The Full 90

Covering Sporting Kansas City and soccer throughout the Midwest and the world

MLS Western Conference final preview

11/23/2013 4:18 PM

11/23/2013 4:19 PM

•  WHO:

Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers



Game two of the MLS Western Conference final. It’s the final leg of the aggregate series.



8 p.m. Sunday at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Ore.






Salt Lake 4, Portland 2. The Timbers were outclassed and outmatched for 90 minutes in Salt Lake. However, a goal by Frederic Piquionne four minutes into stoppage time gives Portland a slim lifeline.


ABOUT SALT LAKE (16-10-8):

In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Jason Kreis, he’s led the league’s best attacking team to the cusp of an MLS Cup appearance. With veterans Kyle Beckerman, Nat Borchers and Nick Rimando in goal, Salt Lake isn’t likely to let a two-goal lead slip away. The RSL attackers — led by Javier Morales and youngster Luis Gil and Sebastian Velasquez — diced through Portland in the first match and are a threat to do it again.



Caleb Porter and the Timbers have been a pressing and attacking team all year. Nothing changed in the first leg, but the make-shift defense was exposed by Salt Lake’s pace and creativity. The Timbers Army is one of the best home crowds in all of Major League Soccer and Portland has lost just once (in March) at home.



Portland needs goals and its potent attack, featuring Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe and Ryan Johnson, is more than capable of providing them. The defense, however, is more than capable of allowing Salt Lake to score as well.



Portland 2-1 (Salt Lake 5-4 on aggregate)

| Charles Gooch,

Join the Discussion

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service