Timbers at Sporting Kansas City
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.
TV/radio: KPDX (ch 13/713) / AM 750
Where they stand: the Timbers (2-1-4, 10 points) are fifth among nine teams in the Western Conference. Kansas City (4-2-2, 14 points) has the most points in the East, though Houston and Montreal have better records.
Head to head: Portland has one win and three goals, Kansas City two wins and five goals in three previous meetings. This is the only match between the teams this season.
Timbers tale: The Timbers are unbeaten in five games overall, and have earned three draws in as many road games this season. The disappointment comes from being moments away from a win Sunday at San Jose before the Earthquakes scored a stoppage-time goal to earn a 1-1 draw. After missing 1 1/2 games with a head injury, Argentine midfielder Diego Valeri returned to the lineup and scored his second goal of the season in the game at San Jose. Portland and Kansas City like to play a similar style of soccer, wearing on opponents with sustained possession. The similar philosophies might make for entertaining, well-paced soccer.
Scouting Kansas City: Kansas City is coming off a 2-0 loss to the Galaxy on Wednesday at Los Angeles. The Galaxy scored twice on quick counter-attacks. KC had a shutout streak of 546 minutes — fifth best in MLS history — come to an end. The result also ended a three-game win streak and a five-match unbeaten streak. Argentine forward Claudio Bieler (4 goals in 8 games) and American midfielder Graham Zusi (2 goals, 3 assists) lead KC in scoring.
Caleb Porter says: "They're a team that wants to dictate games. ... We're going to have to play well to win."
Did you know? Jack Jewsbury (195 games 2003-2010) and Michael Harrington (156 games 2007-2012) are current Timbers players with strong ties to Sporting Kansas City. The two figure to start at outside back today.