Both finalists of the 2018 MLS Cup are known now. Atlanta United will face Portland Timbers in the final and the most important game of the season.
These two sides won their respective conferences, and earned the right to fight for the ultimate trophy of the American soccer.
Atlanta United, franchise which was formed some two years ago, did what most of their fans thought to be impossible in such a short time. They went from bottom to the top in just 26 months. Despite a narrow 1-0 defeat last night against the Red Bulls in New York, Gerardo “Tata” Martino and his boys won the Eastern Conference.
— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) November 30, 2018
United preserved a 3-0 lead from the first leg, by playing patiently and waiting for their chance to strike. New York did have the initiative and 68% of the ball possession, but they failed to capitalize that more than once.
It was Tim Parker who scored the only goal in this event in the fourth minute of the injury time.
Red Bulls who finished the regular part of the season in the first place, setting the record with 71 points won, didn’t reach the MLS Cup game for the 10th straight year.
Western Conference final was anything but patient and without goals. Portland Timbers advanced to the finals after a late shock delivered by Diego Valeri in the ninth minute of the stoppage time. It was his second goal of the match, in which Portland defeated Sporting Kansas City on the road with 3-2. The first leg played in Oregon ended without goals.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) November 30, 2018
The hosts drew the first blood, in the 20th minute, when Daniel Salloi brought the lead. Sebastian Blanco and Diego Valeri turned things upside down in the 52nd and 61st minute, but Gerso levelled the score in after 81 minutes of play.
In the end, the 2017 MVP Valeri silenced the overcrowded Children’s Mercy Park with a late dagger, leading his team to their second MLS Cup finals in history, after the previous one in 2015. Back then, Timber won the title.
The final game of the season is to be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December the 8th.