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Soccer-Orlando aim to upset Portland in MLS is Back…

Aug 10 – Orlando City SC hope to continue their fairytale run by beating Portland Timbers in the final of the MLS is Back Tournament on Tuesday, capping the league’s return to action after COVID-19 put the season on hold for four months.

The Major League Soccer tournament, held within a fanless quarantined setting at Walt Disney World in Orlando, appeared troubled at first after FC Dallas and Nashville SC were removed from the whole competition due to positive COVID-19 tests and a handful of other players opted out.

But after some three weeks without a new COVID-19 positive, the league said on Saturday it would resume the season with teams playing in their home cities from Aug. 12, charting a path forward outside the ‘bubble’ amid the new coronavirus outbreak.

Orlando will look to harness their strong defence against two of the tournament’s biggest attacking threats in Portland’s Jeremy Ebobisse and Sebastian Blanco, who both scored in their side’s 2-1 semi-final win over Philadelphia Union.

Orlando, who have never reached the MLS playoffs beat Minnesota United FC 3-1 in the semi-finals, having raised their game throughout the tournament helped by the form of goalkeeper Pedro Gallese who has saved 16 of the 21 shots he has faced.

Orlando will also be relying on their experienced 33-year-old captain Nani, the former Portugal and Manchester United winger, who has so far scored three goals with four assists.

The Portland Timbers play Orlando City SC on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET (+1day 0030 GMT) and the winners will also earn a place in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League. (Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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