Sporting Kansas City make their final trip out to the Pacific Northwest this weekend to take on another expansion side, the Portland Timbers. Portland comes into this game week in a disappointing run. Since they were defeated by Ajax in a friendly, Portland has gone 0-4-1, including 2 losses and a draw at Jeld-Wen Field. In their latest match they fell 4-0 to FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park. With the loss, Timbers coach, John Spencer, has seemed to make it clear that there will be some lineup changes coming up for the Timbers. I'd still expect Timbers' captain and former Wizard, Jack Jewsbury to be starting and ready to play against his former club.
For Kansas City the one known that they'll be without is Davy Arnaud, which I'm sure is a major disappointment to the KC captain as it would have been his first chance to go up against Jewsbury. Other than that, KC is fairly healthy currently, and I'd expect a similar lineup to the one that took the field against Vancouver last weekend. Kansas City certainly has the form factor heading into the weekend's game in comparison with a 9 game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Myers - Collin - Besler - Harrington
Cesar - Zusi - Espinoza
Kamara - Sapong - Bravo
Number to Remember - 3 - This is only the third time that KC has had an unbeaten run in all competitions of 9 games, the other two game in 2000 (12) and 2004 (9), both years finished up with KC winning silverware. Just something to think about.
Key Match Up - Graham Zusi vs Diego Chara - The reigning player of the month vs a player that was rumored at one time to be joining KC. Zusi could possibly be turning into the attacking midfielder that KC is looking for, but Chara has done a decent job for Portland in the midfield and it'll be a challenge for Zusi.
PREDICTION - This is going to be a difficult game for KC, unlike previous game it's going to be hard to get the exact lineup that Portland is going to put out. And it's not like overall Jeld-Wen isn't a tough place to play for away teams. Despite their recent form, Portland is going to be a difficult team to play. And with KC's traditional history on the road they never make things easy, but I hope the form factor continues to stay on KC's side in some regard.
SKC - 1 (Kamara)
POR - 1 (Jewsbury)