The Portland Timbers broke their two-game losing streak on Wednesday with a CONCACAF Champions League win over C.D. Dragon, but now it is time to get back to league play as Sporting Kansas City come to Portland this afternoon. With the Timbers having fallen back below the red line in the Western Conference, three points at Providence Park against a fellow playoff contender is a must.
A win today moves the Timbers up ahead of the Vancouver Whitecaps and could see Portland end the week as the only Cascadian side currently above the red line. Moreover, a win would put the Timbers back within striking distance of SKC and only a precious few points shy of fighting their way back into home field advantage in the playoffs. A loss, however, would see the Timbers looking over their shoulders at the San Jose Earthquakes, who are currently just one point behind in the standings, but will have two games in hand at the end of the day.
With the two sides having faced off last Sunday in a narrow 1-0 SKC win, the Timbers will be looking for some measure of revenge as the two banged-up sides meet again. The Timbers are still missing a number of players due to injury and appear to have lost Ben Zemanski and Zarek Valentin for this meeting of the sides along with the previously absent Liam Ridgewell and Nat Borchers. New arrivals Steven Taylor and Gbenga Arokoyo will also not be available as the Timbers’ two new center backs get fit following their offseason.
Watch it on: ESPN
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. PT at Providence Park in Portland, OR
Portland Timbers: 7-8-8, 7th place in the Western Conference
Sporting Kansas City: 10-10-4, 5th place in the Western Conference