Sporting Park Kansas City

Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City Pick & Prediction AUG 21st 2022

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The Portland Timbers will hope for history to repeat itself as they aim to get back on track when they visit Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.

The Timbers (7-7-12, 33 points) are coming off a 3-1 loss to Toronto FC last week, snapping their 10-game unbeaten run. Two weeks before their previous loss on May 28, Portland exploded for a 7-2 home win against Sporting Kansas City, the most goals the club has scored in a game in its MLS history.

Portland dropped below the playoff line in the Western Conference after falling to Toronto. The club sits in 10th place heading into the weekend, tied with three other clubs at 33 points.

And while Sporting Kansas City (6-15-5, 23 points) sit last in the West, the Timbers will proceed with caution.

"I've been saying every match is crucial for us," Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said. "There's not an easy match. Kansas City is a team that has shown to stay competitive, and we know it's going to be a difficult game. It always is a difficult game every time that we go there. This is a team that is going to continue to battle to stay competitive."

Midfielders Sebastian Blanco and Santiago Moreno and forward Dairon Asprilla are tied for second on the team with five goals each, but have just one combined goal in the past three contests, with Moreno tallying back on Aug. 3. Jaroslaw Niezgoda leads the Timbers with nine goals.

Sporting KC are feeling good about their offense after scoring seven goals in their past two games, including three goals in the opening half of each contest.

The production has been sparked by the additions of forward William Agada and midfielder Erik Thommy. Agada has three goals in four games with the club.

"When you have another guy in the midfield that has an attacking mind, you have another guy up front that is direct in his pursuit to go score, what happens is that now the other team can't just concentrate on Johnny (Russell) and Daniel (Salloi)," SKC head coach Peter Vermes said.

While that output served them well in a 4-2 win against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Aug. 6, they failed to hold on to an advantage last week against Austin FC and fell 4-3 after giving up the go-ahead goal in second-half stoppage time.

"We had to be a little bit more brave," SKC defender Andreu Fontas said of the blown lead. "Win the ball, keep the ball, get some long possession."

Kansas City will be without goalkeeper Tim Melia (hamstring) and defender Kortne Ford (suspension).

--Field Level Media

Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City

Dairon Asprilla converted a penalty kick in the 85th minute as the Portland Timbers earned a 2-2 draw against host Sporting Kansas City on Sunday night in the final match this season at Children's Mercy Park.

Ilie Sanchez was given a red card for a foul in the box to set up the Timbers (13-13-7, 46 points) for the draw. The goal was the 20th allowed by SKC in the final 15 minutes plus stoppage time this season.

Daniel Salloi put Sporting KC ahead 2-1 in the 46th minute with his first goal of the season. After leading SKC with 11 goals in 2018, Salloi had not been able to find the back of the net despite being fourth on the team with 44 shots.

Gianluca Busio actually had the first chance, but his attempt hit the left post. It landed at the feet of Salloi, who took advantage.

Sporting KC (10-15-8, 38 points), who were eliminated from playoff contention with a midweek loss at Minnesota United, are winless in five straight matches. It's the first time in nine years that Sporting will not be in the MLS playoffs.

Sporting were on the front foot early in the first half, outshooting Portland 9-0 in the first 25 minutes. But they could not get one past Steve Clark.

But two shots in two minutes by Portland changed everything. The first one was just over the bar, and the second one, in the 28th minute by Sebastian Blanco from the center of the box, caromed off the crossbar into the net.

But the lead lasted about a minute. Johnny Russell arched a beautiful pass into the box, where Krisztian Nemeth headed it in for the equalizer.

Late in the first half, players from each side were sent off with red cards for violent contact.

Brian Fernandez of Portland was shown the red card first after a dustup with Felipe Gutierrez, who was shown a yellow card. A replay of the red card revealed that Roger Espinoza had put his hands to the throat of Blanco, trying to keep Blanco away from Gutierrez, and Espinoza was tossed.

--Field Level Media
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