Just three days after their midweek drubbing at the hands of D.C. United, the Portland Timbers are once again on the road and this time they are set to take on Sporting Kansas City in a six point match that could right the ship for the Timbers or see them cede ground to a rival in the Western Conference playoff race.
Now without a point in their last two games, the Timbers come into today’s match in need of a positive performance against Sporting. Their midweek loss looked bad from the Timbers and it was presaged by the generally loose defending that saw the Timbers give up two unimpressive goals to the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend in the match that broke the Timbers’ unbeaten run.
Diego Valeri appears to be in a funk, Samuel Armenteros might be dealing with injuries, and runners into the box just are not being tracked by anyone; naturally, the Timbers’ issues seem to be coming to a head just as they face Sporting, a team against which they have historically struggled to put together any sort of positive play. While not quite as stingy on defense as some of their previous iterations, SKC are still a side that are difficult to break down on an institutional level and the Timbers will need to do more than just look for fouls in the box to create chances against them.
Storylines: “Look for the outside backs to get forward in the attack, especially Graham Zusi. He’ll even drift inside to the midfield looking for an outlet pass or to score himself. He’s not shy in this regard, so keeping an eye on him should be key for the Timbers.”
Make sure to stop by the Rose City Forecast to make your predictions about today’s match.
Watch it on: FOX 12 Plus (KPDX)
Where: Sporting Kansas City Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, KS
When: Saturday, August 18th at 5:30 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers: 10-5-7, 5th place in the Western Conference, lost 4-1 at D.C. United
Sporting Kansas City: 11-6-6, 2nd place in the Western Conference, won 2-0 at Los Angeles FC