Portland beats Sporting KC, 7-2

Sporting Kansas City suffered a 7-2 road loss at Portland Timbers FC on Saturday night at Providence Park in Oregon with eight of the game’s nine goals scored in a second half that saw both teams reduced to 10 players.

The Timbers opened the scoring 12 minutes into the match on a set piece delivered by Eryk Williamson and headed home by center back Bill Tuiloma at the top of the six-yard box.

Sporting Kansas City responded with the game’s next four shots, the first of which came in the 16th minute as club captain Johnny Russell beat his defender on the endline and found Khiry Shelton for a first-time shot that was saved by Aljaz Ivacic.

Veteran midfielder Roger Espinoza provided the next three attempts, smashing a shot from the edge of the penalty area just wide of the post in the 23rd minute on a pass cut back by Cam Duke before forcing a save from Ivacic three minutes later with a right-footed effort from distance.

Portland came close to doubling its lead on the cusp of halftime if not for a strong sliding save from Tim Melia in the 43rd minute to deny Nathan Fogaca. Nevertheless, the Timbers would explode for three goals in the first 11 minutes of the second half to open the floodgates.

Just 29 seconds after halftime, Sebastian Blanco buried a volley from close range on an assist from Cristhian Paredes. Less than six minutes later, Blanco would stretch the Portland lead to 3-0 on a counterattack as the 34-year-old Argentine playmaker cut inside and curled the eventual game-winning goal inside the far post.

The Timbers struck again in the 56th minute, this time with Blanco playing the part of provider, as Fogaca scored his first of two goals on the night in a memorable MLS debut.

Sporting pulled a goal back nearly immediately as just over a minute later Russell punched in a perfectly-placed cross from halftime substitute Felipe Hernandez for the 43rd regular season goal of his career, tying him for third on the club’s all-time goal scoring chart.

Fogaca bagged his brace with his final touch of the night in the 69th minute as Blanco combined with Williamson on a give-and-go inside the penalty area before putting the ball on a platter for the 22-year-old Brazilian forward to tap into the net.

Despite the 5-1 score, the second half continued to produce twists and turns as referee Victor Rivas sent off Timbers defender Josecarlos Van Rankin in the 74th minute and Sporting KC defender Robert Voloder in the 78th minute. Both players received their second cautions of the match.

In between the ejections, Marinos Tzionis – the hero in Sporting’s 4-2 comeback win over FC Dallas on Tuesday in the U.S. Open Cup with a 98th minute equalizer — scored on a header for the second straight match as he re-directed Hernandez’s free kick in the 75th minute for his first MLS goal.

Portland put the exclamation point on the team’s historic performance with two goals in the game’s closing minutes as second-half substitutes Marvin Loria and Santiago Moreno added their names to the scoresheet with goals in the 88th and 92nd minutes.

By the time the dust settled, Saturday’s match will go into the record books as the sixth highest scoring match in MLS regular season history with Portland’s six second-half goals the most ever scored in the second half of an MLS regular season match and their seven total goals the second most ever scored by an MLS team in the regular season.

The seven combined goals in the second half are also second most in MLS regular season history – trailing only the eight second half goals scored in Kansas City’s 6-4 win over Columbus on May 2, 1996.

Sporting Kansas City will return home to play host to the Colorado Rapids at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Children’s Mercy Park. Tickets for the mid-week match are available online at SeatGeek.com.

  • Story from Sporting KC

Sporting KC travels to Portland tonight

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) at 9 p.m. Saturday.

The Western Conference clash will be locally televised on 38 The Spot with four hours of coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. 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.

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 has 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.

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.

  • Story from Sporting KC

Sporting KC to play in U.S. Open Cup tonight in KCK

Sporting Kansas City will begin the club’s participation in the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday against FC Dallas at Children’s Mercy Park in the Round of 32.

Tickets are available online at SeatGeek.com and are included in Sporting Kansas City season ticket member packages.

Tuesday’s match will stream live on ESPN+ for subscribers in the U.S. with local radio broadcasts available on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish). Sports Radio 810 WHB will broadcast live from Children’s Mercy Park beginning at 6:30 p.m. with an hour-long pre-match show and the station will also air The Final Whistle post-match show to conclude their comprehensive coverage.

Ten days after playing to a 2-2 draw at Children’s Mercy Park in the MLS regular season, Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas will meet again for a rematch in the U.S. Open Cup with a berth in the Round of 16 on the line.

Open to all professional and amateur teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer, the 2022 U.S. Open Cup features the largest field in the competition’s modern era (1995-present) with 103 clubs from all levels of the sport. Sporting KC is one of 21 MLS clubs remaining in the field along with five USL Championship teams and six sides representing leagues in the third division of American soccer.

Sporting’s match-up with FC Dallas is one of eight all-MLS match-ups in the Round of 32 and the only fixture of the round to feature former U.S. Open Cup champions going head to head. Sporting KC owns four U.S. Open Cup titles in team history – tied for the most among MLS clubs – as champions in 2004, 2012, 2015 and 2017, while FC Dallas are two-time winners with titles in 1997 and 2016.

Tuesday’s match will mark the fifth all-time meeting between Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas in the U.S. Open Cup with Sporting KC winning each of the previous four encounters in 2004, 2015, 2017 and 2018. Sporting is 9-1-1 all-time in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 and the club has prevailed in all eight home matches in the U.S. Open Cup since 2015.

FC Dallas, currently in third place in the Western Conference, have only one loss in 2022 and enter Tuesday’s match unbeaten in nine games across all competitions – a run that includes a 2-1 home win over FC Tulsa in the U.S. Open Cup Third Round. However, FC Dallas are yet to win on the road in 2022 and will be looking for their first away victory since beating expansion side Austin FC last August.

Led by first-year head coach Nico Estevez, FC Dallas’ roster features current MLS Golden Boot leader and United States Men’s National Team forward Jesus Ferreira. The 21-year-old has scored in back-to-back matches for FC Dallas and has seven goals this season after scoring the game-winner in his team’s 2-0 home win over Concacaf Champions League winners Seattle Sounders on Saturday.

Sporting Kansas City is coming off three straight draws in the MLS regular season following a scoreless stalemate at reigning MLS Cup champions New York City FC on Saturday. Sporting’s four shutouts are most in the Western Conference and the squad now returns home to Children’s Mercy Park, where the team’s next goal will be the club’s 400th scored in a competitive match at the state-of-the-art stadium since opening in 2011.

The U.S. Open Cup, named in honor of former Kansas City Wizards owner Lamar Hunt, has been contested since 1914, however was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the pandemic. This year marks the 107th edition of the competition as Sporting KC is set to host a U.S. Open Cup match for the first time since 2018 when Yohan Croizet scored in the 89th minute of a 3-2 victory over FC Dallas in the Round of 16.

The 2022 U.S. Open Cup will crown a champion in September with the tournament winner to receive $300,000 in prize money, a berth in the 2023 Concacaf Champions League and the honor of having its name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy. U.S. Soccer will conduct a draw on Thursday to determine the match-ups and hosts for the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 fixtures to be played May 24-25.

  • Story from Sporting KC