With the World Cup break coming up quickly, the Portland Timbers are looking to get back to winning ways before their upcoming two week break from league play. Standing in their way in this evening’s match are the Western Conference leaders: Sporting Kansas City.
The Timbers are currently riding a seven game MLS unbeaten streak — eight in all competitions — but the visitors have set the pace in the West and are maintaining an average of two points per game through the first third of the season, tied with FC Dallas and Atlanta United for the best pace in Major League Soccer.
Taking down Sporting will be a real challenge for the Timbers as the visiting side have posted the second best attacking record in the West while still maintaining the Conference’s best goals against average. In their last five game, during which Sporting are 3-0-2, the visitors have scored eight goals to their opponents’ two. During that same period, the Timbers have scored eight goals themselves, but have allowed four despite maintaining a 4-0-1 record to stay among the hottest teams in MLS.
For today’s match, the Timbers are missing Diego Chara due to yellow card accumulation — a situation that has always been adverse to the side’s fortunes — as well as Andy Polo and David Guzman to World Cup call ups. Sporting, meanwhile, have not lost a single player to the World Cup, adding another hurdle for the Timbers to clear.
Storylines: “Look for the outside backs (especially Graham Zusi) to bust forward into the attack. Zusi isn’t afraid to mix it up in the offensive half, even drifting into the middle with the ball looking for an outlet or going on to score himself, which he’s done twice this season. Look for Jimmy Medranda on the left side to get forward, but not to the extent that Zusi does.”
Stop by the Rose City Forecast to make your predictions about today’s match.
Watch it on: ROOT Sports
Where: Providence Park in Portland, OR
When: June 9th at 7:30 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers: 6-3-3, 5th place in the Western Conference, Drew 1-1 against LA Galaxy
Sporting Kansas City: 8-2-4, 1st place in the Western Conference, Won 4-1 against Minnesota United