ATLANTA (KOIN) — A record crowd is expected at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday as the Portland Timbers take to the pitch against Atlanta United FC in a match for MLS Cup 2018.
Of the 72,000 fans expected to be screaming during the title game, only 1300 tickets were allotted for Timbers fans. That is substantially less than the 5% FIFA standard that is generally allotted for visiting teams throughout the leage.
Though the Timbers Army can scream loudly, their voices will be drowned out by the rabid fans of United FC. But it won’t matter to Timbers veterans Liam Ridgewell and Diego Valeri.
“It is up to us to try to keep them quiet,” Ridgewell said. “The best way we can defend is making them defend more than we do.”
Valeri said the game has different moments, “and in order for us to be calm and do not feel that attention from outside, we have to think about the game and focus on every single ball. And that is it, and then be precise and effective to win.”
The city of Atlanta is ready for the game. Signs throughout the city tout the match for the title at the stadium.
The Timbers played to a 1-1 draw in June and got a chance to practice on the field Friday.
Coach Giovanni Savarese said this practice was all about getting used to the turf, the stadium, the feel of it all in an effort to eliminate whatever big-game jitters there may be.
The match begins at 8 p.m. Saturday and will be nationally televised on FOX.