New York City FC Beats Philadelphia Union to Set Up MLS Cup Final Against Portland Timbers

| December 7, 2021 6:34 am PST
  • New York City FC comes from behind to beat the Philadelphia Union 2-1 at Subaru Park.
  • The Portland Timbers beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 in the Western Conference Final.
  • Portland will host the 2021 MLS Cup Final at Providence Park this Saturday, December 11.

And then there were two.

Following another memorable Major League Soccer campaign, the Portland Timbers and New York City FC will contest the 2021 MLS Cup Final at Providence Park on Saturday, December 11.

The Timbers punched their ticket to the showpiece by defeating Real Salt Lake in the West. Over in the East, NYCFC overcame Philadelphia to reach its first-ever MLS Cup Final.

Can Portland secure its second MLS Cup? Or will Ronny Deila’s men seal the deal? Let’s see what the MLS betting sites think.

Updated Odds for the 2021 MLS Cup

Portland Timbers2.40
New York City FC2.80

With the home-field advantage on their side, the Timbers are narrow favorites to lift the trophy on Saturday. But as you can see, NYCFC isn’t too far behind.

The Timbers have reached two finals in the past, triumphing in 2015 before losing in 2018. However, this is the first time that Portland is hosting the showpiece at Providence Park.

On the flip side, the Bronx Blues have upset the odds-on numerous occasions to reach their maiden final. It goes without saying that they will be desperate to go all the way.

Why the Bookmakers Favor Portland

The Timbers head into Saturday’s showpiece on a seemingly unstoppable six-game winning streak. When you look at the bigger picture, they have won ten of their past 13 outings.

Giovani Savarese’s men beat Minnesota United 3-1 before edging out the Colorado Rapids 1-0 in the Conference Semifinals. Last time out, they cruised past RSL.

Felipe Mora and Santiago Moreno grabbed the goals in the Western Conference Final. In all honesty, though, there were heroes all over the field last weekend.

Ultimately, the Timbers have been there and done it before.

Not only have they claimed three of the previous seven Western Conference titles, but they also lifted the MLS Cup in 2015. Let’s not forget that they also won the MLS is Back Tournament last year.

Savarese’s men are now just one victory away from triumphing once again.

NYCFC Has the Chance to Make History

Far too often, the Boys in Blue have failed in the postseason. In fact, they fell in the quarterfinals for four years running between 2016 and 2019 before suffering a first-round elimination last season.

But this year feels different.

Despite a shaky end to the regular season, Deila’s men have upped their game in the playoffs. They have already seen off Atlanta United, New England, and Philly – and they are not finished yet.

New York City FC’s Postseason Results
  • First Round: NYCFC 2-0 Atlanta United
  • Conference Semifinals: New England Revolution 2-2 NYCFC (NYCFC Wins 5-3 on Penalties)
  • Conference Finals: Philadelphia Union 1-2 NYCFC

NYCFC even managed to overcome the Union without its star man. Valentin Castellanos was suspended for the Eastern Conference Final after receiving a red card against the Revs, but it didn’t matter.

Castellanos has bagged 19 goals and eight assists across 32 MLS appearances in 2021. With the Argentine DP back in the team for the final, NYCFC will be brimming with belief.

Of course, it is difficult to predict exactly what will happen on Saturday. Let’s just hope the match goes down as one of the greatest MLS Cup Finals of all time.

Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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