Colorado-Portland Thanksgiving game on FOX sets MLS playoff viewership record

The first-ever Major League Soccer game on Thanksgiving captivated national audiences, resulting in the most-viewed Audi MLS Cup Playoffs game of all time.

Last Thursday’s Western Conference Semifinal between the Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park drew 1.894 million viewers across FOX and FOX Deportes, making it also the second most-viewed MLS match ever when excluding MLS Cups and the All-Star Game presented by Target.

Looking historically, it’s the most-viewed MLS match since an April 3, 2004 match between D.C. United and the San Jose Earthquakes. That marked Freddy Adu’s debut at RFK Stadium, drawing 1.97 million viewers.

As households across the United States tuned in, Portland secured a 1-0 win over Colorado, sending the West’s No. 4 seed past the No. 1 seed. Only a 90th-minute goal from Larrys Mabiala separated the sides.

The 1.894 million viewers also made Colorado vs. Portland the second most-viewed club soccer match in the English language of 2021, plus the third most-viewed across all languages. It was the most-viewed MLS match on FOX of all time.

Now, the Timbers will host No. 7 seed Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Final on Saturday at Providence Park (6:30 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes). The winner will advance to MLS Cup on Dec. 11.