Saturday, 8 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
Exact kickoff time: 8:08 p.m.
How Portland got here: Finished 5th in the West with a 15-10-9 record and 54 points; beat FC Dallas 2-1 on the road in the first round; beat the Seattle Sounders on penalty kicks after a 4-4 aggregate tie in the conference semifinals; beat Sporting Kansas City 3-2 on aggregate in the conference finals.
Expected attendance: Over 72,000, which will set a new MLS Cup final record. The record has stood since 2002, when the Los Angeles Galaxy and New England Revolution drew 61,316 fans to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. It will also be one of the top attendances in the world this weekend. Only Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Mexico’s Club América and the Copa Libertadores final between Argentina’s Boca Juniors and River Plate (relocated to Madrid because of fan violence in Buenos Aires) are likely to have bigger crowds.
Portland M Diego Valeri: Few players have been more entertaining since the Argentina native arrived in MLS five years ago - and few have been more prolific. He has 79 goals and 73 assists in his time in Timbers green and gold.
Atlanta M Miguel Almirón: He was one of Atlanta’s first marquee signings, commanding an $8 million transfer fee from Argentine club Lanús. And the Paraguay native has been worth every cent, delivering 22 goals and 29 assists in two seasons. This might be his last game in Atlanta, as rumors have flown for a while that major English clubs want to sign him. The transfer fee could be as high as $25 million.
Portland M Sebastián Blanco: Another marquee Argentine in the Rose City, he’s had a monster playoff run with three goals in five games. He had done plenty before that, too: 22 goals and 19 assists in two years. The best of his strikes came in the Western Conference final at Kansas City, a 30-yard blast that turned the series in the Timbers' favor.