Three Big Storylines:
- The Portland Timbers were out of the playoffs spots in early October when manager Caleb Porter switched to a 4-3-3 and since then they have been enjoying a splendid run of form. Who knew moving Darlington Nagbe into the middle of the field would be a good idea? Portland dispatched Sporting Kansas City with a 2-2 draw in the knockout round followed by a 7-6 win in 11 rounds of penalty kicks, then beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 on aggregate before dispatching FC Dallas 5-3 in the Western Conference Finals in order to get to MLS Cup.
- Columbus Crew SC have been among the best teams in MLS all year. Kei Kamara scored 22 MLS goals and finished second in MVP voting while Ethan Finlay was a breakout star for the Crew with 12 goals and 13 assists while starting all 34 games. They both were joined by Federico Higuain in the MLS Best XI for 2015. The big news coming out of Crew camp is that Kei Kamara left Saturday's training early with an injury scare. The Crew were the 2 seed in the East and had a bye into the conference semi-finals. They beat the Montreal Impact 4-3 on aggregate followed up by a 2-1 win over both legs against the Supporters' Shield winning New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference Final.
- TV ratings for this game is going to be an inevitable story. Portland is the 24th largest TV market playing in Columbus, the 31st largest US TV market. There has been some discussion of moving MLS Cup to Tuesday or Wednesday going forward. This could be the last Sunday MLS Cup Final in a while if that happens.
From a Sounders Point of View:
After 34 weeks of the regular season and six additional gamethreads during the playoffs, your author thought he should keep the same format used in the previous 40 plus gamethreads (there were a few midweek bonus gamethreads) even if there is not much From a Sounders Point of View.
Alan Hinton wants you to watch this game. As a fan of MLS, I will be watching. There has been a lot of debate about who to cheer for in the comments this week on Sounder at Heart, I will leave that up to you. If you need inspiration, Portland can be Insufferable if they win and the Crew are doubling down on their anti-capo stance at MLS Cup.
TV and Streaming Listings:
Columbus Crew SC v Portland Timbers
Location: Mapfre Stadium, Columbus
Time: Sunday, 1 PM
TV: ESPN & UniMás
Streaming: Watch ESPN
Broadcast Info: Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman on the call
This is your Sounder at Heart MLS Cup Final gamethread. Watch with us.