In just the franchise’s second season of existence, Atlanta United will host the Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup final on Saturday.
The game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Fox. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can still watch a live stream of the game (or DVR it) on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Fox (live in most markets) is included in FuboTV’s main package, which includes 75-plus total channels and is largely tailored towards sports fans. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.
If you can’t watch live, FuboTV comes with 30 hours of Cloud DVR (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours), as well as a handy “72-Hour Lookback” feature, which will allow you to watch the game on-demand up to three days after it airs even if you forgot to record it.
In addition to their extensive Netflix-like streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels, including Fox (live in most markets). You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
Fox (live in select markets) is included in the “Sling Blue” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on.
Fox Sports Go
Additionally, you can watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Fox Sports Go website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Fox Sports Go app. You’ll need to log in to a cable provider to watch this way, but if you don’t have that, you can still sign up for one of the above options and then use your FuboTV, Hulu or Sling TV credentials to sign in and watch on the Fox digital platforms.
Atlanta United come in as heavy favorites. They finished the regular season with the second-most points in the MLS, and upended the New York Red Bulls, who won the Supporters’ Shield with the league’s best record, 3-1 on aggregate in the two-legged Eastern Conference championship.
“Unfortunately it’s kind of double-edged,” United midfielder Jeff Larentowicz said of playing the biggest match in the franchise’s history at home, according to ESPN. “There’s so many positives, but you’ve got all the people kind of coming at you from every angle, which is a different thing. When you fly into Dallas, and you’ve got a game, it’s easy to say, ‘Don’t bother me.’ Here it’s a bit different. But once you step out on the field, I think we’re going to be thankful to be at home.”
It will be the last match on Atlanta’s sideline for manager Tata Martino, who’ll vacate his post to coach Mexico’s men’s national team.
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan insisted Martino’s departure won’t affect United players, however.
“There’s urgency because when you’re in a Cup final, you never know when you’ll have the opportunity to be in another one,” Guzan said, according to ESPN. “You could be 20 years old, you could be 34 years old, you don’t know when the next time an opportunity like this will come along. Regardless of Tata’s situation, players’ situations, that’s got nothing to do with it. … I don’t think it’s a sense of anxiousness. I think for the most part … we’ve gone about our business this week in a pretty normal way.”
Portland finished the season fifth in the Western Conference, but advanced to the final by beating the conference’s top two teams. They edged the Seattle Sounders (59 regular season points) on away goals in the two-legged Conference Semifinals, then bested Sporting Kansas City (62 points) 3-2 on aggregate.
“It’s all talk,” Timbers defender Zarek Valentin said of being considered the underdog, per ESPN. “That’s all it comes down to. ‘Oh, [Atlanta] is at 77 percent,’ and everybody is picking them. It’s cool. Let everybody pick them. That’s no problem. We just need to focus on what we can control. That sounds super corny and I hate saying it — and for you guys, it’s nothing juicy — but as long as we control the things that we do, we’ve shown that we’re a hard team to beat and we’ve gone into some very hard places to play and gotten results.”
Portland midfielder Diego Valeri told Goal the game’s opening moments will be crucial.
“It’s very important to set the tone early and manage the time of the game,” Valeri said. “The game has different moments, and in order for us to be calm, and not feel that tension from outside, we have to be focused on every single ball and be precise and effective to win the ball.”