The MLS Cup finalist with the most regular-season points hosts the match. Portland finished fifth in the 2021 Supporters’ Shield standings with 55 points, ahead of Eastern Conference winners NYCFC (51 points).
The No. 4-seeded Timbers earned hosting rights for this year’s Audi MLS Cup Playoffs capper after beating Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Saturday night in the Western Conference Final, sparked by goals from Felipe Mora and Santiago Moreno.
NYCFC, the East's No. 4 seed, advanced after beating a shorthanded Philadelphia Union side 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. Despite the come-from-behind victory at Subaru Park, the Cityzens now travel cross-country to Oregon to compete in MLS Cup 2021.
This is the first time Portland and Providence Park will host MLS Cup.
Before downing RSL, Portland beat Minnesota United FC (No. 5 seed) by a 3-1 scoreline in Round One. Then in MLS’ first-ever game on Thanksgiving, the Timbers defeated top-seeded Colorado Rapids 1-0 in the Conference Semifinals.
This will be Portland’s third MLS Cup appearance since they joined MLS as an expansion team in 2011. They won in 2015 over the Columbus Crew, though lost 2018’s title game against Atlanta United. Both of those games were on the road.