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MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Portland Timbers

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

Eight games to go in a forgettable 2022.

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting KC vs Portland Timbers

When: Sunday, August 21st, 2022 at 6:30 PM CT (Kickoff 6:55)

Where: Children’s Mercy Park

How to Watch/Stream: FS1 | Fox Deportes

This is a rematch both teams have to be ready for. Portland could roll in underestimating Sporting Kansas City who remain in last place in the Western Conference and whom they crushed 7-2 in their first meeting of the season. Sporting KC should have extra motivation to redeem themselves after that embarrassing performance in May.

SKC will enter the game in better form. Sure, they had a 3-4 collapse against Austin FC last weekend, but they did score three goals on the heels of scoring four in the win over the LA Galaxy the prior weekend. Of those seven goals, four of them have come from new additions Willy Agada and Erik Thommy, who weren’t with Kansas City for the prior loss to Portland.

Additionally, Sporting are playing a different style. Instead of throwing everyone forward and leaving themselves open to the counter, which Portland killed them on last time out, they are the team ceding more possession and hitting teams on the counter. It seems like a logical conclusion they keep that up as Portland come to town.

At this point in the year, it’s still not officially over for Sporting KC in terms of playoff hopes. They probably need to run the table and win all eight games to even have a chance. That’s almost certainly not going to happen, but I imagine SKC will play like they are alive until they are not. The longest preseason in MLS history continues.

Portland’s Recent Form

Before the loss last weekend, Portland hadn’t lost since their May 28th loss to Inter Miami CF. That was a 10-game unbeaten streak that came to an end on the road in Toronto. Lots of draws in there, but that’s mostly better than losing.

What’s new for Portland since the last meeting?

The best place to start for most of Portland’s transactions is going to be our preview of the prior meeting. Since that date, Portland have made just one transaction.

IN: The team added defender Juan David Mosquera via transfer from Independiente Medellín (Columbia). Mosquera is a 19-year-old right back who already has 45 professional appearances. He’ll fill a U-22 roster spot for Portland. He’s yet to debut.

OUT: None

Injuries/Availability*

Sporting KC

OUT - Alan Pulido (knee surgery), Gadi Kinda (SEI - knee surgery), Kortne Ford (suspension), Tim Melia (hamstring)

QUESTIONABLE - Khiry Shelton (calf), Ozzie Cisneros (hamstring)

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

Timbers

OUT - Felipe Mora (knee), Nathan Fogaca (right ankle)

QUESTIONABLE - Diego Gutierrez (foot)

Discipline Watch for Sporting KC

Suspended Next Yellow Card: Kortne Ford, Roger Espinoza

Stats

Sporting KC

Goals: Johnny Russell (7), Daniel Salloi (5), Remi Walter, Willy Agada (3), Roger Espinoza (2), Marinos Tzionis, Felipe Hernandez, Graham Zusi, Erik Thommy, Andreu Fontas (1)

Assists: Felipe Hernandez, Cam Duke, Daniel Salloi (3), Roger Espinoza (2), Ben Sweat, Uri Rosell, Remi Walter, Khiry Shelton, Kayden Pierre (1)

Timbers

Goals: Jaroslaw Niezgoda (9), Dairon Asprilla, Sebastian Blanco, Santiago Moreno (5), Yimmi Chara (4), Nathan Fogaca, Marvin Loria, Cristhian Paredes (2), two with one (1)

Assists: Y. Chara (9), Blanco (8), Moreno (7), Erik Williamson (6), Paredes (3), Diego Chara, Loria, Niezgoda (2), two with one (1)

Starting XI Predictions

This will get it’s own story. Look for it closer to game day. (Food for thought: do you want these stories anymore? It’s late in the season and barring a big injury, is it really worth it?)

Predictions

I think Sporting KC are completely capable of winning this game. Their defense has given up six goals in the last two, which is pretty awful, but they’ve scored seven. If they can keep scoring, anything is possible. Portland have a fairly leaky defense.

Hopefully we see the return of Logan Ndenbe from injury as he was on the bench last weekend, though he didn’t get in the game. His defending will be a step up from Ben Sweat who may be the more creative offensive player, but has had mental lapses in defense accounting (at least in part) for possibly four of the last six goals. Now if only Kortne Ford didn’t have another three weeks to go on his suspension.

No matter what happens, lets hope the offensive chemistry continues to build and it becomes more clear who should stay and who should go from this roster.

2-2 Draw

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