Sporting Kansas City vs. Portland Timbers
2021 Preseason presented by Children’s Mercy
Wednesday, March 24 | 1 p.m. CT
Kino North Complex | Tucson, Arizona
Live Updates: @SKCMatchday on Twitter
A battle between perennial Western Conference contenders will unfold Wednesday when Sporting Kansas City faces the Portland Timbers in the third exhibition match of the club's 2021 preseason, presented by Children's Mercy. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. CT at Kino North Complex in Tucson, Arizona, with live updates available via Twitter at @SKCMatchday.
Led by 13th-year manager Peter Vermes, Sporting have split their first two preseason fixtures after cruising past Phoenix Rising FC on March 13 and narrowly falling to the Colorado Rapids last Saturday. Vermes has distributed playing time evenly among the traveling squad thus far, with most players logging 30 minutes in the 4-0 win over Phoenix and 45 minutes in the 1-0 decision against Colorado.
Newly acquired French midfielder Remi Walter notably made his preseason debut for Sporting versus Colorado, showcasing his versatility in the center of the pitch. His fellow countryman, center back Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, was an equally momentous offseason addition to Sporting's roster and is unlikely to feature Wednesday as he undergoes a quarantine period in Arizona before joining the team for training in the coming days.
The Timbers earned a third-place finish in the 2020 Western Conference standings, finishing equal on points with first-place Sporting but with two more games played. Fourth-year head coach Giovani Savarese led Portland to the MLS is Back Tournament title last summer in Walt Disney World, and although the Timbers continued to hover near the top of the West well into the fall, they were undone in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs after losing to FC Dallas on penalties.
Portland enters 2021 with playmaker Diego Valeri, one of the most prolific players in MLS history, donning the captain's armband. The Argentine has amassed 84 goals and 88 assists over the last eight regular seasons, leading the Timbers to MLS Cup glory in 2015. On the opposite sideline, Sporting has bestowed the captaincy to Scottish winger Johnny Russell, a dynamic attacker who has been remarkably productive since joining the club in 2018 with 23 goals and 25 assists in all competitions.
Sporting and Portland did not meet in 2020 due to MLS scheduling modifications tied to the pandemic, however they are likely to resume their rivalry with multiple regular season matchups in 2021.
Sporting KC 2021 Preseason Schedule
(subject to change)
|Saturday, March 13||12 p.m.||Phoenix Rising FC||W 4-0|
|Saturday, March 20||5 p.m.||Colorado Rapids||L 0-1|
|Wednesday, March 24||1 p.m.||Portland Timbers||Kino North Complex (Tucson, Ariz.)|
|Saturday, April 3||2 p.m.||LA Galaxy||Kino North Complex (Tucson, Ariz.)|
Sporting KC 2021 Preseason Roster
|33||Danny Barbir *||Defender||23|
|34||Dominik Resetar *||Forward||20|
|46||Jake Davis *||Midfielder||19|
|48||Kaveh Rad *||Defender||19|
|55||Gavin Krenecki **||Goalkeeper||18|
|57||Kayden Pierre **||Defender||18|
|Matt Constant ***||Defender||22|
|Travian Sousa *||Defender||19|
* Sporting KC II player