one, as they have it in as a PK play. The goal total for this one has been set at 2 ½.
When: Thursday, August 6 at 8 PM EST
Where: Wide World of Sports, Orlando
MLS Odds: Get the Latest Odds at YouWager.lv
Why bet on Orlando City
You would likely have won a lot of money if you had wagered on Orlando City reaching this stage of the tournament, as they certainly did not come in as one of the favorites. They are full value for their semi-final berth, though, as they have been one of the more entertaining teams to watch in this tournament. They opened things up in Group A, where they were drawn with Philadelphia, NYCFC, and Inter Miami. Orlando took 7 points from their 3 games, scoring 6 and surrendering 3, which was good enough to win them the group. They squeezed past Montreal with a 1-0 win in the Round of 16, but everyone thought their time was up in the quarterfinal against LAFC. Orlando scored a last-gasp equalizer and forced penalties, which they won to move on.
Why bet on Minnesota United
There will perhaps be no one who wants to win this one more than Minnesota coach Adrian Heath. After all, he helped make the Orlando franchise happen, only to be fired as their head coach a little later on. He certainly has his team up for the fight, as they have looked very good throughout this tournament. Minnesota played in Group D alongside Sporting Kansas City, Real Salt Lake, and Colorado. They finished second behind KC with 5 points, scoring 4 and surrendering 3. The knockout round is where they really came to life, though, knocking out Columbus, who had looked unbeatable to that point, by way of penalties. They laid an absolute thumping on San Jose in the quarterfinal, winning that game by a score of 4-1.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Minnesota has had the best of this matchup, going unbeaten (W2 D1) in their 3 previous meetings. I think they look likely to maintain that unbeaten record with a win in what should be a close one.
Orlando City 1 Minnesota United 2