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.
Aug 1, 2014, 11:44 PM EDT
The 22-year-old is giving the 31-year-old all he can handle, and Barcelona looks set to forget Victor Valdes quickly.
Aug 1, 2014, 10:44 PM EDT
Goalkeeping starred in the first half before one a-piece settled the score.
Aug 1, 2014, 10:09 PM EDT
Geoff Cameron may no longer fit at Stoke City, and could get a CB role elsewhere.
Aug 1, 2014, 9:04 PM EDT
Another Sounders keeper went up in the air, although he couldn’t remain awake for the whole flight.
Aug 1, 2014, 7:56 PM EDT
Two Eastern Conference teams on unbeaten streaks meet at Sporting Park in Kansas City.
Aug 1, 2014, 7:39 PM EDT
The Arsenal captain saw his games drop significantly last season, and would be a fantastic grab for Manchester United.
Aug 1, 2014, 6:51 PM EDT
After a very disappointing debut season with Norwich City, the Dutch striker is off to France.
Aug 1, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT
A head-scratching moment by the New York defender cost him two games, while the ensuing melee dug into the wallets of others.
Aug 1, 2014, 5:16 PM EDT
With helpful videos, NBC is getting you ready for the upcoming Premier League season just days away!
Aug 1, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT
Despite reports to the contrary a month ago, it appears the newly-added Crimean clubs will indeed play in the Russian leagues next season.
Aug 1, 2014, 3:52 PM EDT
After 13 years at Chelsea, there’s a good chance Frank Lampard could play at Stamford Bridge again…in a lighter shade of blue.
Aug 1, 2014, 3:18 PM EDT
Arsenal, Newcastle and West Ham are among the teams who’ve loaded up on talent.
Aug 1, 2014, 2:34 PM EDT
Myers and actor Daniel Craig were among the luminaries on hand to watch Liverpool take on Manchester City at Yankee Stadium.
Aug 1, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT
Silly season has reached an absurd level, with even sports books creating rumors out of club links.
Aug 1, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Birmigham City defender Will Packwood and Southampton goalkeeper Cody Cropper are on the list of U-23 stars preparing for the Bahamas.
Aug 1, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT
Serbia and the Ivory Coast also tab new bosses as the race for continental and world glory continues.
Aug 1, 2014, 11:25 AM EDT
Fans of Detroit City FC helped raise money for slain Michigan referee John Bieniewicz via a “swear jar”, then saluting him with silent red card salute.
Aug 1, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT
A great save followed up by an awful rebound, as Hull draws Trencin 0-0 in its Europa League debut.
Aug 1, 2014, 9:59 AM EDT
West Ham, Crystal Palace and Newcastle have all added players for 2014/15, according to reports.
Aug 1, 2014, 9:23 AM EDT
Would City’s best prospects playing in MLS be a boon for the league, or lend the league a minor league image it’s trying to escape?
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