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Oct-21-2021 21:11printcomments

Timbers on Course for MLS Playoff Slot

For now, there is a postseason campaign to look forward to.

Portland Timbers

(SALEM, Ore.) - The 2021 MLS season is starting to reach its conclusion and the good news for Portland Timbers fans is that their team is still in the mix.

After 29 games of the regular season, Giovanni Savarese’s men found themselves in fourth place in the Western Conference and, if it stays that way, the Timbers would be heading for the playoffs.

While it may seem unlikely that the team will progress deep into that postseason, it’s largely been a positive Portland campaign and one that the coach can build on for next year and beyond.

Timbers Aiming Higher

Naturally, Portland Timbers will want to make an impression in those playoffs but their chances of further progression are not rated too highly.

Using MLS Cup winner odds supplied by the top sports bookmakers attached to, Seattle Sounders are clear favorites to claim the trophy, shortly followed by New England Revolution.

Before we get to the Timbers, there are a number of other franchises with shorter prices including Colorado Rapids, Nashville, Sporting Kansas City and LA Galaxy. Meanwhile, Portland are way down as the 15th favorites to win the MLS Cup final in 2021.

Irrespective of whether readers are getting behind Portland here, there will be news and opinion articles about the MLS and it’s possible to take a bet via any of the panel of recommended sportsbooks. Many of them have generous welcome packages in place together with a choice of funding methods.

The odds for the MLS Cup will be updated by following every set of games and there will be other markets too such as match result and a host of prop bets.

It’s an excellent portal for anyone interested in Major League Soccer and, despite their low ranking, it’s been a very positive season for the Portland Timbers.

Consistent Portland

A fourth placed finish and a slot in the playoffs is an impressive return but, in all honesty, it’s probably the least that Timbers fans were expecting.

Last year, in a shortened season, the side finished in third place in the Western Conference and headed to the CONCACAF Champions League as a result.

As for those playoffs, Portland were eliminated in the first round but only after a dramatic penalty shootout that ended 8-7 in favor of FC Dallas.

At the very least, head coach Giovanni Savarese will be looking to go beyond that first round in 2021. To do so would represent some progress and lay a solid platform to improve on next season.

Next Season and Beyond

He’s been in charge since 2017 and Savarese’s record is one that many coaches would be envious of. Having taken charge of a team that had won the MLS Cup in 2015, he took the Timbers to the final once again three years later.

In 2020, Portland became the first, and probably the only winners of the MLS is back tournament. It’s a solid CV but that playoff place has to be the minimum aim at the beginning of each regular season.

There may be some who feel that the owners could even consider the future of Savarese at the club but he deserves at least one more chance of a crack at the MLS Cup. While the coach looks secure, he will also need to look closely at his playing roster once 2021 comes to an end.

Goals have been shared around this Portland team but none of the players have exactly been prolific during the current season.

As the side heads towards those playoffs, the leading scorer is the Chilean international striker Felipe Mora. After spending the 2020 season on loan at Providence Park, Mora joined on a permanent deal and has scored 11 goals in 25 matches at the time of writing.

It’s a respectable return but Mora will need more support from his fellow strikers. Others have been disappointing by comparison and it could be the case that Portland will find themselves in the market for another attacker in the close season.

That’s all in the future and, for now, there is a postseason campaign to look forward to. While there is little support among the neutrals, no-one can rule out Portland Timbers at the end of 2021.

Source: Special Features Dept.


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.