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MLS Cup Round 1 preview: Everything you need to know

Taylor Twellman breaks down Josef Martinez's movement ahead of Atlanta United vs. New England Revolution.
The 2019 MLS Cup playoffs begin with Round 1 kicking off Saturday.

The international break has come and gone, meaning the revamped MLS Cup playoffs are about to kick off. A 14-team field, single elimination all the way to MLS Cup, no more international breaks interrupting the postseason in its most dramatic moments -- the 2019 playoffs have a fresh, vibrant feel. With that buzz firmly established, we break down each of the six Round 1 matchups, which start Saturday.

Jump to: Atlanta vs. New England | Seattle vs. Dallas | Toronto vs. D.C. | Salt Lake vs. Portland...

Timbers' Brian Fernandez enters substance abuse and behavioral health program

Portland clinch a playoff berth and end San Jose's season with a 3-1 win. Watch MLS on ESPN+.

MLS announced that Portland Timbers forward Brian Fernandez has voluntarily entered the league's Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health ("SABH") Program.

Fernandez will be unavailable for team activities until he has undergone an assessment and is cleared for participation by the SABH Program doctors.

"Our number one priority is Brian's emotional and physical well-being," the Timbers said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with him."

Fernandez, 25, was acquired by the Timbers from Liga MX side Necaxa...

MLS fines Timbers owner Merritt Paulson $100K for referee abuse

A pair of late goals saw the New England Revolution earn an unlikely draw on the road against the Portland Timbers. For more MLS, sign up for ESPN+.

Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson has been fined $100,000 by Major League Soccer for "misconduct directed at match officials."

The fine stems from the Timbers' 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution on Wednesday night. Portland led 2-1 going into stoppage time, but New England was awarded a penalty after a video review and evened the score.

The foul was controversial because it came after the announced stoppage time had already expired, and the referees appeared to miss a similar foul that...