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MLS Gamethread: Week 16

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Portland vs Sporting KC, again.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Another offseason World Cup break is in the books, and we’re ready for the most recent MLS First Kick regular season game. It isn't the World Cup, but it is ours, and will still be fun even without the big stars a continent away.

  • The home team will always be the one named first.
  • Bold parenthesis indicate where to find the match in question.
  • Normal parenthesis are my match picks.
  • All times are Pacific Daylight Time.
  • Let me know if there are things you'd like to see change in our/my coverage. We may be omnipotent, but we also like to throw a few wrenches in to screw with you gals and guys.

Friday

5:00PM New York Red Bulls-Toronto FC

8:00PM Portland Timbers-Sporting KC

Saturday

4:30PM New England Revolution-Philadelphia Union

5:00PM Columbus Crew-FC Dallas

6:00PM Colorado Rapids-Vancouver Whitecaps

7:30PM Chivas USA-Real Salt Lake

7:30PM San Jose Earthquakes-LA Galaxy (NBCSN)

Sunday

4:30PM Montreal Impact-Houston Dynamo

GAME OF THE WEEK

The Portland Timbers will play their first match as a three DP team when they host Sporting KC Friday evening. Centerback Liam Ridgewell won’t be playing, having just signed earlier this week, but the three designated players signals a strategic shift for a team that had previously been talked about as unwilling to bring in marque guys (and the contracts that go with them). Their last big signing has worked out well, with Fanendo Adi providing the big, swiftly skilled body their offense sorely needed. Sporting KC is still having trouble fielding a starting back line; Matt Besler will be gone with the US Men’s National Team a little longer. Ditto for set piece specialist Graham Zusi. Without their stars, KC has been struggling. They lost to this same Portland team in Open Cup play less than a week ago. It should motivate them to take this road game very seriously, but will motivation be enough?

Prediction: POR