The stage is set!- MLS Cup Finals | MUNDIAL MORNINGS

TUESDAY 01 DECEMBER 2015

Portland Timbers and Columbus Crew won their conference finals
last night and will play off in seven days for the MLS Cup.

Portland has never made it to a MLS Cup final and will go
into the final as underdogs against Columbus Crew.

It’s been a wild run for the Timbers, who began the Cup
campaign with a win on penalties against Sporting KC in the MLS playoff round.

Portland defeated FC Dallas 5-3 on aggregate to progress to
their first ever MLS cup final.

Columbus Crew are one of the veterans in the MLS, having
been established in 1994. They have had a taste of glory, winning an MLS Cup in
2008 and are one step away from replicating that success.

Columbus are one of the best teams in the competition,
despite their rollercoaster Cup run. Columbus came back from a 2-1 first leg deficit
to Montreal Impact, to win 3-1 at home. They then played New York Red Bulls in
the conference final defeating them 2-0 at home in the first leg and progressed
through on aggregate 2-1 after the away fixture.

On paper, Columbus Crew is the convinced favourite, with the
advantage of playing a final in front of a home crowd.

Columbus and Portland sat equal on 53 points and 15 wins,
which meant goal difference was the defining factor. Columbus had won their
final season game 5-0, overtaking Portland’s goal difference +5 to Portland’s
+2.

Having the voice of a
noisy exuberant home crowd behind you is certainly an advantage, but don’t
write Portland off just yet.

Columbus haven’t lost a home game since September, and that
loss was against Portland.

Portland has an arsenal of firepower at the front, with
Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe, Fanendo Adi and recently Dairon Asprilla thrown
into the mix.

Their newly founded 4-4-3 formation has changed the team’s
dynamic, so we are expectant for an attacking game.

Will the favourites Columbus Crew take out their second MLS
Cup final at home, or will underdogs Portland win their first major trophy in
their clubs history?

WANTED MAN- Breel Embolo

For any FIFA manager mode fanatic, you would have heard of
Breel Embolo.

A young 18 year old striker, who has the potential to reach
over 90 overall. For an 18 year old striker who continues to improve, he is the
perfect investment for any big club.

Embolo stands at 6 foot, and acquires the ability to be an aerial
threat, and a lethal weapon when the ball sits at his feet. The Swiss striker
has incredible agility and speed, and is scary to watch when he gets going.

The hunt has begun for the youngster who plays for FC Basel-
a team which prides itself on their ability to produce young stars into world
class players.

Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United and Arsenal are all
on the hunt for the big man, but we think United could have the slight advantage
going into the transfer window.

Whilst Barcelona are interested in the star, they already
have a working formula with Messi, Neymar and Suarez slamming in goals with
ease. Manchester United are lacking a fit striker, and Embolo could be the
perfect addition. Seeing Embolo pair up with Anthony Martial could prove to be
a lethal combination for United.

On the other hand, the Gunners could also use a striker,
seeing as though out of form and injury prone Danny Wellbeck is of no use to Arsenal.

By Ari Charilaou (He’s also on twitter here)

Mundial Mornings is your morning wrap of world football. The latest news, transfers, matches, rumours from Australia and the world delivered every morning.

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Ari Charilaou