We have finally arrived at the end of the MLS season. The MLS playoffs more specifically have been so long that one forgets that our TFC were actually in the playoffs. This evening the Columbus Crew and the Portland Timbers will face off for the chance to hoist the 20th MLS cup. Yes the MLS is 20 years old and it finally looks like a healthier league. This years final will be played in Columbus in a Don Garber signature, a soccer specific stadium. The two small market teams that are well managed and extremely well supported show how the MLS has grown and how the MLS has managed to hit a few home runs throughout the development and expansion process.
Who to watch out for in the MLS cup final.
Fanendo Adi the Portland striker is a beast. He has managed to be a thorn in the sides of many defences these playoffs. Watch out for him to cause havoc over Columbus’ two centre halves.
Kei Kamara who lost out to Giovinco for the MLS MVP award will be a game time decision for todays match. He got a knock during the last practice before the MLS final. If he can play look out for him to try and create an impact within the game. If Kamara cannot play then Jack McInerny will likely feature in the number 9 role.
The battle between the two midfield's that has been highlighted by many news outlets covering the MLS cup final is where the championship will be won and lost. Darlington Nagbe and Frederico Higuain will try to be the playmakers today. They are both prototypical playmakers who are given free reign to pull all of the strings out on the pitch.
Diego Chara and Wil Trapp will be the defensive minded ball winners in midfield looking to win the ball back from the opposition and to recycle possession to the more creative players.
Tony Tchani will feature as a work horse box to box midfielder while Diego Valeri a very underrated midfielder for Portland will try and be a creative partner for Nagbe.
The two MLS cup finalists show us how having a stable midfield is very important for having a successful season. Hopefully TFC management and the front office can also see this and find a way to make things click within Toronto FC’s midfield department. Because with a solid midfield and a great striker. Reaching the MLS cup is certainly much easier.
The real reason to watch the match today is this will be the last MLS soccer played until March. If you need something to hold you over the offseason watch todays final and dream of TFC playing in the next final a years time from now.