Kansas City, KS – Portland Timbers captain Jack Jewsbury will face his old club Wednesday night, but it will not look very familiar to him.
After playing eight seasons with the Kansas City Wizards, Jewsbury was traded to Portland before the 2011 season for allocation money.
Sporting Kansas City has since been rebranded, complete with a new name, a new logo, and a fantastic new soccer-specific stadium in Livestrong Sporting Park.
Having not returned to his old club since the switch, Jewsbury is excited to play at Livestrong Park and see firsthand what the buzz is about.
"The last year, year and half there, with the buzz around the community with the new stadium opening, from that standpoint it's going to be exciting to see what came of it," Jewsbury told MLSsoccer.com. "I've only heard good things, and I'm excited for that."
Portland is coming off of a 2-1 defeat to the Houston Dynamo, a loss that snapped its three-game unbeaten streak. Despite failing to pick up any points, Timbers head coach John Spencer believes that his side were unlucky to walk away empty-handed.
"I don't think we were outplayed," Spencer said. "I think we matched them stride for stride, and I was really disappointed.
"I keep telling the guys that chances win goals, and goals win games. They then go 2-0 up, and then I think from then we get in at halftime, we reorganize a bit, and we have a chat. In the second half, I don't think I'd be too far away from saying that we had some great chances to possibly tie the game, if not win it. I think we were very unlucky to not come away with something."
With the loss, Portland continues to struggle on the road, going 1-7-3 this season in matches away from Jeld-Wen Field.
The Timbers face a daunting task in trying to improve that road record on Wednesday, as Sporting is a formidable home side.
Since the opening of Livestrong Sporting Park on June 9th, Kansas City has posted a 4-1-4 record at home. The club's lone home defeat came in its last outing, as Sporting conceded two injury time goals to Seattle Sounders FC en route to a 2-1 loss.
Tied with D.C. United for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 30 points, Kansas City can move up to third place with a win on Wednesday.
But the Timbers, in dire need of points for a playoff push, will not let their last result put a dent in their confidence.
"It's a big game, especially at this point of the season," Jewsbury said. "I think if we continue to play hard and create chances then we'll have a good chance to get three points."