The MLS season gets underway in a matter of days, with the best sides looking to reign supreme once again and Charlotte FC will mark the start of their debut season in the opening game.
The opening game of the competition is set to be played out on February 26th, with DC United hosting newcomers Charlotte FC at Audi Field in what will be a landmark game for the latter.
Charlotte’s inception into the MLS starts on the opening day and their fans will look to give their side all of the help they can.
The 40,000 seat Bank of America Stadium will play host to Charlotte FC when they play their home games, and the newly incepted side go into the competition at huge odds of +5000 with punters who play with Betstar Australia to do the unlikely and be crowned MLS champions.
Whether they will immediately be able to fill that 40,000 seat stadium is unclear, but if Charlotte are able to put together an impressive run of results, then their popularity could boom incredibly quickly.
Charlotte are particularly unfancied in the betting with sportsbooks as they Charlotte come into this one as a completely unknown quantity.
This does provide the side a clean slate to build upon and the surprise factor too, but it is also worth noting that sides that are added to a league, whether it is because they are a new franchise or have been promoted to that league, have found it very difficult to hit the ground running, which is reflected in their odds of to win the competition.
At the top of the betting are the Seattle Sounders and New England Revolution at +700. New England Revolution romped to the top of the Eastern Conference last season after picking up 73 points from their 34 games, meaning they were an impressive 19 points clear of Philadelphia Union and Nashville in second.
Meanwhile, Seattle Sounders finished in second in the Western Conference with 60 points, one short of Colorado Rapids at the top.
However, despite the two being this year’s favourites, they were left disappointed last time out as neither side made it through the eliminators to make the final.
Indeed, it was New York City FC, who finished eighth overall, that went onto win the MLS Cup after beating Portland Timbers on penalties (4-2). The reigning champions come in at +1100 to win the competition, a long way clear of Charlotte FC.
However, Charlotte can utilise the fact that New York City went into the playoffs as major underdogs as inspiration this term as they look to upset the apple cart.
With the bookies making them pretty big underdogs, can Charlotte FC do what few teams in soccer have been able to do and hit the ground running with a big title challenge?