For the first time in MLS history, there will be football on Thanksgiving Day as the Colorado Rapids, seeded by the Western Conference, host the Portland Timbers.
The Timbers reached the second round with a 3-1 home win over Minnesota United, while the Rapids had a bye in the first round and haven’t played since November 7th.
Here’s what you need to know about the second round playoff game in the Western Conference …
When is the kick-off? Thursday, November 25, 4:30 p.m. ET
Where is the game being played? Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colorado
Which TV channel is it running on? Fox, Fox Deportes
What streaming is it running on? Fox Sports App
After a late-season slip between Seattle Sounders and Sporting KC, the Rapids took the top seed in the Western Conference on Decision Day with a 5-2 win over LAFC. The team competes with no new injuries.
Ready to take on the pitch for the first time in nearly three weeks, the Rapids look forward to making league history by competing in the team’s inaugural game in the team’s first MLS Thanksgiving Day game.
“We’re incredibly excited to be on national television,” said Pádraig Smith, Rapids general manager. “One of the exciting things for us is to have the very first Thanksgiving game and to be able to do it with our fans in front of a full house at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.”
The Timbers secured a spot in the semifinals on Sunday after an impressive 3-1 win over Minnesota United. Sebastián Blanco scored two goals in the playoff game of the team’s opening round, helping his club move into the second round.
Now facing the conference’s top team in their next playoff match, the Timbers are confident they can keep the momentum going.
The team are not reporting any new injuries against the Rapids and should have a line-up similar to that against MNUFC.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game, it’s going to be a tough game. Colorado has done very well this season, they have a very good team, ”said head coach Giovanni Savarese. “They have a good selection and players and the whole team did a phenomenal job to have a good season. We expect them to be very good, but we are also preparing very well to make sure we are competitive.
Colorado: Yarbrough; Trusty, Abubakar, Wilson, Estebes, Acotsa; Price, Beitashour, Rubio; Kaye, Badji
Portland: Clark; Bravo, Zuparic, Mabiala, Van Rankin; D. Chara, Paredes, Asprilla; Blanco, Y. Chara, Mora
Portland Timbers have a slight advantage over the Rapids in the all-time series, with a 10-9-6 lead in the head-to-head match. Colorado won the last meeting of the two teams on October 23, 2-0 at home. On September 15, the teams split 2-2 in Portland.
The Rapids caught fire to end the regular season and with Thursday’s competition set to be the team’s first game in 18 days, they should be rested and ready to take home a playoff win. While Portland has also started to warm up recently, including a big win on Sunday, Colorado’s year-round persistence plays in favor of the Rapids alongside home advantage on a mile high in Denver.
forecast: Colorado Rapids 2-1 Portland Timbers