Matchday Preview: Sporting Kansas City vs. Portland Timbers | U.S. Open Cup | June 24, 2014

Timbers take on Sporting in the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup Tuesday night
Sporting Kansas City vs. Portland Timbers
U.S. Open Cup Fifth Round
Date
: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Sporting Park (Kansas City, Kan.)
Forecast: 88 degrees, mostly sunny
Webstream: www.timbers.com
 

FOURTH-ROUND MATCH RECAP

The Timbers advanced to the fifth round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament with a 3-0 win over USL Premier Development League (PDL) side Orlando City U23s at Providence Park on June 17. Midfielder Gastón Fernández registered a first-half brace, scoring the opening goal with a strike from distance in the 11th minute before adding a second goal on a penalty kick nine minutes before halftime. Rookie defender Taylor Peay, making his Timbers debut on Tuesday, netted his first professional goal in the 68th minute with a low drive from the right side of the penalty box off an assist from forward Maximiliano Urruti. Urruti logged two assists in a match for the first time with the Timbers, playing a part in all three goals as it was his quick run into the penalty box that drew the spot kick in the first half. The Timbers attempted 21 shots, including 10 on goal and earned a season-high 14 corner kicks in all competitions in the win.
 

SCOUTING SPORTING KANSAS CITY

Sporting Kansas City enters Tuesday’s fifth-round match following a 2-0 win over NASL side Minnesota United FC on June 18 at Sporting Park. Head coach Peter Vermes’ squad, the defending 2013 MLS Cup champions, won the U.S. Open Cup in 2012, prevailing in penalty kicks against Seattle Sounders FC. During the 2014 regular-season schedule, Sporting Kansas City has compiled a 6-5-4 (22pts) record, including a mark of 3-1-4 at Sporting Park. The side has gone 2-1-2 in its last five home games in all competitions. Sporting Kansas City is without starting midfielder Graham Zusi and defender Matt Besler due to international duty with the U.S. National Team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
 

BACK-TO-BACK MATCHES

The Timbers face Sporting Kansas City twice in a four-day span starting Tuesday. After squaring off against Sporting KC in the U.S. Open Cup at Sporting Park on Tuesday night, the Timbers play host to the Eastern Conference club in the Rose City in regular-season action on Friday night. Only one previous time have the Timbers faced the same opponent in back-to-back U.S. Open Cup and regular-season matches across all eras. In 2006, the second-division Timbers took on the Charleston Battery in the third round of the Open Cup on July 12, 2006, in Charleston, S.C. before playing the Battery again two days later in USL First Division league play, also in Charleston.
 

ABOUT THE U.S. OPEN CUP

The 101st edition of the tournament features 80 teams, an increase from the then-record 68 that took the field last year. The expansion results in both the largest number of amateur teams (42) in the tournament proper, exceeding the previous record of 34 set last year, as well as the largest contingent of pro clubs (38, surpassing last year’s record of 34), with all Division I, II and III professional sides participating for the third consecutive year. An additional record for the competition saw 24 second-round matches played, exceeding the previous high of 18 in a single round (2013 first round). A new feature will be the prospect that many pro teams will have to play an early-round Open Cup match on a weekend date (a first in the competition’s modern era). This scheduling opportunity for fourth-round games June 14-15 is the result of a league break Division I (Major League Soccer) and II (North American Soccer League) clubs will take during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer’s national club championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 100 consecutive years dating back to 1914. This year’s winner will earn $250,000 and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports. The runner-up will take home $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will earn a $15,000 cash prize. D.C. United is the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having won its third tournament title (following triumphs in 1996 and 2008) after a tense 1-0 road victory over Real Salt Lake on Oct. 1, 2013. In 1999.
 

U.S. OPEN CUP FIFTH ROUND

Tuesday, June 24 Time (PT)
  • New York Cosmos (NASL) at Philadelphia Union 4 p.m.
  • LA Galaxy at Carolina RailHawks (NASL) 4:30 p.m.
  • Portland Timbers at Sporting Kansas City 5:30 p.m.
  • Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) at Colorado Rapids 6 p.m.
  • FC Dallas at Houston Dynamo 6 p.m.
  • San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (MLS) 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 25 Time (PT)
  • Rochester Rhinos (USL) at New England Revolution 4:30 p.m.
  • Columbus Crew at Chicago Fire 5:30 p.m.