Western Conference Final, Leg 1: Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas
Sunday, November 22, 7:30 p.m. ET (FS1, TSN2)
For Zimmerman, Sunday night’s performance was the culmination of his first injury-free MLS season. A highly-touted prospect coming out of Furman University in 2013, injuries forced him to miss the combine and consequently fall to seventh in that year’s SuperDraft. After appearing in only 17 games between 2013 and 2014, Zimmerman stayed off the trainer’s table and made 20 appearances in 2015. With a clean bill of health and one of the biggest goals in FCD’s history under his belt, Zimmerman is finally living up to hype that followed him into MLS.
Things weren’t as dramatic for the Timbers en route to a 2-0 sweep of Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place. Fanendo Adi and Diego Chara scored as Portland won the possession battle and yielded only two shots on goal. The Timbers now prepare for their second Western Conference Championship series in five MLS seasons. Portland fell to Real Salt Lake in the 2013 Western Conference title game, but returns this time around with a championship-caliber core including recent U.S. Men’s National Team call-up Darlington Nagbe, Argentine maestro Diego Valeri, and veterans Adam Kwarasey, Nat Borchers, Liam Ridgewell, and plenty more. With the backing of the Timbers Army and one of the biggest home field advantages in MLS, this could be the year the Timbers breakthrough.