Portland Timbers Win MLS Is Back Tournament, Earn Coveted CCL Spot

Photo Credit: Jared Martinez, Matt Stith & Devin L’Amoreaux

On Tuesday night in Orlando the Portland Timbers defeated Orlando City SC 2-1 in the MLS is Back tournament final. With the win the Timbers earn a spot in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League.

Portland jumped out to a lead in the 27th minute with Larrys Mabaila scoring, assist by Diego Valeri. Orlando was able to get the match back to level with a 39th minute goal by Mauricio Pereyra. The Timbers who as a group have had previous championship level matches found the match winner in the 66th minute. Off a corner the ball fell to the feet of Eryk Williamson who found Jermey Ebobisse who laid it off for Dario Suparic who found the back of the net.

The Timbers deserve a lot of credit for winning this tournament given the circumstances that surrounded it. Orlando does as well, both teams had to spend seven weeks away from their families and follow a strict regiment to following MLS protocols. Few predicted these two teams would end up in the final but once again the parity of MLS is on display. At the end of the day MLS pulled off a tournament that many talking heads wanted them to abandon just days in following positive COVID tests on a handful of teams. Impressive all around but the big test lies ahead.

The end of this match means that the MLS is Back tournament is over and the bubble experience in MLS has concluded. Major League Soccer will now look to finish the remainder of the 2020 season in home markets. The return to home markets starts on Wednesday when FC Dallas hosts Nashville SC. Both sides were kicked out of the MLS is Back tournament after having positive COVID-19 cases. Nashville and Dallas will play each other twice before the rest of the league gets underway on August 20th.

From a New England Revolution perspective. Their first of six scheduled (for now) regular season matches will start on August 21st when they play host to the Philadelphia Union.

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