Oct 19, 2013, 10:46 PM EDT
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.
Apr 20, 2014, 8:56 AM EDT
Raheem Sterling shined and they held off a charging Norwich at the end to go five points clear at the top.
Apr 20, 2014, 8:35 AM EDT
Mesut Ozil returns for Arsenal after a 6-week absence, can he lead Arsenal’s charge for the top four?
Apr 20, 2014, 7:48 AM EDT
With a reduced role under David Moyes, Welbeck may search elsewhere in the Premier League for a better managerial relationship.
Apr 20, 2014, 7:13 AM EDT
The Reds are well on their way to going top, but Norwich are battling with attacks of their own.
Apr 20, 2014, 6:37 AM EDT
It’s all on the line for both teams this morning in a massive game for each end of the table. Liverpool can put one hand on the title trophy with a win today, going five clear at the top.
Apr 20, 2014, 4:57 AM EDT
Liverpool can go five clear before David Moyes makes his return to Goodison Park.
Apr 20, 2014, 3:53 AM EDT
Dallas stayed at the top of the Western Conference, while Seattle improved to 3-0-1 on the road.
Apr 20, 2014, 2:39 AM EDT
Seattle’s high-priced strike tandem produced another late winner, giving the Sounders their fourth win of the season.
Apr 20, 2014, 1:51 AM EDT
Two huge saves in the final minutes from Nick Rimando keep RSL unbeaten.
Apr 20, 2014, 1:05 AM EDT
Goal difference has the defending champions on top of the Eastern Conference.
Apr 20, 2014, 12:35 AM EDT
Two more goals off set pieces gave FC Dallas its fifth win of the season.
Apr 19, 2014, 10:55 PM EDT
Juan Guzman gave Giancarlo Gonzalez a pass. Columbus came back to claim a draw.
Apr 19, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT
Two separate leads were pulled back as the Whitecaps fought back at BC Place.
Apr 19, 2014, 9:24 PM EDT
NBC’s team on the scene reacts to the day’s big result:
Apr 19, 2014, 8:49 PM EDT
San Jose remains without a win beside playing the second place Rapids to a standstill.
Apr 19, 2014, 7:43 PM EDT
Look back at a Saturday that helped bring clarity to the Premier League’s title race.
Apr 19, 2014, 7:07 PM EDT
Two weeks ago, it was Mike Magee. On Saturday, it was Juan Luis Anagonó who couldn’t covert late from the spot.
Apr 19, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT
Will Bruin and Andrew Wenger came close, but neither were able to keep his team from playing out a scoreless draw.
Apr 19, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT
A host of teams are battling it out to determine who will fill Germany’s European spots. Meanwhile, the rush to avoid the drop continues.
Apr 19, 2014, 3:38 PM EDT
Chicago goes for its first win while New England looks to make it two-in-a-row, and it all starts at 4:00 p.m. ET on NBC/NBC Sports Live Extra:
- Norwich City 2-3 Liverpool: Sterling, Reds with one hand on the title 0
- Premier League Sunday Preview: Liverpool’s chance to tighten its grip; Fourth place in focus 0
- MLS Roundup: Sporting climbs to first in East; RSL stays undefeated 0
- Late Martins goal gives Seattle full points at Chivas USA (video) 0
- Grabavoy winner prolongs Portland’s agony against Real Salt Lake (video) 0
- Pérez’s late goal gives FC Dallas 2-1 win over Toronto FC (video) 2