Portland Establishes Favorite Status After Western Conference Final 1st Leg

The Portland Timbers established themselves as the favorites to be the Western Conference representative at the MLS Cup with a 3-1 win over FC Dallas on Sunday at Providence Park. 

The Timbers jumped into the driver's seat of the match in the first minute as they almost replicated Columbus' early goal in the first leg of the Eastern Conference final earlier on Sunday. 

Before FC Dallas could even settle into the match, Fanendo Adi and Darlington Nagbe put their back four under pressure with a surging move forward. Nagbe dished the ball over to Lucas Melano, whose shot was kept out by 20-year-old goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez. 

Portland continued to press for its first strike for the first part of the opening stanza, and it finally was rewarded for its efforts in the 23rd minute, when Liam Ridgewell scored on a corner. 

The Timbers kept pushing for their second for the rest of the first half, but they were unlu...

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