Each Major League Soccer matchday in 2021, the KeyBank Scouting Report will give you a snapshot of the Portland Timbers’ next opponent. This Wednesday, the Portland Timbers begin a road trip with a game against Sporting Kansas City at Children's Mercy Park (5:30pm PT, FOX 12 PLUS).
Sporting Kansas City are sitting in first place in the Western Conference on 37 points with a record of 11-4-4. Their +15 goals differential is good for second in the conference. Most recently, paced by goals from Alan Pulido and Dániel Sallói, they defeated FC Dallas on the road with a 2-0 win. They are 3-1-1 over their last five matches.
Portland last faced Sporting on June 19, coming from behind to win 2-1 at Providence Park with goals from Dairon Asprilla and Marvin Loría.
Leading the attack for SKC, Homegrown forward Sallói leads the team in goals (11) and assists (6). Those 11 goals are third-best in the league. Mexican international Pulido has eight goals and two assists. Former Oregon State star Khiry Shelton has a goal and five assists.
In the midfield, Gadi Kinda has four goals and three assists while Johnny Russell has three goals and five assists. All told, Kansas City's 35 goals scored is tops in the Western Conference.
Spanish defender Andreu Fontàs is tied for the team lead in interceptions with 28 alongside centerback partner Ilie. Fontás has started all games but one in 2021 while Ilie has made 13 starts.
First-choice goalkeeper Tim Melia has started 14 games in 2021 to go along with four clean sheets.
The team's 20 goals allowed is good for a tie for third-best in the Western Conference and they have not allowed a goal in the last 188 minutes of play.