MLS Cup 2015

MLS Cup 2015 was the 20th edition of the MLS Cup, the championship game of Major League Soccer (MLS). The match was to determine the champion of MLS' 2015 season. The championship was contested on December 6, 2015 between the Columbus Crew SC and the Portland Timbers at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, with the latter winning 2–1 and earning a berth into the 2016–17 CONCACAF Champions League.

MLS Cup 2015
2015 MLS Cup Logo.svg
EventMLS Cup
DateDecember 6, 2015
VenueMapfre Stadium, Columbus, Ohio, US
Most Valuable PlayerDiego Valeri
(Portland Timbers)[1][2]
RefereeJair Marrufo[3]
WeatherPartly cloudy, 46 °F (8 °C)

The Timbers' Diego Valeri scored the fastest goal in MLS Cup history at 27 seconds after Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark miscontrolled his defender's back-pass.[4] Portland doubled their lead in the seventh minute with a goal by Rodney Wallace, and although Columbus got a goal back through Kei Kamara in the 18th minute, the Timbers held on for their first MLS Cup championship. It was the first men's professional sports championship for a team from the city of Portland, Oregon since the Portland Trail Blazers won the 1977 NBA championship.

Road to the finalEdit

Tournament BracketEdit

Knockout Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals MLS Cup
October 29 – Stade Saputo              
E6  Toronto FC  0
E3  Montreal Impact  2  1  3
E3  Montreal Impact  3      
E2  Columbus Crew (a.e.t.)  1  3  4  
Eastern Conference
October 28 – RFK Stadium E2  Columbus Crew  2  0  2
  E1  New York Red Bulls  0  1  1  
E5  New England Revolution  1
E4  D.C. United  0  0  0
E4  D.C. United  2   December 6 – Mapfre Stadium
E1  New York Red Bulls  1  1  2  
October 29 – Providence Park E2  Columbus Crew  1
  W3  Portland Timbers  2
W6  Sporting Kansas City  2 (6)
W3  Portland Timbers  0  2  2
W3  Portland Timbers (p)  2 (7)      
W2  Vancouver Whitecaps FC  0  0  0  
Western Conference
October 28 – CenturyLink Field W3  Portland Timbers  3  2  5
  W1  FC Dallas  1  2  3  
W5  LA Galaxy  2
W4  Seattle Sounders FC  2  1  3 (2)
W4  Seattle Sounders FC  3  
W1  FC Dallas (p)  1  2  3 (4)  

Source: [5]



Portland midfielder Diego Valeri scored in 27 seconds, the fastest goal in the history of the MLS Cup, and was named the game's MVP.

Portland opened up the scoring early as midfielder Diego Valeri swiped the ball out from under Columbus goalkeeper Steve Clark and flicked the ball into the back of the net with one touch at the 27-second mark. It was the fastest ever goal scored in an MLS Cup match.[6] The Timbers kept the pressure on, and when the assistant referee failed to call a ball out of bounds after it drifted across the sideline and several Crew players stopped playing, Portland midfielder Darlington Nagbe capitalized, passing to forward Lucas Melano to set the table for a goal by left winger Rodney Wallace that put Portland on top 2–0 in the seventh minute.[7]

In the 18th minute, Columbus got on the board after Portland goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey failed to take control in a scramble at the goal line and Columbus forward Kei Kamara, the league's leading scorer, shot the ball into the net. Kamara's goal to make the game 2–1 ended up as Columbus' only shot on goal of the match.[8]

Portland got a number of opportunities to score in the second half, but the Timbers failed to convert. In the 60th minute, a Portland corner kick resulted in a loose ball in the penalty box, which ricocheted off the goalpost before being cleared after striking Columbus captain Michael Parkhurst's arm on the goal line. However, no handball was called and no goal was awarded. In the 69th minute, Portland striker Fanendo Adi headed the ball toward the goal, but it deflected off the far goalpost and then bounced away off Clark's body.[8] Clark also stopped a point-blank header from Portland center back Nat Borchers in the 81st minute, and then tipped another shot by Adi over the net shortly thereafter. The game ended with a 2–1 scoreline as Columbus was unsuccessful in taking advantage of Portland's missed opportunities, giving the Timbers their first MLS Cup victory and the city of Portland its first men's pro sports championship since the Portland Trail Blazers won the NBA championship in 1977. Valeri was named the match's Most Valuable Player.[9]

Match detailsEdit

Columbus Crew SC1–2Portland Timbers
Attendance: 21,747
Columbus Crew SC
Portland Timbers
GK 1   Steve Clark
RB 25   Harrison Afful   34'
CB 4   Michael Parkhurst (c)
CB 22   Gastón Sauro
LB 14   Waylon Francis
CM 6   Tony Tchani   72'
CM 20   Wil Trapp
RW 13   Ethan Finlay   63'
AM 10   Federico Higuaín
LW 9   Justin Meram   78'
CF 23   Kei Kamara
GK 41   Brad Stuver
DF 2   Tyson Wahl
DF 3   Chris Klute
MF 11   Cedrick Mabwati   63'
MF 30   Jack McInerney   72'
MF 16   Hector Jiménez
MF 8   Mohammed Saeid   78'
  Gregg Berhalter
GK 12   Adam Larsen Kwarasey
RB 2   Alvas Powell   65'
CB 7   Nat Borchers
CB 24   Liam Ridgewell (c)
LB 19   Jorge Villafaña
CM 6   Darlington Nagbe
CM 21   Diego Chará
CM 8   Diego Valeri   90+3'
RW 26   Lucas Melano   59'
CF 9   Fanendo Adi   90+1'
LW 22   Rodney Wallace   90+4'
GK 90   Jake Gleeson
DF 23   Norberto Paparatto
DF 20   Taylor Peay
MF 4   Will Johnson
FW 13   Jack Jewsbury   90+4'
FW 37   Maximiliano Urruti   90+1'
FW 11   Dairon Asprilla   90+3'   59'
  Caleb Porter

MLS Cup MVP: Diego Valeri [10]

Assistant referees:[3]
Peter Manikowski (United States)
Corey Parker (United States)
Fourth official:[3]
Chris Penso (United States)
Fifth official:[3]
James Conlee

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra time if necessary.
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
  • Seven named substitutes.
  • Maximum of three substitutions.


  1. ^ MLSsoccer staff (December 6, 2015). "Diego Valeri named MLS Cup Most Valuable Player". Major League Soccer. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  2. ^ Molly Blue (December 6, 2015). "Diego Valeri named MLS Cup MVP". The Oregonian. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e "MLS Cup 2015: PRO announce refereeing crew for final". PRO Referees. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  4. ^ MLSsoccer staff (December 6, 2015). "Diego Valeri scores fastest goal in MLS Cup history as Portland Timbers take early lead". Major League Soccer. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  5. ^ "MLS Playoff Bracket". Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  6. ^ "Portland Timbers' Diego Valeri Scores Fastest Goal In MLS Cup History (Video)". NESN. December 6, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  7. ^ "Portland wins MLS Cup, beating Columbus 2-1". December 6, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "MLS Cup: Crew cut down by Timbers". The Columbus Dispatch. December 6, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  9. ^ "Timbers go all the way". The Portland Tribune. December 6, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  10. ^ "MLS / NASL Estados Unidos: Valeri, MVP de la final de la MLS -". December 7, 2015.