Will MLS Cup 2021 be held at Providence Park, home of the Portland Timbers, on Dec. 11?
That's now the leading scenario, with hosting rights dependent on a team's finish in the Supporters' Shield table. Here's the full hosting order for the remaining Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs clubs:
- Portland Timbers
- Philadelphia Union
- New York City FC
Hosting priority shifted to the Western Conference's No. 4 seed after New York City FC eliminated the New England Revolution, winners of this year's Supporters' Shield, from the postseason with a penalty-kick shootout win in Tuesday night's Eastern Conference Semifinal.
The Revs, after earning the East's No. 1 seed and amassing 73 regular-season points, were positioned to possibly hoist the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. But then the calculus changed, with goalkeeper Sean Johnson stopping Adam Buksa and Alexander Callens rocketing home the decisive PK following a 2-2 draw.
Portland's pole position arises after upsetting the No. 1 seed in the West, the Colorado Rapids, on Thanksgiving Day and both Seattle Sounders (No. 2 seed) and Sporting Kansas City (No. 3 seed) getting ousted in dramatic fashion by Real Salt Lake (No. 7 seed).
The only team that can't host MLS Cup, provided they're still in the running, is RSL. The Utah-based club secured the fewest regular-season points of the four remaining playoff teams.
But if RSL beat Portland in Saturday's Western Conference Final (6:30 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes), then hosting priority returns to the Eastern Conference and whoever wins the NYCFC-Philadelphia battle on Sunday (3 pm ET | ABC, ESPN Deportes).