New York City FC, the defending MLS Cup champion, has the odds against them as the Pigeons set their sights on reaching the Final for the second-straight year. They will need to again defeat the Philadelphia Union to get there.

While the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles and World Series-bound Philadelphia Phillies are getting plenty of attention in the City of Brotherly Love, the Union soccer club is hosting the MLS Eastern Conference Final on Sunday as well.

In 2021, NYC FC edged Philly 2-1 to advance to the championship game. Now, the Pigeons will look for history to repeat itself on the road once again at Subaru Park as the underdog.

New York City FC vs. Union Eastern Conference Final Odds

The Union are favored to reach their first-ever MLS Cup Final. Taking a look at the odds via DraftKings, the first listing takes the teams finishing the first 90 minutes (plus stoppage time) in a draw.

Philadelphia Union-120
New York City FC+290

In playoff matches, the teams play two extra periods of 15 minutes each. If the score is still tied after the 30 minutes, a penalty-kick shootout takes place to determine the winner. If you would rather just bet on the winner, regardless of whether it takes just 90 minutes or a shootout to determine it, you can do that as well.

Philadelphia Union-225
New York City FC+175

Recent History Favors Philadelphia

Last year’s 2-1 NYC FC win was over a Philadelphia team that was missing 11 players due to COVID-19 protocols.

This season, the Pigeons started slow and had a difficult August, but they have won six-straight matches heading into this one, including a 3-1 win at CF Montreal last week. In head-to-head competition, however, the Union defeated NYC FC twice this year by a aggregate total of 4-1.

Odds Are Against NYC FC to Repeat

If NYC FC can somehow get by Philadelphia this weekend, they will likely be large underdogs to repeat if the opponent is Los Angeles FC–who are heavy favorites over Austin FC.

When we last wrote on the MLS Cup futures odds in August, LAFC was +200 to win the MLS Cup, and NYC FC and Philadelphia were both next at +725. With only two games remaining, the odds for the Pigeons haven’t improved that much on FanDuel.

Los Angeles FC+115
Philadelphia Union+220
New York City FC+470
Austin FC+500

NYC FC has had a gallant run despite plenty of setbacks. Taty Castellanos was set to repeat as the MLS Golden Boot winner until he was sent on loan to LaLiga sister team Girona FC. Defense and goaltending has been key so far in these playoffs, which have included a 3-0 win over Inter Miami and the 3-1 victory in Montreal last week.

Montreal took 18 shots with eight heading to the goal box. Sean Johnson saved seven of those. On offense, both Maxi Moralez and Heber scored to tally their second postseason goal.

But the Union’s defense has been even stingier, not allowing a playoff goal this year after a 4-0 win over Toronto FC and 1-0 victory over FC Cincinnati.

Prediction: Philadelphia 2, New York City FC 1

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