220514-vsPOR-MatchPreview-DLTWFB

Sporting Kansas City at Portland Timbers FC
2022 MLS Regular Season | Match 12
Saturday, May 14 | 9 p.m. CT (9:08 kickoff)
Providence Park | Portland, OR

Local TV | 38 The Spot
Streaming | SportingKC.com, SKC App, ESPN+
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB, SiriusXM FC
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM

After earning a road result at reigning MLS Cup champions NYCFC with a scoreless draw last Saturday, Sporting Kansas City (2-6-3, 9 points) will return to the road to face 2021 MLS Cup runners-up Portland Timbers (2-3-6, 12 points) this Saturday. The Western Conference clash will be locally televised on 38 The Spot with four hours of coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT. The broadcast will also stream live on SportingKC.com and in the Sporting KC app for viewers in Kansas and Missouri (excluding St. Louis area per MLS policy), as well as ESPN+ for out-of-market subscribers.

In addition,Sporting KC pub partnersacross the Midwest will be showing the match including an enhanced watch party at No Other Pub in the KC Power & Light District featuring a DJ, prizes and giveaways. Radio commentary will also air on SiriusXM FC, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

Perennial powers in the Western Conference, Sporting Kansas City and Portland Timbers FC have both endured slow starts to the season and will be looking to end winless streaks in league play. Sporting has drawn each of the team's past three MLS matches during a six-game spell without a win (0-3-3) and Portland are 0-1-3 in the past month. 

Both teams are also coming off midweek U.S. Open Cup action with Sporting claiming a galvanizing 4-2 victory over FC Dallas after being 2-0 down at halftime as Khiry Shelton, Nikola Vujnovic and Marinos Tzionis all scored their first goals of the season. Meanwhile, Portland was eliminated with a 2-0 loss at Los Angeles FC as the Timbers' attack has struggled to score with one goal in their last five matches across all competitions.

Sporting leads the all-time regular season series against the Timbers with a 7-5-6 record, including a 4-4-2 mark at Providence Park with five shutouts in those 10 away games. However, Portland is unbeaten in the last six MLS meetings (3-0-3) between the two clubs since 2018 and Sporting is 0-2-2 in the club's last four visits to Providence Park in league play.

Most recently, Sporting Kansas City and Portland met at Children's Mercy Park in August 2021. The Timbers took an early lead through Felipe Mora’s header, however Daniel Salloi salvaged a point with a well-taken near-post strike in the 92nd minute in the 1-1 draw.

The Timbers went on to be crowned the Western Conference champion in the MLS Cup Playoffs, reaching the MLS Cup for a third time in the last seven seasons. Led by head coach Gio Savarese - a teammate of Peter Vermes with the NY/NJ MetroStars during Major League Soccer's inaugural season in 1996 - the Timbers also won the MLS is Back Tournament in 2020.

Sporting have earned four clean sheets this season, the most in the Western Conference, including a shutout against the league's most in-form attack last weekend at NYCFC. SKC Academy product Cam Duke has stepped in at right back for Graham Zusi to partner with three newcomers in Robert Voloder, Kortne Ford and Logan Ndenbe on a backline with an average age of 22 years young.

Zusi has been upgraded to questionable on Sporting's player availability report, however the team will be without four players sidelined due to injury: Designated Players Gadi Kinda and Alan Pulido, as well as Nicolas Isimat-Mirin and Ozzie Cisneros. On the opposite side, Portland will be missing seven players due to injury including Designated Player Jaroslaw Niezgoda and fellow forward Felipe Mora as well as defenders Claudio Bravo and Larrys Mabiala. 

Following Saturday's match, The Final Whistle postgame show will air live on Sports Radio 810 WHB with hosts Chad Reynolds and Dave Borchardt. Listeners can tune in via the Sporting KC mobile app or online at 810WHB.com.