The Portland Timbers head south Saturday to face off against upstart team Atlanta United in the MLS Cup Finals. Portland, the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, has a lot more experience than the Five Stripes but being No. 2 in the East, Atlanta is familiar with pressure and ready to shine.
The Eastern Conference Champions knocked off the top-seeded New York Red Bulls thanks to a stellar Leg 1 performance at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The 3-0 victory at home was more than enough to advance, as the Five Stripes held New York off despite a 1-0 loss at Red Bull Arena. Atlanta began its playoff journey with two semi-final round wins over the other New York team, NYCFC, to get to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The ‘Kings of the South’ have looked dominant throughout the postseason, but don’t tell Portland that. The Timbers entered the MLS Cup Playoffs as heavy underdogs, despite their previous history and success. However, Portland was able to knock-off longtime rival Seattle, in the semi-final round and stun Kansas City on the road, to reach the Cup.
Atlanta may be favored, heavily favored to be exact, though the Cup is far from a guarantee. Portland’s spoiler ability this playoff season makes it a dangerous threat to the ‘Five Stripes’ Cup hopes.
Now, we’ve previewed the teams and how they got here, how about the match itself?
Atlanta United FC: 21-7-6 (3-1 playoffs) vs. Portland Timbers: 15-9-10 (2-1-1 playoffs)
Match Time: 8:00 pm
Radio: 92.9 The Game
Stream: FOX Sports Go
Live Tweeting: @DirtySouthSoccer
Go get the Cup young lads!
Still rowdy. Still proud.
— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) December 8, 2018