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Soccer: Sporting cuts down Timbers
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Desert Friendlies

Soccer: Sporting cuts down Timbers

Tucson's Toia to appear for San Jose

  • Kansas City forward Bobby Convey has the ball tackled away as he charges into the Portland box.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comKansas City forward Bobby Convey has the ball tackled away as he charges into the Portland box.
  • Portland's Silvestre #44 and Andrew Jean-Baptiste #35 defend on a Kansas City corner.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comPortland's Silvestre #44 and Andrew Jean-Baptiste #35 defend on a Kansas City corner.
  • Portland midfielder Darlington Nagbe drops into defense and dispossesses KC midfielder Paulo Nagamura.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comPortland midfielder Darlington Nagbe drops into defense and dispossesses KC midfielder Paulo Nagamura.
  • Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Erik Kronberg makes a desperate save from Portland defender Futty Danso.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comSporting Kansas City goalkeeper Erik Kronberg makes a desperate save from Portland defender Futty Danso.
  • Sporting defender Kevin Ellis #4 is defended closely by Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe #6.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comSporting defender Kevin Ellis #4 is defended closely by Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe #6.
  • Portland forward Jose Valencia #20 avoids a tackle in the Kansas City box.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comPortland forward Jose Valencia #20 avoids a tackle in the Kansas City box.
  • Portland striker Bright Dike #19 dribbles into the Kansas City penalty box.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comPortland striker Bright Dike #19 dribbles into the Kansas City penalty box.
  • Sporting midfielder Mikey Lopez #12 and Timbers midfielder Kalif Alhassan #11 compete for the ball in midfield.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comSporting midfielder Mikey Lopez #12 and Timbers midfielder Kalif Alhassan #11 compete for the ball in midfield.
  • Timbers midfielder Kalif Alhassan.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comTimbers midfielder Kalif Alhassan.
  • Timbers defender Mikael Silvestre kicks the ball upfield against Sporting Kansas City.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comTimbers defender Mikael Silvestre kicks the ball upfield against Sporting Kansas City.
  • Sporting KC forward Bobby Convey #11 cuts in from the wing against the Portland Timbers.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comSporting KC forward Bobby Convey #11 cuts in from the wing against the Portland Timbers.
  • Portland's Bright Dike #19 competes with a Kansas City player for a high ball.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comPortland's Bright Dike #19 competes with a Kansas City player for a high ball.
  • A late attempt on goal by Portland defender Hanyer Mosquera.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comA late attempt on goal by Portland defender Hanyer Mosquera.
  • Portland forward Jose Valencia #20 attempts to dribble past Kansas City midfielder Peterson Joseph #19.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comPortland forward Jose Valencia #20 attempts to dribble past Kansas City midfielder Peterson Joseph #19.
  • Kansas City forward C.J. Sapong gets past Portland defender Michael Harrington #5.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comKansas City forward C.J. Sapong gets past Portland defender Michael Harrington #5.
  • Timbers forward Bright Dike leaves a KC defender in his dust as he breaks into the Sporting area.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comTimbers forward Bright Dike leaves a KC defender in his dust as he breaks into the Sporting area.
  • KC defender Chance Myers combines with C.J. Sapong to attack up the right wing.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comKC defender Chance Myers combines with C.J. Sapong to attack up the right wing.
  • Portland goalkeeper Milos Kocic was unable to keep out Jerome Mechack's free kick.
    Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.comPortland goalkeeper Milos Kocic was unable to keep out Jerome Mechack's free kick.

Sporting Kansas City closed out their 2013 in Tucson with a win over Portland Timbers FC. SKC ended Friday night's match at Kino Sports Park with a 1-0 victory over Portland.

The teams saved many of their trialists for the second half, with Kansas City debuting their Ecuadoran signing, Claudio Bieler. Both teams had their chances, but were unable to find the back of the net.

Half time was a bit more eventful, with Portland's Bright Dike threatening the goal, but SKC backup keeper Eric Kronberg scooped what seemed to be a sure chance.

Kansas City had a scare in that second half when Soony Saad went down around the hour mark. The match was delayed for 20 minutes while paramedics attended to Saad. The injury turned out to be a hard knock to his tailbone and team staff said that the paramedics were "precautionary."

After the restart, Hatian trialist Mechack Jérôme scored for Kansas City off of a free kick. Jérôme has previously played in his native Haiti, Portugal and for the Austin Aztex and Orlando City.

New Colombian signing Hanyer Mosquera nearly tied the game up for the Timbers, but his stoppage time shot went wide.

Sporting's time in Tucson is done for this preseason, and they will now travel to Florida to play in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, opening the competition against the Montreal Impact next Saturday. Portland will stay in Tucson, with a game against bitter rival Seattle Sounders FC on Tuesday and closing their time in the Old Pueblo against FC Tucson on Friday.

Depth

After the match Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes was happy with the performance of his squad.

"Better than our game the other night," he said about Tuesday's draw with FC Tucson. Still, his thoughts were with his injured players.

"A couple of guys sustained injuries, and that's the thing I'm concerned about at the moment," Vermes said. "I thnk everything is going to be fine."

In addition to the scare over Soony Saad, Chance Myers was taken out early because of what Vermes described as a "tweak to his quadricep." The trainer also came out to tend to goal keeper Eric Kronberg on a couple of occasions.

Saad has been a backup player since the team picked him up in 2011, but is expected to get more time on the field this year should he stay uninjured.

Earlier this week, forward Kei Kamara was loaned to English club Norwich City FC. Vermes's emphasis has been on building depth, could Kamara's absence affect that?

"I feel we have other players, we are still missing three national team players," Vermes said. Benny Feilhaber, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi have all been absent from SKC's Tucson sojurn while they have been in U.S. national team camp. "Two guys are in the training room right now, Teal Bunburry and Jacob Peterson. We are missing quite a few guys, we have enough people to play that position at a very high level."

"Will it be Kei? No," he continued. "But we are a very different team since last year."

Some kind of Earthquake

Saturday's match between San Jose and Colorado will have a special treat for Tucson soccer fans: FC Tucson's Donny Toia will be suiting up in 'Quakes blue as a trialist.

The Earthquakes's interest in Toia was piqued after two spectacular chances he had in a match against Sporting Kansas City this week.

Old Pueblo native Toia was a regular starter for FC Tucson last year, and had previously played in the reserves for Real Salt Lake.

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