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Irresistible force meets immovable object on Saturday when the high-flying Portland Timbers (4-1-1, 13 points) host stingy Sporting Kansas City (2-0-3, 9 points) in a mouthwatering Western Conference clash at 9:30 p.m. CT. FOX Sports Kansas City Plus will air three hours of live television coverage beginning at 9 p.m. CT, while FOX Sports Kansas City will also broadcast the match following the Kansas City Royals baseball game. Listeners can follow the action live on ESPN 99.3 FM (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish).


The Timbers are firing on all cylinders through the first month of the season, leading MLS with 16 goals behind the likes of Fanendo Adi and Diego Valeri. Sporting Kansas City, meanwhile, remains unbeaten and has conceded just twice through five games — both in second-half stoppage time. We take a statistical look at the fascinating matchup in our By The Numbers preview...


Head-to-head


  • Sporting KC split the head-to-head series with Portland in 2016, winning 1-0 on July 31 before falling 3-0 at Providence Park seven days later.
  • Before losing last August, Sporting KC had gone five regular season meetings unbeaten against Portland (3-0-2) since 2014.
  • Sporting KC is 3-2-1 all-time at Providence Park with shutouts in three of their last four visits (regular season). Peter Vermes' men have conceded just five goals in six regular season visits to Portland.
  • Among opponents he has faced at least twice, the Timbers are the only MLS club Dom Dwyer has failed to score or assist against.
  • Prior to 2016, the home team in the fixture was winless in seven straight meetings across all competitions.


Portland Timbers


  • 2017 MLS record: 4-1-1, 13 points (1st in West)
  • 2017 MLS home record: 2-0-1 (10 GF, 8 GA)
  • Last match:W 3-1 at Philadelphia Union on April 8
  • Portland leads MLS with 2.67 goals scored per game. Their 16 total goals are at least three more than any other team.
  • Portland has won 15 of its last 21 regular season home games (15-3-3) and enters this weekend on an eight-game unbeaten run (7-0-1) at Providence Park.
  • Portland has scored in 21 straight regular season home matches, averaging 2.3 goals per game over that stretch.
  • Portland is second with 10.3 chances created per game and fourth in both shot attempts (13.7) and shots on target (5.0) per game.
  • Forward Fanendo Adi and midfielder Diego Valeri are both second in MLS with five goals each, trailing Houston's Erick "Cubo" Torres by one goal.
  • Adi leads the league in shots (23) and shots on target (12), while Valeri is third in both assists (three) and chances created (15).
  • Defender Alvas Powell leads MLS defenders in duels (68) and duels won (41).


Sporting Kansas City


  • 2017 MLS record: 2-0-3, 9 points (4th in West)
  • 2017 MLS away record: 0-0-2 (0 GF, 0 GA)
  • Last match:W 3-1 vs. Colorado Rapids on April 9
  • Sporting KC's 0.4 goals allowed per game are the fewest in MLS.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS with 14.2 shots per game while also allowing a league-low 8.2 shots per game.
  • Sporting KC is one of three unbeaten teams remaining in MLS (Dallas and Toronto FC).
  • Sporting KC's current five-game unbeaten run is the third-longest streak to start a season in club history (12 games in 2000; seven games in 2012).
  • Sporting KC’s last three road games in the regular season have ended in scoreless draws, the longest such streak in team history.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia leads MLS with a 0.40 goals against average and three shutouts. His 88.24 save percentage is also highest among goalkeepers to appear in at least three games.
  • Midfielder Ilie is third in MLS with 372 passes, winger Gerso is second with 27 dribbles, and defender Ike Opara leads the league with 27 aerial duels.


Milestones and Miscellany


  • Manager Peter Vermes will coach his 300th match for Sporting KC in all competitions on Saturday.
  • Defender Matt Besler is one shy of his 200th career regular season start for Sporting KC.
  • Defender Graham Zusi is one shy of of his 200th career regular season appearance for Sporting KC. He is also one shy of his 50th regular season assist for the club.


Team stats (2017 regular season)


MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta)

<strong>Category (per game)</strong>
<strong>Sporting KC</strong>
<strong>Portland</strong>
Goals scored
1.00 (t-15th)
2.67 (1st)
Goals conceded
0.4 (1st)
1.33 (t-10th)
Shots
14.2 (t-1st)
13.7 (4th)
Shots on goal
4.2 (10th)
5.0 (t-4th)
Passing accuracy
80.3 (6th)
81.3 (3rd)
Possession
55.0 (6th)
48.7 (12th)
Duels won
53.0 (9th)
51.2 (12th)
Tackles won
11.6 (19th)
14.8 (8th)
Interceptions
13.6 (13th)
13.0 (16th)
Fouls committed
11.4 (14th)
12.0 (10th)
Shots faced
8.2 (1st)
12.7 (18th)

Recent #SKCvPOR meetings


  • Regular season record vs. Portland: 5-3-2 (10 GF, 9 GA)
  • Regular season road record at Portland: 3-2-1 (4 GF, 5 GA)
<strong>Date</strong>
<strong>Result</strong>
<strong>H / A</strong>
<strong>Competition</strong>
<strong>Details</strong>
03/21/2015
T 0-0
Home
Regular season
SKC outshoots Portland 16-7 in stalemate
09/09/2015
T 0-0
Away
Regular season
Tim Melia makes career-high seven saves
10/03/2015
W 1-0
Away
Regular season
Krisztian Nemeth scores MLS Goal of the Year winner
10/29/2015
T 2-2
Away
MLS Cup Playoffs
Portland wins in shootout following 2-2 draw
07/31/2016
W 1-0
Home
Regular season
Benny Feilhaber assists Jacob Peterson in 50th minute
08/07/2016
L 0-3
Away
Regular season
Diego Valeri, Fanendo Adi and Jack Jewsbury score