After a long bye weekend, the Portland Timbers are back in action tonight and hosting their playoff rivals, Sporting Kansas City. With only a scant few points separating both sides from moving up the table or falling below the red line, this game could be key for the Timbers' hopes of making the playoffs.
Match Preview: "For their part, Chara and Johnson will once again have the midfield pairing of Jack Jewsbury and George Fochive step in for them. After a strong performance in the Timbers' unfortunate 2-1 loss to the Sounders last week, Jewsbury and Fochive have shown that they have a solid understanding in the midfield that should serve the Timbers well as they seek to take the game to their opponents tonight."
Preview Interview: "The biggest factor had to be the stretch of 5 matches in 15 days. Players needing rest and nagging injuries piled up. Sporting lost Espinoza and Mustivar from the midfield, pushing Feilhaber back out of his attacking role. Just four days before that San Jose match, SKC had the most thrilling match of the season after a miraculous comeback to defeat the Whitecaps 4-3. I believe that took a toll on the team and left them emotionally drained."
Watch it on: KPTV, MLS Live out of market
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. PT at Providence Park in Portland, OR
Portland Timbers: 11-9-7, 6th place in the Western Conference
Sporting Kansas City: 11-7-7, 5th place in the Western Conference