Sporting Kansas City 2, Timbers 1

C.J. Sapong and Aurelien Collin scored first-half goals and

Sporting Kansas City extended its unbeaten streak to eight MLS

games Saturday night in a 2-1 win over Portland.

It was a predictable result of two teams heading in opposite

directions. Kansas City hasn’t lost a in eight MLS games and two

U.S. Open Cup ones since May 21, while the Timbers are winless in

their past six.

Portland coach John Spencer promoted forward Eddie Johnson and

defender Steve Purdy into the starting lineup. They replaced

forward Kenny Cooper – the team’s second highest-paid player – and

defender Jeremy Hall. Cooper and Hall had started the Timbers’

previous 15 games.

Portland’s offense was stagnant for the game’s first 40 minutes,

but perked up just before halftime. The Timbers produced a couple

of chances, one resulting in a goal seconds before halftime, when

Darlington Nagbe ripped a 20-yard shot past Kansas City goalie

Jimmy Nielsen to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Kansas City, which played a road-heavy MLS schedule early in the

season, will play 11 of its next 12 matches at home.