The time has come and the Portland Timbers will face Real Salt Lake this Saturday, December 4th at Providence Park Stadium at 5:30pm, to get their pass to the MLS Cup Final. And while there are still tickets available for the game, they won't last long. The game will be broadcasted by FS1, Fox Sports, TSN and TVA Sports.
The last 5 times this teams met in the tournament, they had all the possible results: the local team accumulated 3 victories, while the visit added 1. In 1 match they ended up even on the scoreboard.
But this duel will be sudden death and this time, there will be no second chance for either of the 2. But both teams have shown so far that the position on the table does not matter, but what is done with the ball on the field is what really matters.
How the Portland Timbers reach the final match of the Western Conference?
The match aginst Colorado Rapids wasn´t an easy one, because the locals had all the support of their fans and also, they were confident since they were in the top 3 teams of the Western Conference in the tournament.
Perhaps this explains the lack of forcefulness in their attacks, since for most of the game they tried to score in the goal guarded by Steve Clarck, but they failed.
In fact, the goalkeeper was one of the heroes of the match by reducing all the attacks from Colorado. Everything seemed to be going according to Robert Fraser's game plan, yet the Portland Timblers weren't going to stare.
It was at minute 89 when Larrys Mabiala performed a scissor kick in the area, defeating the goalkeeper.
This goal, plus the concentration of the Timblers on their defense, was what allowed them to secure a pass to the final of their conference.
But they weren't the only ones to beat a strong opponent to reach their pass to the next round.
David Vs. Goliath
In a dramatic game, what was already known was confirmed: the Real Salt Lake is turned into a giant slayer. Not only did they face the leader of their conference, the Sporting Kansas City, but they started the game losing 1-0, as a goal from Johnny Russel opened the scoring, kicking a penalty.
However, things would be balanced at minute 72, when Anderson Julio, who came in on the substitution, finished off a cross from the side and made the score 1-1.
Everyone thought that the game would go to overtime because of the draw, however, this was not the case. It was in the 91st minute when Bobby Wood took advantage of a pass to the area and almost fell, but he managed to score the 2-1 and get a ticket to the next round.
Both teams have already won the MLS Cup
None of these teams are strangers to glory and both have managed to win the MLS Cup in the past.
In 2009 the Real Salt Lake managed to take the gold after a tough match against the Los Angeles Galaxy, one of the teams that has won the league the most times.
That game was taking place on November 22nd, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. On that occasion, Real Salt Lake won the game on penalties, after a 1-1 draw in regular time. Since then, this team has sought to repeat the feat and reach the MLS Cup once again.
The Portland Timbers are also no strangers to winning the cup. It was in 2015 when the team won the final, played on December 6th of that year, when they beat the Columbus Crew 2 - 1 at Mapfre Stadium in the city of Columbus with goals from Diego Valeri and Rodney Wallace.
Which team will make it to the MLS Cup?