The winners of the 2018 MLS Cup are set to make their way to Major League Soccer this summer with the announcement of the league’s winners.
The 2017 MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy will get their chance to return to MLS this year with the Galaxy Cup trophy.
LA will be the only MLS club to win a trophy in each of the last five years and have reached the semifinals of every major tournament.
The league’s other three champions were the Columbus Crew and the New England Revolution.LA won the championship last year and the Crew will be looking to repeat the feat this season.
The Galaxy will be without star midfielder Robbie Keane (concussion) for the start of the season.
The Galaxy will also be without forward Baggio Husidic (concussions) for this season due to a thigh injury suffered on June 30.
The Galaxy, the only team to win the championship three years in a row, will look to repeat their winning ways this season, with Galaxy coach Bruce Arena saying in May the team will “never quit” on winning.
LA are now 10-5-6 in the season’s first 12 matches, having scored the most goals (20) in the league and are tied with the Chicago Fire for the league lead with five shutouts.
The Columbus Crew are coming off their best season in franchise history and will be hoping to make a statement in 2018 with the club’s third straight MLS Cup.
The Crew won the title last year, but they will be missing forward Michael Parkhurst for this campaign due to injury.
The Philadelphia Union have been in a similar spot to LA and will have to fight hard for a playoff spot in 2018.
The Union finished last season as the second-worst team in MLS after finishing in last place for the first half of the year.
Philadelphia is expected to field a strong team this season and should be a playoff team.
Both Columbus and New York City FC will be in their second years of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and are looking to return home with their first MLS Cup crown in franchise-record 10 years.
The Union are coming into the season as a playoff hopeful, but will be facing some tough competition this year.
Columbus are coming out of the tournament with a 1-0-1 record, while NYCFC are tied for second place with two wins in their last four matches.
The Seattle Sounders are hoping to bounce back from a disappointing 2018 season and return to the Lamar Thompson U.N. Cup final for the second time in three seasons.
The club’s last appearance came in the tournament in 2015.
Seattle is currently tied for the best record in the Western Conference and have only lost once this season (at home to Colorado).
The LA Galaxy have been a playoff candidate for a long time, but have had a rough year in 2017.
The team was knocked out of playoffs in 2017 by the New York Red Bulls, but won the Western final this year and reached the Western conference finals this season before being knocked out by the Portland Timbers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
LA is looking to build on that success this year, with LA Galaxy coach Dominic Kinnear telling the team’s website, “We’re looking to go from here.”
LAFC is a playoff contender, but with a tough schedule this season the team could be looking for a bounce-back season from the players.
LAFC will be making their first playoff appearance since 2012 and will also play host to Real Salt Lake.
The New York Cosmos will face an uphill battle to earn their second Western Conference title in the last three seasons, but coach Jim Curtin is looking for the team to take a step forward.
The Cosmos finished last in the West last year with a 4-6-3 record, but the club has made strides in recent years.
New York City will look for a new trophy to mark the 20th anniversary of the city’s opening day as the New Jersey Nets.
In 2018, the NYCFC and New Jersey Cosmos will play host as the teams will be playing in the first ever MLS Cup in their home country.
A win in New Jersey would make the Cosmos the first team to clinch a trophy with the help of a Western Conference final win since 1998.
Toronto FC is looking at a new record this season after going 3-2-2 with a win over the Houston Dynamo.
The TFC are currently tied with LA for the MLS lead with eight shutouts and are in second place in the East.
TFC are the only teams to reach the quarterfinals of the playoffs in the 20 years since MLS was founded.
Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter is looking forward to playing with the MLS Cup trophy for the 20 th time.
The Timbers have reached a record 11 MLS Cup finals in the history of the competition.
This will be Portland’s fourth trip to the MLS Finals in 2017 and the second consecutive year they will play in a Western conference final.
D.C. United will be searching