The Portland Timbers are back in the MLS Cup Final for the second time since joining Major League Soccer. As the Timbers go in search of a second star to add to their crest, sophomore side Atlanta United stand in their way, and odds seem stacked against the Boys in Green.
Of course, the odds have been stacked against the Timbers since the regular season ended.
The Timbers have fought and clawed their way through the playoffs to find themselves here, taking down the best that the West has to offer and asking for more. Now it is up to Giovanni Savarese and company to defy those odds once again and bring the cup that so many are so eager to hand to Atlanta before a single ball is kicked, home to Oregon.
It is up to Jeff Attinella and Liam Ridgewell to lead the back line against a too-talented Atlanta attack. It is up to Diego Chara to stifle chances before they can come to fruition in the midfield — and to make life miserable for his former teammate Darlington Nagbe. It is up to Diego Valeri and Sebastian Blanco to provide a moment of brilliance that cracks open Atlanta’s shell. And it is up to every other player who steps on the pitch to write their own entry in the lore of the Timbers.
Whether it is a tackle the opponent never thought they could make, or a bit of hustle to rescue a ball that everyone thought was running out of play, or a diving header for the game-winning goal, every Timbers player has their chance to make history tonight.
Storylines: “One team was all but odds-on favorite to make it this far, the other - not so much. Can the Timbers once again stun MLS and take home their second cup in four years? Or will the two-year-old upstarts send their head coach off in a blaze of glory with the club’s first MLS title?”
How to watch: FOX, UniMas
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA
When: Saturday, December 8th at 5:00 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers: Finished 5th place in the Western Conference, beat FC Dallas in the Knockout Round, beat Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference Semifinals, beat Sporting Kansas City in the Western Conference Finals