BOSTON – The 2018 eMLS Cup, presented by PlayStation got off to a bang Thursday at the PAX East gaming conference in Boston, with Portland Timbers competitor Edgar Guerrero ending up in sixth place in the Western Conference. With the top eight teams from each conference advancing, Guerrero is still in good position to advance to the weekend matches. In the eight games on the day, Guerrero finished 3-4-1.
“I feel like I could have gotten better results against a couple of the teams,” said Guerrero. “We have a decent amount of points so far so I’m pretty sure I’ll make playoffs and utilize what I learned in today’s games to perform better.”
Guerrero’s roster included a veritable who’s who of the global game in FIFA and with the unique eMLS rule that requires at least three MLS players on the pitch at any given time—two of which coming from the team the competitor represents—it makes for some interesting lineup options.
GK: David De Gea – Manchester United
D: Alvas Powell – Portland Timbers
D: Nacho Fernández – Real Madrid
D: Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid
D: Marcelo – Real Madrid
M: Diego Valeri – Portland Timbers
M: Josef Martinez – Atlanta United FC
M: Luka Modric – Real Madrid
F: Lionel Messi – FC Barcelona
F: Luis Suares – FC Barcelona
F: Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid
Sebastián Blanco – Portland Timbers
Bastian Schweinsteiger – Chicago Fire
Romain Alessandrini – LA Galaxy
Carlos Vela – LAFC
Kylian Mbappé – FC Barcelona
Raheem Sterling – Manchester City
Anthony Martial – Manchester United
Eric Bailly – Manchester United
Gareth Bale – Real Madrid
Antonio Valencia – Manchester United
N’Golo Kanté – Chelsea FC
Gabriel Jesus – Manchester City
“I have [played] some of them and other one’s are just the best players in the game like Ronaldo and Messi. Those were, obviously, going to be in just about everybody’s team,” Guerrero said of his selections. “I picked Valeri because he has good stats overall and he’s the best Timbers player. I picked Powell because he’s very fast.”
With each of the day’s match-up being two games versus each competitor—a “home and home” set-up—Guerrero began the tournament against Minnesota United FC’s Elias “Pacify X” Baca. The first game ended in a 3-3 draw despite a flurry of stoppage time chances for Guerrero searching for a winner. Game two was 0-0 at the half but ended 3-2 in favor of the Loons.
Next up: Seattle Sounders FC and Jason “Flickiify” Flick. With the two gamers seated directly next to each other, the Portland-Seattle rivalry was alive and well. Guerrero and the Timbers opened the scoring with a goal from Diego Valeri in the fourth minute and cruised to a 6-1 win with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring four. Valeri almost scored another with the famous “El Tornado” move but the shot went just high of the cross bar. Guerrero and the Timbers beat Seattle again in the second match 5-3.
“That was really fun,” Guerrero said after the match. “That was one that I definitely could not lose. It was a lot of fun playing him.”
The afternoon session saw Guerrero and the Timbers go down 4-0 to San Jose Earthquakes’ Alan “CaliSCG” Ortega only to dig deep on the return match to defeat him 4-1. Lionel Messi got Portland on the board early with a trademark left-footed curler as the goal of the match.
The day ended with two losses to FC Dallas’ Alan “AlanAvi” Avila with Portland falling 5-2 in the first but a much tighter 3-2 loss in the second that included a rare penalty kick goal for Portland coming from Cristiano Ronaldo. Former Timbers player Maxi Urruti was called for a Dallas foul in the box.
The day overall was a good learning experience into the competition and the other players, elements of which Guerrero intends to file away to utilize moving forward.
“When I’m playing against [other teams], even if I’m losing by a lot or a little, I notice things about them—how to defend against them, how to score against them—and that helps me for the next time that I play them so I can change my game a little bit,” he said. “That’ll help me come playoffs because it’ll be one-game elimination so if I can lock them down well, score with my opportunities, I’ll advance.”
Day Two is set for Friday with games against the Colorado Rapids, LA Galaxy, Houston Dynamo, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Sporting Kansas City. The weekend playoffs will be streamed live on https://twitch.tv/PAXarena and at Timbers.com.