The Western Conference-leading Portland Timbers will host Sporting Kansas City on Saturday as both teams look to continue their strong starts to the season. SKC has yet to be beaten this year, while Portland remains as one of the best looking clubs in MLS so far this year. Let’s take a look at what to expect from each side in this upcoming match.
The Timbers have been impenetrable at Providence Park as of late, winning their last eight games. Along with the fortress at home, Portland’s offense has been stellar, scoring sixteen goals in their six matches. Forward Fanendo Adi has been the key to their offensive firepower with five goals to his name already. Adi set the Timbers all-time scoring record when he nailed his 46th career goal for Portland at Philadelphia last Saturday. The team will be without midfielder Ben Zemanski, who is out with an adductor injury. Darion Asprilla and Liam Ridgewell are both listed as questionable.
Sporting Kansas City
Despite a lack of offensive production, Sporting KC remains unbeaten, with three of the fives games resulting in a draw. On the other hand, the defense has been quite impressive, only conceding twice so far. Dom Dwyer and Gerso Fernandes both opened their scoring accounts in a 3-1 victory against the Colorado Rapids last week. Dwyer has been one of the most potent strikers in the league over the past few years. He scored 16 goals last season and an incredible 22 goals in 2014. One disheartening stat SKC must change their winning percentage away from home. The club only won one of their last eighteen away matches in the league. Providence Park will not be an easy venue to break the cycle at either. When these two clubs met last year, both sides won a game on their home soil. The Timbers have only won one of their last four home games against SKC in regular season play. Sporting Kansas City will be without Diego Rubio, who is suffering from a torn ACL. Benny Feilhaber is nearing a return but is questionable with a thigh strain.