WHEN/WHERE: 3 p.m. Sunday; at Providence Park, Portland
TV/RADIO: ESPN; 99.3 FM, KDTD (1340 AM)
ABOUT SPORTING KC (10-10-4, 34 points): With 17 points over its past nine matches, Sporting KC has climbed to fourth place in the Western Conference. But the club is winless over its past nine road games. Goalkeeper Tim Melia (back spasms) will miss his second straight match. Winger Graham Zusi (hamstring) is questionable, and defender Nuno Coelho (hamstring) has been deemed ready to return to the lineup.
ABOUT PORTLAND (7-8-8, 29 points): After a nine-match unbeaten streak, the defending MLS Cup champions have dropped back-to-back games, falling to seventh place in the Western Conference. But Providence Park is traditionally one of the toughest places to play in MLS, and the Timbers are averaging 2.0 goals per game there.
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BOTTOM LINE: Sporting KC defeated Portland 1-0 last Sunday, and it has held the Timbers without a goal for 482 straight minutes. As a result, Sporting KC is unbeaten in its past five matches against Portland.
PREDICTION: Portland 1, Sporting KC 0