The Portland Timbers clinched their first-ever berth in Major League Soccer's championship final with a 2-2 draw against FC Dallas last night. But then, being a Portlander robust with civic pride, you already knew that. When Argentinian forward Lucas Melano delicately tapped in an extravagant, video game-style dribbled goal late in the match in rainy Frisco, the collective roar of relief was heard from Crystal Ballroom (where hundreds of fans gathered to watch the match) to Government Camp (where, we are reliably informed, "sno-bros" went mental when Melano scored). 

The Timbers could be the first Portland team to win the title of a men's top-tier league since the legendary 1977 Blazers. (Their sisters in soccer, the Portland Thorns, won the inaugural National Women's Soccer League championship in 2013.) Beyond that obviously exciting development, this year's Timbers are a team Portland can be proud of: a stylish and hardworking amalgam of Latin American, African, European, and North American players and styles, risen from the ashes of a troubled early season, scoring goals with flair and defending with (sometimes desperate) passion. 

We'll have more to say about Sunday's big match, which take place in Columbus, Ohio against that city's Crew SC. In the meantime, be sure to savor these great moments from the club's victory and celebration—and send them along to any Seattle friends, so they can see what an MLS Cup finalist looks like.

 

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