Homegrown product Daniel Salloi scored his first MLS goal and goalkeeper Tim Melia saved his third penalty kick of the year as Sporting Kansas City came from behind to tie the Portland Timbers 1-1 Saturday night at Children's Mercy Park.
Portland gave SKC its first home deficit since last September when Diego Valeri blasted a shot from 22 yards over Melia to put the Timbers up after 25 minutes. But once again, Portland couldn't hold on, conceding at the hour mark when Roger Espinoza lifted a beautiful ball to the back post to Salloi, who calmly brought it down and shot the equalizer past Jake Gleeson.
Melia was then whistled for taking down Fanendo Adi in the box, however the goalkeeper stood his ground and punched away Valeri's penalty kick attempt that went right down the middle.
The result extended SKC's home undefeated to 18 straight games.
- SKC TO BE TESTED: Just two hours before kickoff, some 1300 miles away, SKC's Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi and Matt Besler all started for the USMNT in a 2-1 win over Ghana (with Dwyer scoring his first international goal). And their absence was perhaps felt as SKC looked out of sorts in the early going, turning the ball over and even conceding possession for large stretches of the first half. The three will remain unavailable for the next few weeks while at the Gold Cup, but the West leaders SKC will also have to fill two other roles in the short term. Leading scorer Gerso Fernandes came out in the first half with what the team said was a dislocated shoulder, and Roger Espinoza picked up another caution, which will have him miss his next game.
- HOLDING ON: This marked the fifth straight game (all competitions) in which Portland has been tied or leading in the second half, only to concede a game-tying or game-winning goal. And while they're still above the red line, they've only won twice in the last 11 league games. And, yes, they've had their share of injuries, however they'll need to button up defensively to get things going back in the right direction.
- GOOD AT HOME: Not only does SKC not lose at home often, they don't have to play from behind often, either: