Matchup: Sporting KC vs. Portland Timbers Insight
Why do you think the Portland Timbers are struggling in the final 15 minutes? Is it poor conditioning? Poor defense? A mental hurdle? Or does this fall on the coaching staff?
Now Portland will have to try to break their current slump on Saturday against the league’s only undefeated team, Sporting KC, as they aim to extend their perfect start with an eighth straight victory at JELD-WEN Field on Saturday night.
Matchup: Sporting Kansas City v Portland Timbers
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2012
Time: Kick-off: 10:30 PM EST
Venue: JELD-WEN Field
Bet on the Timbers here at Bovada!
The Timbers have managed to score only eight goals so far this year, just one more than former forward Kenny Cooper has by himself for his new team, the New York Red Bulls.
The Timbers (1-4-1, 1-2-0 home) are the basement dwellers of the Western Conference so far, but on the bright side they are undefeated at home.
Sure they have had offensive issues, but have also been left staggering at the final whistle after blowing early leads in their last three matches while allowing 11 goals on the year.
Portland were coming off a 2-1 loss last Saturday against Chivas USA, a game they led 1-0 after the first half.
Real Salt Lake scored two goals in the final four minutes against Portland on March 31 to win 3-2, and they lost their last match — a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the MLS Cup champions, the Los Angeles Galaxy.
However, the Timbers today did acquired forward Sebastian Rincon on loan for the 2012 season from Uruguayan first-division side Club Atlético Atenas on Monday, and will hope that the 18-year old native Colombian, who has played alongside Portland’s Jose Adolfo Valencia, can bring a little offensive punch to the table.
But will he solve Portland’s late-match collapses that has left Timbers coaches, players, and supporters are scrambling for answers?
Well, the best test will come today when KC rolls into Rip City fresh off a 3-1 road victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday.
Sporting KC (7-0, 3-0 away) has stormed out of the gate. So far, they’ve scored 12 goals and only allowed only two.
They also lead the league in total points with 21 and own the best record in MLS, and sit in first place in the Eastern Conference.
Kansas City is crushing opponents and shredding the opposition’s back lines, and while the Timbers remain solid at home, the search for another outside defender could possibly prove their demise.
Let’s hope Steven Smith, a left back from Scotland, who trained with the team Monday, can make a difference in this one.
But I’m not holding my breath.