Oct 19, 2013, 10:46 PM EST
The Portland Timbers clinched an MLS playoff spot Saturday without so much as a kick in pre-game warm-ups at Jeld-Wen Field.
Caleb Porter’s Timbers will obviously be driven for a result Saturday against Real Salt Lake, as there’s still plenty on the line. A winner at Jeld-Wen on Saturday would take a big step toward a Western Conference crown. Plus, Supporters Shield isn’t out of sight just yet, although Sporting Kansas City from the Eastern Conference has assumed the inside track on that one.
The Timbers officially clinched a spot when the Sounders fell to FC Dallas on Saturday afternoon. And how extra syrupy sweet it must be for the Timbers to have clinched a post-season berth based on the struggles for its most bitter rival, the Sounders!
Portland becomes the third team to officially book its post-season spot (and the first from the West, which still looks like the better conference in 2013), following the New York Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City.
Being the first from the West to clinch is a major turnaround from a team that finished 8th among nine teams one year ago, under an interim manager, who had replaced John Spencer in mid-season.
This is Portland’s third year in MLS, where it is still mathematically easier to make the post-season than to miss.
Still, don’t forget that Toronto FC is about to complete its 7th MLS season, and yet remains desperately on the hunt for its first playoff appearance. Neither has Chivas USA every prevailed in a playoff series, although the Goats have been to the post-season, at least, since joining the MLS fight in 2005. All of that is just to show that things certainly can go wrong as these new franchises get out of the gate.
Dec 20, 2014, 9:23 AM EST
United looks to keep back with their noisy neighbors this morning on NBCSN.
Dec 20, 2014, 9:08 AM EST
The NBC team discuss when Lamps may head stateside.
Dec 20, 2014, 8:11 AM EST
Sterling, 20, follows the likes of Rooney, Messi and Aguero after being named the best youngster in European soccer.
Dec 20, 2014, 7:20 AM EST
Can the Citizens make it six wins on the spin without a striker? Watch live, here.
Dec 20, 2014, 7:10 AM EST
How and where to watch every single PL game from Week 17 live online or via the app.
Dec 19, 2014, 11:20 PM EST
Harry Redknapp believes he could be Ravel Morrison’s “last chance” to prove he is ready to play top-flight football.
Dec 19, 2014, 10:25 PM EST
Since returning from injury, the England international has been key to United’s six-game win streak.
Dec 19, 2014, 9:40 PM EST
Rog and Davo are joined by Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael, who discusses her short stint selling hot dogs at St. Mary’s and the rivalry between Southampton and Portsmouth.
Dec 19, 2014, 8:50 PM EST
With 45 points through 17 matches, Bayern Munich is having the best season in Bundesliga history.
Dec 19, 2014, 8:00 PM EST
The opening weekend of MLS play features Orlando City SC and New York City FC facing off in a battle of expansion teams.
Dec 19, 2014, 7:10 PM EST
Newcastle and Sunderland may be bitter rivals, but their managers are telling supporters to behave on Sunday.
Dec 19, 2014, 6:20 PM EST
The Blues’ boss said his Belgian playmaker can become a Chelsea legend, but must win titles first.
Dec 19, 2014, 5:30 PM EST
England’s number one keeper finally put pen to paper with a new deal that will keep him at the Etihad until 2019.
Dec 19, 2014, 4:40 PM EST
The Leicester City boss was also fined $15,000 by the FA following his altercation with a fan.
Dec 19, 2014, 3:55 PM EST
CR7 and Howard, it seems, are among the few blessed with tons of talent and even more desire to work.
Dec 19, 2014, 3:20 PM EST
In the Premier League, Brad Guzan is tasked with keeping Manchester United off the scoreboard.
Dec 19, 2014, 2:05 PM EST
Orlando City founder and president Phil Rawlins described Shea as a big addition to the squad.
Dec 19, 2014, 1:43 PM EST
Altidore’s production for his country and in the Eredivisie prove he’s a much better player than his horrible spell at Sunderland.
Dec 19, 2014, 12:52 PM EST
According to The Daily Express, Man Utd’s man if Mats Hummels won’t come over from Borussia Dortmund is Nicolas Otamendi of Valencia.
Dec 19, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
Where and how to watch all the PL games during Week 17.
- Watch Live: Aston Villa vs. Manchester United (Lineups and Live Stream) 0
- Raheem Sterling named best young player in Europe, wins ‘Golden Boy’ award 0
- WATCH: Premier League online via NBC Sports Live Extra – Week 17 0
- MLS announces home openers for 2015 season 2
- Mourinho says Eden Hazard can become an all-time great 2
- After failed odyssey abroad, Brek Shea returns to MLS with Orlando City 3