The MLS Cup kicks off on Saturday night at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, as Eastern Conference Champion Atlanta United take on Western Conference Champion Portland Timbers. A rowdy home crowd will fill the stadium in hopes of pushing Major League Soccer’s sophomore sensation to a title win. Here’s how to watch and stream the MLS Cup live.
MLS Cup Tune-In Information
When: Saturday, December 8
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Time: 8 PM ET
TV: FOX, Unimas
Live Stream: fuboTV (sign up for a free trial)
Atlanta United have taken MLS by storm, making the playoffs in their 2017 inaugural season, and soaring to even greater heights in this run to the final in 2018. Even though they were the #2 seed in the East, it’s no surprise to see them here. Tata Martino and co. nearly took the Supporters’ Shield – awarded to the MLS team with the best regular-season record – and only missed out to the New York Red Bulls by losing their final match against reigning champions Toronto FC.
Their revenge against the Red Bulls was swift, as they slotted home three goals in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Finals. With that buffer, they were able to sit back and absorb the Red Bulls’ pressure without conceding until the final minutes of extra time in the second leg, sending them through the championship.
Portland, meanwhile, are a bit of a surprise inclusion. They finished fifth in the Western Conference during the regular season, winning 15 matches as opposed to Atlanta’s 21. Their playoff run has been equally unconvincing, only escaping bitter rivals Seattle on a 4-2 penalty victory in the conference semifinals, and needing a 99th minute goal from Diego Valeri in the conference finals against Sporting Kansas City. They’re capable of greatness, but severely underperformed in the latter half of the season.
But it doesn’t matter how the teams got here – there’s only one match left that counts. The two squads played to a 1-1 draw in their only meeting this season, and will be looking for something extra to separate themselves this time. After an MLS-record 31 goals this season, Atlanta’s Josef Martinez will play a central role in breaking down the Portland backline alongside maestro Miguel Almirón. The two have been an unstoppable force all season long and wreaked havoc against the Red Bulls’ league-leading defense. Former Timbers stalwart Darlington Nagbe, along with veterans Michael Parkhurst and Jeff Larentowicz at the back, will have to contend with Portland’s potent attack.
For Portland, they’ll need to spread the field to stretch Atlanta in attack, while staying compact in defense and disciplined in the back. Finding openings for Valeri, Sebastian Blanco, and playoff star Jeremy Ebobisse will be critical, but more importantly, these players will have to capitalize. Diego Valeri, as stout as he is in his defensive midfield role, will have the tall task of snuffing out Atlanta’s midfield sparkplugs.
After two successful seasons, this will be Atlanta coach Tata Martino’s final match in charge. The Argentine manager is departing for the Mexico National Team job, while his star players could be headed for bigger clubs overseas. This will assuredly be the last time we see this Atlanta squad in its current form, and they’re going to play with the same furor as always to push their team over the finish line to hoist the trophy.
How to Watch The MLS Cup
You can watch the MLS Cup live on fuboTV. fuboTV is available on all of your devices, including web, iPhone, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire.
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