Winter Storm Diego, making its way across the United States in the days leading up to 2018 MLS Cup, should arrive in Atlanta on game day itself — and the opportunity for humor hasn't been lost on the Portland Timbers' social media team.
The Timbers' official account — who arrived in Georgia late Wednesday night — posted this nod to the storm (and 2017 MLS MVP Diego Valeri) Wednesday in advance of Saturday's showdown with Atlanta United:
But it was actually Timbers investor-operator Merritt Paulson, active on Twitter over the past week — including a lively debate with MLSSoccer.com's Andrew Wiebe regarding his analysis on whether or not the Timbers are an "elite" MLS team — who got the Winter Storm Diego talk rolling:
https://t.co/4jq2mWLwKw not typically into omens...but— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) December 6, 2018
The storm system, which coalesced on the West Coast earlier this week, will be bringing colder and rainier conditions than normal (read: Portland weather) to the Southeast U.S. starting Friday. Though Atlanta is forecast to evade the wintry mix and snow possibilities in northern climes, the Weather Channel explained the rationale for naming the storm in a tweet:
We named Diego at 5 p.m. EST this evening with the expectation that its long swath of wintry precipitation will meet both the areal (400,000 square kilometers) and population (2 million people) thresholds used to trigger naming. Forecast: https://t.co/VVPnSDzmbN— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) December 5, 2018
Valeri still holds the record for fastest goal in MLS Cup history, scoring the opener just 27 seconds into 2015 MLS Cup, in which the Timbers beat Columbus Crew SC 2-1 in MAPFRE Stadium to win its first and only (to date) Philip F. Anschutz Trophy.