As the Portland Timbers prepare for the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs Round One game against FC Dallas on Nov. 22 (7pm PT, ESPN), we look back at some of the best playoff moments in Timbers' MLS history.
Bring up 2015 and fans will remember MLS Cup and The Double Post. Both left indelible marks in Timbers history, and rightly so, with the MLS Cup victory being the first championship in the club's history and the penalty kick shootout victory over Sporting Kansas City in the Western Conference Knockout Round oft cited as one of the best playoff games in league history.
And while the mysterious magic that somehow caused SKC defender Saad Abdul-Salaam's potential game-winning penalty kick shot to ricochet off not one but two posts and away followed by Portland's Adam Kwarasey – the goalkeeper – to fire home the game-winning shot are all amazing, none of that happens were it not for forward Maxi Urruti tying the game in the 118th minute. That goal still stands as the latest ever scored in MLS play.
Urruti, who came to Portland via a trade with Toronto FC late in 2013, appeared in 72 MLS matches with the Timbers. In his first full season with the club in 2014, he scored 10 goals. Oft used as a change of pace substitution, the Argentine striker was known for his quick, darting runs and opportunistic play in front of goal.
On that night against SKC, Urruti did it again, entering the game in the 106th minute – the very beginning of the second half of extra time – with Portland down a goal and the season in the balance.
His goal, and the great pass from Dairon Asprilla, helped propel the Timbers into the penalty kicks – where Urruti converted his attempt – and eventually past Sporting on their run to the Cup.