ExLink - 08/18/18 - SKCvPOR

Sporting Kansas City vs. Portland Timbers
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 25

Children’s Mercy Park — Kansas City
August 18 - 8:30 pm ET


With only two points separating them in the Western Conference standings, Sporting Kansas City and the Portland Timbers square off in a six-pointer Saturday night at Children’s Mercy Park.

Sporting are coming into the game off back-to-back wins, most recently handing LAFC their first loss at Banc of California Stadium, while the Timbers have dropped consecutive games for the first time since the opening two weeks of the season.

This is the second meeting this season, with the teams playing to a 0-0 draw on June 9 at Providence Park.

Sporting Kansas City

Sporting Kansas City (11-6-6) appear to have found their mojo again, beating LAFC to move into second place in the Western Conference standings, three points behind FC Dallas.

Gerso Fernandes opened the scoring for the visitors in the 17th minute, a scoreline that held up until midway though the second half when Ilie Sanchez converted a penalty kick after Dejan Jakovic fouled Felipe Gutierrez in the box.

“They’re a very good team and I think the organization has done a great job, but at the end of the day, we’re neck and neck right now and it was important for us to get some points here,” Peter Vermes said. “The fact that we got three points, those are big points for us.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Ike Opara
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Jimmy Medranda (knee injury), F - Khiry Shelton (right MCL tear, lateral meniscus tear), D/M - Brad Evans (Achilles injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Tim Melia — Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic — Felipe Gutierrez, Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza — Gerso Fernandes, Diego Rubio, Daniel Salloi

Portland Timbers

Portland (10-5-7) got off to a solid start, but conceded just before halftime and surrendered three more unanswered goals in a 4-1 midweek loss to D.C. United at Audi Field.

Samuel Armenteros tapped in his eighth goal of the season to give the visitors the lead on 35 minutes and the Swede nearly added a second moments later, but was denied by Bill Hamid. Wayne Rooney scored the first of his two goals in the 43rd minute to level and Oniel Fisher, Rooney and Darren Mattocks struck after halftime as the Black-and-Red rolled.

“We created chances and were moving the ball the right way until we became too casual, and we allowed them to score the goal. In the second half, maybe the guys didn’t come in with the right mentality,” coach Giovanni Savarese said. “At the end, it’s my responsibility, my fault, so I take full blame of this defeat and we have to  continue to work.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Modou Jadama (left thigh injury), D - Roy Miller (right thigh injury); QUESTIONABLE: M - Eryk Williamson (left thigh injury), GK - Jake Gleeson (right thigh injury), D - Liam Ridgewell (lower left leg injury), F - Samuel Armenteros (right thigh injury)

Projected Starting XI
(3-5-2, right to left)
GK: Jeff Attinella — Larrys Mabiala, Lawrence Olum, Julio Cascante — Alvas Powell, Diego Chara, Sebastian Blanco, Andy Polo, Zarek Valentin — Diego Valeri, Samuel Armenteros

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Sporting Kansas City 6 wins, 12 goals … Portland Timbers 3 wins, 10 goals … 4 draws
  • At Kansas City: Sporting KC 2 wins, 7 goals … Timbers 1 win, 5 goals … 2 draws
  • Last meeting at Kansas City: Sporting Kansas City 1, Portland Timbers 1 (July 1, 2017)


Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Michael Kampmeinert, Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Marcos Deoliveira
VAR: Kevin Stott