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MLS: Portland Timbers at Sporting Kansas City

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Sporting KC v Portland Timbers: Preview, Predictions and How to Watch

Two teams looking to start their climb in the West.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting KC @ Portland Timbers

When: Saturday, May 14th, 2022 at 9:00 PM CT (Kickoff 9:08)

Where: Providence Park

How to Watch/Stream: 38 the Spot | ESPN+ (out of market) | SportingKC.com & SKC App (in market) | Sporting One App on Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV
How to Listen: La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)

Will the highs of Tuesday’s US Open Cup win translate to a shift in the 2022 regular season? With nearly a third of the season gone (11 of 34 played), Sporting Kansas City looked like a new team on Tuesday at home. They were the comeback kids we knew from much of the early portion of the 2021 season. They came from two goals back and defeated FC Dallas to advance to the round of 16 of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

That mid-week game marks the first of many upcoming here in the late spring/early summer. Schedule congestion is about to be very real and all the teams will be experiencing it (with some like Seattle, feeling it even worse with CCL).

Sporting KC will hit the road this weekend for their second straight road MLS match against another team coming off a US Open Cup game, the Portland Timbers. The Timbers were bounced out of the competition in the round of 32 by Western Conference leading LAFC (by a score of 2-0). Portland have also played 11 games and have faired slightly better than KC sitting in 10th (to KC’s 12th) in the West on 12 points (to KC’s nine).

While it’s a little early to think playoffs, Minnesota United are in the 7th spot on 14 points through 10 games. Now would be a good time to start making a run for either side.

Portland’s Recent Form

As you can see, Portland are winless in four (SKC are winless in six for the record). Outside of the win against Vancouver (the league’s worst team), you have to go all the way back to March 12th to find another win. So maybe it’s a good time to be meeting Portland.

The Timbers are just 1-1-3 at home this year, so it’s not exactly a fortress, possibly because their fans are quite upset with their ownership group after the handling of the domestic violence allegations against now former player Andy Polo.

What’s New for Portland in 2022?

I’m going to let my colleague David Greenwald do the heavy lifting here. He previewed the Timbers season before 2022 started, which included all the big transactions. Since that story the team has signed two SuperDraft picks and a T2 player. The meat of their moves are previewed above.

Injuries/Availability*

Sporting KC

OUT - Alan Pulido (knee surgery), Gadi Kinda (SEI - knee surgery), Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (concussion, facial fracture), Ozzie Cisneros (hamstring)

QUESTIONABLE - Graham Zusi (leg strain)

*This has been updated based on the official injury report.

Portland

OUT - Larrys Mabiala (health & safety protocol), Blake Bodily (hamstring), Claudio Bravo (thigh), Felipe Mora (knee surgery), Diego Gutierrez (foot), George Fochive (hip), Jaroslaw Niezgoda (thigh)

QUESTIONABLE - None

That’s quite the injury report for Portland.

Stats

Sporting KC

Goals: Remi Walter, Daniel Salloi, Johnny Russell (2), Roger Espinoza (1)

Assists: Cam Duke (2), Felipe Hernandez, Daniel Salloi, Ben Sweat (1)

Portland

Goals: Yimmi Chara, Jaroslaw Neizgoda (3), Dairon Asprilla, Bill Tuiloma (2), Cristhian Paredes (1)

Assists: Y. Chara (3), Sebastian Blanco, Santiago Moreno (2), Marvin Loria (1)

Starting XI Predictions

This will get it’s own story. Look for it closer to game day.

Score Predictions

I’m still not confident in Kansas City until they show something in league play. They’ve reeled off three straight draws, but if there was a team ripe for a beating it’s Portland. The Timbers are super banged up and their goals/assists list is so short I typed out every player (they still have more than KC).

Another positive for Sporting KC is they have fared well at Providence Park. They are 4-4-2 there all-time, however, they lost 1-2 in their most recent visit in 2021. Working against this... all of 2022. They are 0-5-1 on the road, though their most recent road game is the 0-0 draw at NYCFC last weekend. Progress?

Sporting KC did put about 60 minutes on the legs of Salloi, Shelton and Walter and a little less on Russell on Tuesday. Cam Duke, who is the presumptive starter at RB, also played significant minutes. Everyone else should be well rested. No time to turn it around like the present, but again, I’ll keep it somewhat pessimistic.

1-1 Draw

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