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The MLS Cup Final Preview

December 10, 2021 The MLS Cup Final Preview

By: Carlos Alvarez

Portland Timbers vs. New York City FC (Sat. 3:00 pm ET)

One last match for all the marbles. The MLS Cup Final takes the pitch tomorrow afternoon in Portland. It’s the Portland Timbers hosting their first-ever final against the underdogs of New York City FC. Both teams are the 4-seeds from their respective conferences, but Portland — winners of six straight — are the favorites. Let’s see how they got here:


Portland Timbers (17-13-4)

Portland enters the finale riding a six-match win streak, including a blitzing playoff run where they’ve allowed just one goal and outscored opponents 6-1. They expect to have star midfielder Sebastian Blanco back from injury, too. It’s Portland’s third appearance in the Cup Finals with one title to show for their first two trips (2015).


New York City FC (14-11-9)

NYCFC makes their Cup Final debut after a magical playoff run where they took down Atlanta (2-0) and the Supporter’s Shield winners, New England (2-2, 5-3 PKs), before escaping Philadelphia (2-1). The underdogs from New York can get their storybook ending with one last match of magic.


MLS Cup Final (Sat. 3:00 pm ET)


Additional Storylines

MLS: MLS Cup 101: Everything You Need to Know for the Final

ESPN: NYCFC Borrow From Portland Timbers’ Playbook & Meet MLS’ Model Club in Cup Final


Photo: Omar Vega / Getty Images