Timbers to host RSL in surprise Western Conference Final matchup Dec. 4th

The Portland Timbers advanced to their fourth Western Conference Final with a dramatic 1-0 victory over top-seed Colorado on Thanksgiving afternoon.

With their ticket punched, the team could sit back and watch Sunday’s other semifinal in Kansas City to determine if they would go on the road or get to host the championship game of the Western Conference.

It would be the latter.  7-seed Real Salt Lake, fresh off a penalty shootout upset win over 2-seed Seattle last Tuesday, where RSL failed to record a single shot during the entirety of regulation, kept their magical postseason run alive with a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City.

It will be the 4-seed Timbers hosting the 7-seed RSL on Sat. Dec. 4th at 3:30pm in the West Final.  The winner advances to MLS Cup.  The match will be televised on FS1 and the radio play-by-play heard right here on your home of the Timbers, 750 The Game, and streaming on all platforms.  Radio pregame starts at 2:30pm.

Saturday will be the fourth meeting of the season between Timbers and RSL, with Portland claiming all three previous affairs by a combined tally of 12-4.  The Timbers won a home match Aug. 7, 3-2, another home match Sept. 25th, 6-1, and a win at Rio Tinto stadium in their final road game of the regular season Nov. 3rd, 3-1.

The Timbers will be a little shorthanded in the Conference Final.  Winger Dairon Asprilla was shown the red card in the waning moments of the semifinal win.  The team appealed the ruling, but the appeal was unsuccessful.  Asprilla will be forced to miss Saturday’s game as a result.

Sebastian Blanco, who was near unstoppable when healthy this season following his return from an ACL tear that ended his 2020 campaign, left the semifinal match in Colorado early in the second half with an apparent hamstring injury.  His status for Saturday is also up in the air.

This will be the fourth all-time playoff meeting between Portland and Salt Lake, the second time in the conference final.  RSL claimed victory in this round in 2013 before falling in MLS Cup to Sporting KC in a penalty shootout.

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