Assessing the 2022 MLS Cup Odds Following Giorgio Chiellini’s Transfer to LAFC
- Los Angeles FC has signed legendary Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini.
- The 37-year-old joins the Major League Soccer club after leaving Juventus.
- LAFC is now the bookmakers’ joint favorite to win the 2022 MLS Cup.
When David Beckham joined the LA Galaxy in 2007, he paved the way for overseas superstars in Major League Soccer. Since then, legendary players such as Thierry Henry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andrea Pirlo, and Kaka have graced the league.
This week, MLS gained another soccer icon – Giorgio Chiellini.
The veteran center-back has teamed up with Los Angeles FC after enjoying 17 hugely successful years with Italian giant Juventus. But can the 37-year-old lead LAFC to MLS Cup glory? Let’s see what the bookies make of the situation.
Latest 2022 MLS Cup Odds
Many of the best Major League Soccer betting sites view LAFC as the current joint favorite to win the 2022 MLS Cup, alongside New York City FC.
When I published my MLS Cup Odds update at the end of last month, LAFC was priced at +550 to secure the silverware. Now, with Chiellini on board, they are priced at +450.
Of course, it wouldn’t be entirely correct to say that LAFC’s price drop is solely down to the arrival of Chiellini. But given that he is widely regarded as one of the best center-backs of his generation, the bookies could have altered their odds accordingly.
So, who exactly is Giorgio Chiellini? And what has he achieved? It’s time to learn more about LAFC’s new signing.
Analyzing Giorgio Chiellini’s Career
Chiellini’s professional career started all the way back in 2000 with Livorno. He moved to Roma in 2002 but failed to make a single appearance for the club, returning to Livorno on loan.
In 2004, Chiellini signed for Juventus. The rest, as they say, is history.
The dominant defender went on to make 561 appearances in all competitions for Juventus, bagging 36 goals and 25 assists. However, it wasn’t his goals and assists that earned him legendary status in Turin.
Best known for his strength, aggressiveness, and expert man-marking ability, Chiellini commanded the Bianconeri’s backline for the best part of two decades. As the list below details, he guided Juve through the most successful era in the club’s history.
- Serie A: 9 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
- Coppa Italia: 5 (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021)
- Supercoppa Italiana: 5 (2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2020)
Chiellini led Juventus to NINE straight Serie A titles between 2012 and 2020, picking up five Coppa Italia crowns and five Supercoppa Italiana trophies along the way. He helped the club reach two UEFA Champions League finals, too.
In terms of personal accolades, the center-back was named Serie A Defender of the Year three times and also made it into the Serie A Team of the Year on five occasions.
Let’s not forget that Chiellini captained Italy to UEFA European Championship glory last summer. Ultimately, he has been immense for both club and country over the years.
Can Chiellini Guide LAFC to MLS Cup Glory?
Although Chiellini is closing in on his 38th birthday, he still has a lot to offer. Despite his age, he will instantly become one of the best center-backs in Major League Soccer when he teams up with LAFC on July 1.
But has he still got what it takes to compete in a title-winning team? If you’re looking for a short answer – it’s a yes from me.
LAFC already has a number of highly-rated center-backs on its roster, including Jesus Murillo and Mbacke. Chiellini will give Cherundolo even more flexibility at the back, which can only be a good thing.
At the end of the day, Chiellini’s experience and know-how are pretty much as good as it gets. The Black & Gold can count themselves extremely lucky to have him on board – and he could make all the difference when the playoffs come around.