The stakes will be as high as ever on Sunday when the reigning MLS Cup champions Portland Timbers host Supporters’ Shield chasers Colorado Rapids at Providence Park (5 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes). Portland (West #7, 41 points, 11-13-8) enters the matchup clinging to its playoff life as it sits just outside the red line in seventh, two points back from Sporting Kansas City. Despite losing to Colorado 1-0 in its last MLS action before the international break, Portland will be incredibly hard to beat at home where it has posted an impressive 11-3-2 record at Providence Park in 2016.
Looking to complete one of the greatest comeback stories of 2016, the Colorado Rapids, who finished dead last in the Western Conference last year, are now poised to capture its first Supporters’ Shield title in club history. With a berth in the postseason already secured, the Rapids (West #2, 54 points, 14-5-12) can potentially enter Sunday’s showdown in first place with two games remaining. If the club can collect all three points at home – where it is undefeated in 2016 – in a midweek matchup against the San Jose Earthquakes on Thursday, then Colorado will grab the lead from current table toppers FC Dallas (West #1, 56 points, 16-8-8), making Sunday’s match in Portland even more significant.