Sebastian Blanco is back in the Portland Timbers' starting lineup for their MLS Cup 2021 Final clash vs. New York City FC.
Blanco joins Dairon Asprilla, who was suspended last time out, and midfielder George Fochive as three changes from the Timbers' win over Real Salt Lake, replacing Santiago Moreno, Marvin Loria and Cristhian Paredes.
Blanco suffered a hamstring injury during Portland's Western Conference Semifinal win at the Colorado Rapids, exiting the field in tears. Although he was named as a substitute for the Western Conference Final win over RSL, he did not make an appearance off the bench.
Ahead of the game, Blanco confirmed that he trained fully on Thursday and declared himself "ready" to play. "I'm OK, I feel good, I've prepared myself for this game," he added.
For NYCFC, Golden Boot presented by Audi winner Taty Castellanos returns to their starting lineup in place of Heber. Castellanos, who hit 19g/8a in the regular season, was suspended (red card) for NYCFC's Eastern Conference Final win over the Philadelphia Union.
The only other change made by head coach Ronny Deila is bringing in Gudmundur Thórarinsson for Malte Amundsen at left back.