Kansas City, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of clubs searching for their first win of the season will clash on Saturday when Sporting Kansas City welcomes the Portland Timbers to Sporting Park.
Sporting opened the season with a 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls on March 8 and followed up that result with a less-than-inspiring 3-1 loss to FC Dallas last time out.
FC Dallas forward Blas Perez continued his scoring form against SKC as he claimed the lone goal in the club's 1-0 defeat of the San Jose Earthquakes to open the campaign,
Perez broke the deadlock against Sporting by taking a square pass from reigning Rookie of the Year Tesho Akindele and capping a fast break with a well-placed shot past SKC goalkeeper Luis Marin in the 17th minute.
It looked as if Dallas would make it to halftime with the lead intact, but Sporting struck just before the break to level the score with Roger Espinoza hammering a left-footed strike into the bottom corner from distance in the 44th minute.
Perez, however, would restore the lead seven minutes into the second half when he settled Michel's cross to the back post and buried a shot past Marin.
Fabian Castillo tacked on a third in the 73rd minute and Chris Seitz denied Dom Dwyer from the spot 11 minutes from time to make sure of the win, maintaining FCD's perfect start to the campaign.
Perez's second goal was called into question by Sporting manager Peter Vermes when replays appeared to show that Perez was one of four Dallas players offside when Michel played the ball into the area after a short corner.
"How you can miss four or five guys being offside, I have no idea," Vermes said. "I really don't. I don't get it."
"It's a difficult thing to swallow," he added. "As I've said in the past, the problem is that you work with your team in the preseason, week after week, and you institute very specific situational training in regards to play, certain plays within a game. What transpires is that you go to your guys and you tell them to do this at this moment, and they do it."
Portland, meanwhile, is also looking for its first win after surrendering a late goal in their home-opener and settling for a point in a 2-2 draw against the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy.
A well-executed counter-attack by the Timbers that led to the first goal just past the half-hour mark as new goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey rolled the ball short to Darlington Nagbe. Nagbe flicked it to an on-rushing Rodney Wallace, who got free down the left flank before feeding it through to Fanendo Adi, who took a quick touch and drove it with pace into the top right corner, leaving Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe with no chance for a save.
Los Angeles found an equalizer 25 minutes from time when Jose Villarreal served a great ball into the box from the left flank where Gyasi Zardes nodded it home at the near post.
It looked as if the Timbers were set to claim all three points when Adi fired home his second of the day off a feed from Nagbe, but in the second minute of added time, Gordon came through with a looping header off a corner kick from Stefan Ishizaki that found its way past Kwarasey, forcing the sides to share the spoils.
"Well I think these are the types of games where you have to let it sink in a little because of the way it ended. Your initial inclination is to be pretty down and the players were. We had three points in the bag," said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. "I think it���s important that you have perspective though. We just played toe-to-toe with the MLS Cup champions. There were a few periods were we could have managed things better, the start of the second half in particular."