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Stumptown Roundup: MLS Cup Tidbits and Links

Jason Mowry-USA TODAY Sports

The players play on Sunday. But the media mediaizes on Friday.

"Mediaizes" might not be a real word, but there were plenty of other real words written about the Portland Timbers and MLS Cup on Friday. Here’s a Saturday morning roundup of the MLS Cup media action from Friday’s media frenzy.

Friday morning started with Sports Illustrated’s Brian Straus doing a deep dive on Gavin Wilkinson and his track record with the club in the face of some vocal fan opposition. If Straus’s article wasn’t enough Wilkinson for you, Dan Itel sat down with the GM for a reflective interview on the MLS website.

Over at ESPNFC, Doug McIntyre takes a look ahead at MLS Cup and identifies Diego Valeri as the Timbers’ x-factor. Valeri was a popular man over at the Worldwide Leader as Jeff Carlisle caught up with the Timbers' ten at training. What, you thought ESPNFC wasn’t paying enough attention to Valeri? Don’t worry, Carlisle published a piece about his recent reemergence, too.

The MLS website's Armchair Analyst, Matt Doyle, spilled some serious ink in his tactical preview in which he picks the Timbers to win on Sunday and singles out Fanendo Adi as the focal point of the Timbers’ attack.

Speaking of Adi, the Timbers’ nine stopped by the SBI Show for a chat with Ives Galarcep and Garrett Cleverly, who later issued a split decision as to their predictions.

The Seattle Times’s Matt Pentz took a look at the Timbers’ trial-and-error nature and how it has helped Portland become the first Cascadian team to qualify for the MLS Cup Final.

Our friend at The Oregonian, Jamie B. Goldberg, was busy on Friday and similarly noted the Cascadian history that the Timbers are making in Columbus, but also caught up with Timbers owner Merritt Paulson for a chat, and shined the spotlight on Jack Jewsbury among the five original MLS Timbers still on the roster for the club's first run to MLS Cup.

Diego Valeri took his turn in the spotlight in a piece by the MLS website’s Dan Itel that features reflection on Valeri’s recovery from his 2014 ACL injury and the Maestro finding a second home in the Rose City.

What would the world come to if we had a Timbers game in Ohio be without a piece about Caleb Porter and his time at Akron University? Fortunately we don’t have to find out because Will Parchman wrote an outstanding piece on the MLS website about just that.

And finally, for our own home cooking, Stumptown Footy’s William Conwell was hard at work on Friday as he caught up with Patrick Murphy of our Columbus sister site Massive Report for the preview interview, and then took a look back at how the Timbers made their way to the MLS Cup Final and how Crew SC made their way through the Eastern Conference.

One more sleep.