MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers

Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, April 10 – 21:30 ET (02:30 BST)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 5/6 – Draw 13/5 – Portland 16/5

Match Preview

LA Galaxy welcome Western Conference rivals Portland Timbers to StubHub Centre on Sunday in a standout MLS fixture this weekend.  

Galaxy currently sit fourth in the West after a solid start to the 2016 campaign which has seen them lose just once in their four outings. They come into the tie off the back of their 0-0 draw against Vancouver Whitecaps – a respectable away point which they will look to build upon this weekend.

Bruce Arena will be pleased with how his side are performing in the early stages of the season and his defensive signings have made a great impact, as they have conceded the joint-second fewest amount of goals across both conferences.

Galaxy will be more than up for this tie and as always should be feeling confident at home. They have won nine of their last 11 ties at StubHub Centre and despite their squad being hit by some injuries to key players, LA will fancy their chances here.

Embed from Getty Images

Portland Timbers have endured a difficult opening four games to the new season and they must now push on and start to pick up points if they are to stand a chance at retaining their MLS Cup title.

Caleb Porter’s side are sitting 9th, in the depths of the West, and that isn’t where the defending MLS Cup holders would have been expecting to be at the start of the 2016 season. There is no need for Timbers fans to panic as the season is still in its early stages.

Portland were thumped 4-1 away at Orlando last weekend, a result that not many would have predicted, and they need to bounce back into action this time out with a much stronger showing.

The Timbers haven’t travelled well against Galaxy, with last season’s win at StubHub their first in eight attempts. Worryingly for Porter, his side have conceded nine goals in their fours outings, something he will be desperately trying to improve on so Portland can work their way back up the table.

If Portland can take at least a point here it gives them a great foundation to build upon heading into their next two games, which are both at home.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

LA Galaxy could be without up to six players for this tie with some key faces missing through injury. Dan Kennedy, Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard are all expected to be out, while Giovani Dos Santos, Jeff Larentowicz and Leonardo are all doubts. There will be added pressure for those filling in, but Galaxy are fortunate to have impressive depth to the squad, so they should be able to manage without those key players.

Portland Timbers have just three injury concerns. Defensive duo Andy Thoma and Liam Ridgewell are out, along with midfielder Ben Zemanski.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s form: W/L/W/D

Portland Timbers’ form: W/L/D/L

Key Stat: Goals – These sides have shared an astonishing 24 goals in their last five meetings. If that is anything to go by we should be in for a cracker here. 

Key Player: Gyasi Zardes – The Galaxy forward will be expected to step up and provide for his side in the absence in some of their key players. He has netted twice already this season and has the ability to provide opposition defenders will problems.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 3-1 Portland Timbers – LA Galaxy are more than capable of winning this tie despite having some key faces missing from the squad. Arena will be expecting his side to take advantage of Portland’s recent struggles and continue a very strong run of home form against their opposition. True to recent meetings between these sides there will be plenty of action and goals are to be expected.


MLS Fantasy Focus: Who should you be bringing in for the first DGW of the season?

By Jamie Dawe & Sam Martin

Week 3 Review

The Good:

LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes ($9.5) helped continue his side’s unbeaten home run as he netted two goals in his side’s 3-1 win against San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday as they climbed to 2nd in the Western Conference. Reigning MLS Cup champions Portland came from two goals down to grab a point at home to Real Salt Lake, with Fanendo Adi ($10.2) grabbing a brace, including one from the spot late on. Philadelphia picked up their second win of the season with a convincing 3-0 home victory over the New England Revolution. American forward CJ Sapong ($8.1) opened his MLS 2016 goals account with two in his side’s well-deserved victory, while rookie defender Keegan Rosenberry ($5.5) made four interceptions and two crucial tackles to preserve his side’s second clean-sheet in three matches. 

Embed from Getty Images

The Bad:

Unbeaten Real Salt Lake threw away a two-goal lead at Portland Timbers in the last 11 minutes, but also saw two of their men receive red cards. With his side a goal up, midfielder Kyle Beckerman ($8.3) saw red, followed by defender Jamison Olave ($7.8), who received his marching orders in the 83rd minute. Manager Jeff Cassar will surely be frustrated with his side’s lack of discipline. A further three red cards were dished out across the weekend, making a grand total of 5 across all matches. San Jose’s Jamaican DP Simon Dawkins ($8.6), New England Revolution defender Je-Vaughn Watson ($6.9) and former Wigan Athletic midfielder Roger Espinoza ($7.2) all saw red for their misdemeanours. It certainly was another fiery weekend in MLS!

Embed from Getty Images

Week 4 Preview

Must Buy:

With the first Double Gameweek of the season hurtling towards us at top speed, it’s time for you to stack up on players who could make a real impact in the Week 4 scoring charts. I’m going to attempt to recommend one player from each side that has a Double Gameweek this week. Firstly, from DC United, Brazilian midfielder Marcelo Sarvas ($7.1) is definitely a safe bet to score a decent quantity of bonus points in both matches, so if you’re looking for guaranteed points, he’s your man. FC Dallas are missing a number of their key players this international break, so it’s a chance for Mauro Diaz ($10.4) to continue to show his incredible credentials without the likes of Tesho Akindele and Kellyn Acosta surrounding him. The New England Revs have had a disappointing start to the season, but it could’ve been a lot worse if it wasn’t for star ‘keeper Bobby Shuttleworth ($5.8). A clean sheet and two saved penalties in three games make Shuttleworth by far and away the best performer so far in this poor New England side. I also expect that this week will be the week that Kekuta Manneh’s ($8.5) ability shines through for the Whitecaps in their double header of home games. However, I would not recommend picking up any Whitecaps defenders as they face free-scoring Houston on Saturday, followed by the visit of LA Galaxy, who are also a dangerous attacking outfit.

Embed from Getty Images

Must Sell:

This week, I’m struggling to see anyone or any team that stands out to me as particularly worth selling over everyone else. Obviously, dropping any of the red-carded players can’t be argued against and anyone losing faith in the Sounders ever picking up form would be understood if they were to remove Clint Dempsey ($10.8) or Jordan Morris ($8.2) from their side. The New York Red Bulls also picked up a host of hamstring injuries in their 4-3 victory over Houston, so defenders Gideon Baah ($8.0) and Ronald Zubar ($7.8) could be ones to remove before their match against the Revs on April 1.

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps 2016 Clint Dempsey

There’s a new leader in the MLSGB Fantasy League this week, as Damian Reed’s brilliantly named side De Jong Trousers now tops the leaderboard. However, this week’s highest scorer was SW Whistler’s squad Pits of Passyunk with 87 points, which included double figures from Philly players CJ Sapong and Fabinho, his chosen captain Cyle Larin and Red Bulls midfield maestro Sacha Kljestan.

Who do you think is the best player to select for the upcoming Double Gameweek?

MLS Fantasy Focus: Time to sell the NYCFC defenders ahead of Week 3?

By Jamie Dawe & Sam Martin

The second week of the 2016 MLS season didn’t quite provide the insane quantity of goals, red cards and all round excitement as Week 1, but it was the first week that we could see which teams were settled – and which teams were far from decided on a strongest lineup. Highlights of the week included the 5-0 drubbing of FC Dallas by Houston Dynamo in the Texas Derby and the magic of Sebastian Giovinco once again saving Toronto FC in their 2-2 draw with New York City FC.

Week 2 Review:

The Good:

Ignacio Piatti ($10.4) was at it again this week with a goal and an assist in the Impact’s 3-0 win over the New York Red Bulls. Throw in a shot bonus and some defending bonuses – as well as clean sheet points – and this left him with a grand total of 14 points for the week. However, unlike last week, two players managed to outscore Piatti in the shape of David Villa ($11.1) and Andrew Wenger ($7.3). Villa scored two early goals, including one from the penalty spot against Toronto FC before Sebastian Giovinco ($11.8) hauled Toronto back to a 2-2 draw. Wenger created two and finished one off himself to score a terrific 16 points in the Dynamo’s 5-0 win over Dallas, throwing down his credentials for the 2016 season in the process.

Embed from Getty Images

The Bad:

Last season’s finalists FC Dallas had a nightmare start in their first away game, being battered 5-0 at Houston Dynamo. Matt Hedges ($8.9) didn’t look at all worthy of his high price tag, scoring an own goal and putting in an all-round poor performance as the 2015 Western Conference champions were humiliated by a side who hadn’t beaten Dallas in seven games before Sunday. Chicago Fire’s Michael Harrington ($5.2) picked up a red card during his side’s tough 1-1 draw at Orlando as both sides continued their winless starts to the season. The only other red card of the week was given to Vancouver Whitecaps’ Jordan Smith ($6.1). The defender was sent off in his side’s 2-1 defeat at Sporting Kansas City, meaning a score of -3 and of course the customary suspension will follow.

Embed from Getty Images

Week 3 Preview:

Must Buy:

We start at the back. With Houston and LA Galaxy’s first choice ‘keepers both injured, the chance has arrived for backup ‘keepers Brian Rowe ($4.7) and Joe Willis ($4.6) to deliver. They are both cheap options who are now both in the top three point-scoring goalkeepers in MLS Fantasy. They are certainly both making a statement as to why they should hold on to their place in future weeks and deserve consideration. At the opposite end of the pitch, Dominic Oduro ($7.7) of Montreal Impact has made an impressive start to the season, netting two goals and an assist in his opening two games, showing that Montreal at not missing Drogba’s absence. Up next for Montreal is a clash against a leaky FC Dallas side, who conceded five goals at Houston Dynamo. Oduro will see this as an opportunity to continue his solid start, as will Montreal who will be looking to make it three wins from three. Drogba is in line to start but Oduro should continue to be a high point-scorer for the next three weeks. In the centre of the park, Philadelphia’s Chris Pontius ($7.1) is a cheap midfielder who has certainly been worth his value so far. Two goals at the weekend away to Columbus show he is capable of getting on the scoresheet and with the New England Revolution game fast approaching, Pontius may be one of the best bets in fantasy for a budget attacking midfield option.

Embed from Getty Images

Must Sell:

With the first set of international fixtures coming in Week 4, it’s time to be preparing which international call-ups to maybe sell. One definite call-up is Fanendo Adi ($10.0), who is heading to Africa to represent Nigeria in African Nations Cup qualifying. However, a home game against Real Salt Lake may mean managers will want to hang on to him for just one more week. MLS may be incredibly unpredictable but we seem to know one thing for certain at this stage – the NYCFC defence is far from settled and is very leaky. Especially with Vieira deciding to line up with three at the back against Toronto. As a result, it’s difficult to predict any starters in the NYCFC defence or whether they will ever actually gain a clean sheet this season. So, if you’ve got Frederic Brilliant ($8.0) or Jason Hernandez ($6.4), I’d recommend selling sooner rather than later.

Embed from Getty Images

Freddie Shires’ side Jozy and the Pussycats banked an incredible 102 points this week, shooting him up to second in the MLSGB Fantasy League leaderboard. This tally’s primary creators were double-digit scorers Sebastian Giovinco, David Villa and Ignacio Piatti. However, at the top of the leaderboard is still Mack’s team Mack Legend with a grand total of 182 points after two weekends.

Who will you be bringing in for Week 3 in MLS Fantasy Soccer?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids

Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, October 25 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Portland Timbers 4/9 – Draw 100/30 – Colorado Rapids 6/1

Match Preview

Portland Timbers take on Colorado Rapids at Providence Park on Sunday evening as the home side look to secure a playoff spot on MLS Decision Day.

The Timbers are currently fourth in the Western Conference with 50 points, two ahead of fifth and sixth placed Seattle and SKC who both have 48, so a draw would do the job for Caleb Porter’s men.

Although, a victory for Portland would not only guarantee a top six finish but they could also sneak in through the back door to clinch an automatic semi-final spot should LA Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps both fail to win.

Embed from Getty Images

Portland should come into this game full of confidence after an incredible performance last weekend saw them thrash LA Galaxy 5-2 away from home, sealing their third win in four games.

Portland Timbers’ MLS record: P33 – W14 – D8 – L11

Colorado Rapids cannot qualify for the playoffs and haven’t been able to for a while now – they will also certainly finish bottom of the Western Conference, irrelevant of their result here.

However, they did put an end to a run of four straight defeats with a remarkable 2-0 victory away at Sporting Kansas City in midweek to record their first win in seven games.

Embed from Getty Images

Pablo Mastroeni’s side can play with freedom on Sunday in the knowledge that this is no more than a formality for them and there is no pressure other than to end on a high.

Colorado Rapids’ MLS record: P33 – W9 – D10 – L14

The Timbers won the last meeting between these two sides 2-1 back in May. They also beat the Rapids 2-1 the last time they met at Providence Park in July 2014. Colorado have beaten Portland just once in their last seven meetings (D2, L4).

Team News

Diego Valeri will miss the game for Portland Timbers through suspension after picking up too many yellow cards. Ben Zemanski (knee) remains a long-term absentee, while Will Johnson (leg) is a major doubt.

Colorado’s Michael Harrington (foot) is unavailable, while there are also doubts over the fitness of Drew Moor (foot), Dillon Serna (hamstring) and Jared Watts (toe). Sam Cronin is suspended after being sent off against SKC.

Embed from Getty Images

Key Points

Portland Timbers’ last five: L/W/L/W/W

Colorado Rapids’ last five: L/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: Portland Timbers have recorded just one victory in their last six home games.

Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The big Nigerian forward is on fire. He’s bagged five goals in his last four games, including a brace at LA Galaxy last weekend. He’s a real handful and the Rapids will struggle to stop him.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Portland Timbers 3-1 Colorado Rapids – The Timbers should comfortably seal their playoff spot and if results go their way, they may even pinch an automatic semi-final place.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs Sporting Kansas City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City

Venue: Providence Park – Saturday, October 3 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST) 

Match Odds: Portland Timbers 10/11 – Draw 12/5 – Sporting KC 11/4

Match Preview

Portland Timbers face Sporting Kansas City in a huge Western Conference clash on Saturday night with both sides hanging on to the last two playoff places coming into the match.

Both sides have almost identical records with just four matches to play and both teams will be fully focused on trying to make the playoffs from here.

Portland have only won one of their last five, though that did come in their last outing, winning 2-1 away at Columbus in what was a big result for Caleb Porter’s men.

Portland Timbers’ MLS record: P30 – W12 – D8 – L10

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

The Timbers only have one more home game after this one – on the final day of the regular season, so need to ensure they take maximum points to keep their hopes alive.

That will be a real tough task against a Sporting Kansas City side that will be buzzing after lifting the US Open Cup on Wednesday night, following a dramatic penalty shootout win over the Philadelphia Union.

Sporting KC have only tasted league victory once in their last eight games though and will have to hope going the distance against the Union on Wednesday doesn’t leave them too tired to compete in this one.

Sporting Kansas City’s MLS record: P30 – W12 – D9 – L9

Embed from Getty Images

SKC have failed to win any of their last five away games and are certainly underdogs as a result. Portland will leapfrog Kansas City with a win and so it’s a huge one for both clubs

The last two meetings between the two have ended 0-0. The first came at Sporting Park in March with the second meeting taking place just over three weeks ago at Providence Park.

Team News

Portland will be without Ben Zemanski once again, while Will Johnson is struggling with a leg injury. They are the only two concerns for Caleb Porter and he will be pleased with the amount of options available at this late stage of the regular season.

Sporting Kansas City will have to hope fatigue doesn’t affect their performance too much here. Ike Opara and Roger Espinoza are both still out. Krisztian Nemeth and Tim Melia are doubtful, while Paulo Nagamura is suspended.

Key Points

Portland Timbers’ last five: D/L/D/L/W

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: D/L/W/L/D

Key Stat: There have only been five goals in the four games between the two at Providence Park in MLS history. Cagey.

Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The Portland striker netted both his side’s goals in the win at Columbus last week, taking his season tally to 12. He will look to hurt a tired Kansas City defence here.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Portland Timbers 2-0 Sporting Kansas City – Portland will look to take advantage from Sporting Kansas City’s midweek US Open Cup win by attacking from the off here. They should succeed in doing so and are being tipped by us to seal three huge points on Saturday night.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs New York Red Bulls

Competitions: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. New York Red Bulls 

Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, September 20 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)

Match Odds: Portland Timbers 13/10 – Draw 5/2 – New York Red Bulls 19/10

Match Preview

Portland Timbers entertain New York Red Bulls on Sunday with both side in playoffs places in their respective conferences.

The Timbers are sitting 6th in the Western Conference on 41 points. They come into the game off the back of a 0-0 draw at home against Sporting Kansas City. They now haven’t won in their last three.

Caleb Porter will have his players aware that they cannot afford to drop points at this late stage of the regular season, with no side in the Western Conference mathematically unable to make the playoffs. Just seven points separate Portland from bottom side Colorado Rapids.

Portland won 2-1 in the last meeting between the sides back in 2014. The last two ties between these two at Providence Park have ended 3-3.

Embed from Getty Images

New York Red Bulls missed an opportunity to open up a three point lead at the top of the Eastern Conference in midweek as they lost 2-1 to New England Revolution.

They are still in a strong position to top the Eastern Conference as they have two games in-hand, but cannot afford anymore slip-ups.

NYRB haven’t won an away game in their last three attempts and will be aware that this will be no easy task.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Portland have just the one injury concern coming into this one with Ben Zemanski out. Alvas Powell is one booking away from suspension.

New York Red Bulls will be without Chris Duvall and Roy Miller, both ruled out through injury. Connor Lade and Dax McCarty are both suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Felipe Martins and Matt Miazga are one booking away from suspension.

Key Points

Portland Timbers’ last five in MLS: W/W/D/L/D

New York Red Bulls’ last five in MLS: W/L/W/W/L

Key Stat: Portland are unbeaten in their last then home games.

Key Player: Lloyd Sam – The Red Bulls winger has netted seven times this season, created 32 chances for teammates and has registered four assists. He can be a real handful for opposition defenders to deal with with his pace and direct approach.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Portland Timbers New 2-2 York Red Bulls – Another stalemate between these sides at Providence Park in a game with plenty of action.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs Houston Dynamo

Competitions: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo

Venue: Providence Park – Friday, August 21 – 23:00 ET (Saturday, August 22 – 04:30 BST)

Match Odds: Portland Timbers 4/6 – Draw 11/4 – Houston Dynamo 4/1

Match Preview

Portland Timbers take on Western Conference opponents Houston Dynamo on Friday night as they look to continue to keep pace in the top four.

Caleb Porter‘s side come into this one off the back of two consecutive wins, their last, a 1-0 away victory over Real Salt Lake.

The Timbers are sitting fourth in the Western Conference, four points behind leaders LA Galaxy, but Porter’s side have a game in hand and know they cannot afford to drop unnecessary points.

Timbers look to be back on track with their last two wins coming off the back of a four game winless run.

Embed from Getty Images

Houston Dynamo have been in inconsistent form and as a result sit outside the playoff places in eighth.

Owen Coyle‘s side come into the game after last weekends 2-0 defeat away at New England Revolution.

They sit four points outside the playoff places, so have more than a reasonable chance of pushing themselves up the table, but they need to find a run of form.

Dynamo have four wins in their last ten Regular Season games including that impressive 3-0 victory over LA Galaxy, if they can perform like they did in that one, they have a great chance here.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Portland have just the one injury concern coming into this one with Ben Zemanski still out. Both Liam Ridgewell and Alvas Powell are one caution away from suspension, so will need to be cautious not to pick up any silly bookings.

Houston Dynamo could be without three players. Jermaine Taylor looks set to miss out while there are doubts about Ricardo Clark and Rob Lovejoy. Kofi Sarkodie, Raul Rodriguez and Sheanon Williams are all one booking away from suspension.

Key Points

Portland Timbers’ last five in MLS: D/L/D/W/W

Houston Dynamo’s last five in MLS: L/W/D/W/L

Key Stat: Fortress – Portland Timbers have won six of their last seven home matches in MLS and kept six clean sheets in their last eight regular season ties at Providence Park.

Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The Timbers top scorer has netted ten times this season, with two in his last three games and will be looking to cause problems for Dynamo.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Portland Timbers 2-1 Houston Dynamo – Portland to continue their home form in a cagey affair.

Portland Timbers in wonderland as Sounders fall to third straight defeat

The Portland Timbers capped off MLS Rivalry Week with a stunning 4-1 victory over their fierce Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders at Providence Park on Sunday night.

Portland supporters unveiled an excellent tifo before the game which had the words ‘Timbers Wonderland’ on it and they were certainly there by full-time as they beat Seattle for the second time in two weeks.

The two sides faced off in the US Open Cup on June 16 as the Timbers won 3-1 after extra-time in a game which saw the Sounders end the match with seven players on the field.

Photo: Max Aquino

Photo: Max Aquino

Star strikers Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey were two of the men to leave the field in that Open Cup meeting and neither has played since as a result of injury and suspension respectively.

Seattle have lost three straight MLS games since that cup defeat to Portland and Sunday night’s heavy loss only piled more misery on Sigi Schmid and his players.

The Timbers seemed more fired up and seemingly wanted the three points more than their Western Conference rivals. Portland are now just one point behind Seattle at the midpoint of the campaign and are two points behind in this year’s Cascadia Cup series, tied on four points with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Darlington Nagbe opened the scoring with his first goal in 17 MLS games before Lamar Neagle leveled up just before halftime.

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

Then Portland took control in the second-half as they proved too strong for their rivals. Fanendo Adi and Gaston Fernandez wreaked havoc as the Nigerian netted twice before substitute Rodney Wallace scored in stoppage time to cap off a fine display.

Portland play next on Wednesday night when they face Real Salt Lake in the Open Cup, while Seattle are back in action on Friday night as they host Supporters’ Shield leaders DC United.

How impressive were Portland in their 4-1 win over Seattle on Sunday night?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. Portland Timbers

Venue: Sporting Park – Saturday, March 21 – 20:30 ET (00:30 GMT – Sunday 22)

Match Odds: Sporting Kansas City 1/1  – Draw 12/5 – Portland Timbers 11/4

Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City welcome Portland Timbers to Sporting Park on Saturday evening with both sides still on the hunt for their first win of the 2015 MLS season.

Both sides need to get that first win to avoid any psychological issues setting in and to relieve any early pressure.

Sporting Kansas City have had a tough start to the season so could be forgiven for being at the foot of the Western Conference at this early stage, but there are still a couple of positives from their results.

Embed from Getty Images

Drawing in the opener to New York Red Bulls with ten men was a good point. Losing away at FC Dallas, but still managing to get on the scoresheet, shows they are capable of breaking down stronger sides and had Dom Dwyer scored his penalty, they could have got more from the game.

Portland Timbers’ opening two fixtures have been no easier, so their two draws against Real Salt Lake and MLS Cup holders LA Galaxy are not to be frowned upon.

The Timbers were so close to upsetting Galaxy after scoring late on and were desperately unlucky to concede in the last seconds of the game.

Sporting KC will need to make their home advantage count and they cannot afford to lose to sides close to them in the table as they will be further distanced from the pack in what is a highly competitive Western Conference.

The quicker they can get points on the board, the less chasing they’ll have to do in an attempt to make up the difference. Head coach Peter Vermes will have players aware of the importance of winning this game despite it being just their third of the year.

Embed from Getty Images

The Timbers will be hopeful of another fine performance in front of goal from Fanendo Adi and after his brace against Galaxy his confidence will be sky high.

Kansas City will be hopeful that last season’s goal machine, Dom Dwyer, can get off the mark this weekend as his goals will play a vital part to how their campaign unfolds.

Team News

Sporting Kansas City will still be without Chance Myers although Matt Besler is available after his suspension and should slot back into the heart of defence.

Embed from Getty Images

Portland Timbers have three major injuries to worry about as Will Johnson, Diego Valeri and Ben Zemanski are all still out. Michael Nanchoff has a hip flexor strain and could also miss the trip.

Key Points

Sporting Kansas City’s form: D/L

Portland Timbers’ form: D/D

Key Stat: Sporting Kansas City haven’t beaten Portland Timbers in their last three meetings at Sporting Park and will be looking to put an end to that run.

Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The Timbers forward will be hopeful of kicking on after netting his first two of the campaign last week and SKC will be fully aware of his threat in and around the box.

Score Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 2-1 Portland Timbers – Sporting KC have a great chance for that first win of their season here and need to work their way up the table to the top five as quickly as possible. Portland will be disappointed not to have got three points last weekend and face a tough task in getting a result from Kansas City this Saturday.

MLS Goal of the Week: Week 2 – Vote now!

The second round of matches in the new MLS season provided us with plenty of goals this weekend as there were 25 goals scored in the eight matches.

That’s a big rise from the 16 scored last weekend, even though there were two fewer matches and it’s now time for you to vote for your favourite goal of week 2!

We’ve picked five of what we think are the best goals this weekend and you can vote for your favourite below. Voting will close at midnight in the UK on Thursday.

Goal A: Fabian Castillo – FC Dallas

Goal B: Fanendo Adi – Portland Timbers

Goal C: David Villa – New York City FC

Goal D: Innocent Emeghara – San Jose Earthquakes

Goal E: Javier Morales – Real Salt Lake