Portland Timbers won the first edition of Major League Soccer League (MLS) is Back Tournament by beating Orlando City 2-1 on Tuesday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida, United States of America.
Timbers and former Argentina international Diego Valeri assisted Larrys Mabiala in the 27th minute to give Timbers the lead. Their lead did not last too long before Orlando City and former Manchester United forward Nani assisted Mauricio Pereyra to bring the scoreline to 1-1 in the 39th minute. The match dragged on throughout the remaining minutes in the first 45 minutes and ended in a tie.
Portland Timbers returned to the second half of the match as strong as they started the match. But all Timbers needed to win the tight game was a deflection of Dario Zuparic’s shot which ended at the back of the net to make it 2-1 in the 66th minute.
The match dragged throughout the remaining minutes of the second half with lesser action in the box-eighteen of both sides. At the end of the regular 90 minutes, there was no much Orlando City could do than to surrender the MLS is Back trophy to Portland Timbers.
VOLUME UP! #RCTID pic.twitter.com/j8P4aGQiTE— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) August 12, 2020
What Portland Timbers earned as the winner of MLS is Back Tournament
Just like Orlando City, Portland Timbers spent 39 days in the MLS bubble and after a convincing unbeaten run in the tournament, coach Giovanni Savarese men became champions.
As champions of the MLS is back tournament, the team did not only win the trophy, they won $328,000 in prize money. They also earned a place in the 2020-2021 CONCACAF Champions League, which is their first since 2016.
What a tournament. What a team. 🏆 #MLSisBack #RCTID pic.twitter.com/SOm06u3xfq— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) August 12, 2020
What next for MLS?
The MLS is back tournament is just an emergency tournament that was put together to complete the 2020 regular season which was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the tournament is over, the MLS home markets itself has returned to his regular format tonight, August 12, 2020. The first match is between FC Dallas and Nashville.
The MLS regular season is made up of 26 teams that will play 18 matches each. Afterward, the MLS Cup final will take place on December 22, 2020.