The season is here!
The Portland Timbers start their 2018 MLS season today with a match on the road against the LA Galaxy. While the Timbers finished on top of the Western Conference in 2017 and the Galaxy finished dead last, both teams have seen big changes made since they last faced off.
For the Timbers, the Caleb Porter era is over, Darlington Nagbe has departed, and now the team is Giovanni Saravese’s —and Diego Valeri’s — to mold. The Galaxy, on the other hand, return their head coach, Sigi Schmid, but have made drastic changes to their roster, completely revamping their side ahead of the 2018 season. While the Galaxy have yet to add Zlatan Ibrahimovic, they have brought in a bevy of new players including MLS veterans Perry Kitchen and Ola Kamara to bolster a side headlined by Roman Alessandrini and the Dos Santos brothers.
Starting the season on the road is always difficult, particularly with four more road matches to come before the Timbers open Providence Park in April, but the Timbers have every chance of taking three points against this upgraded but still coming together Galaxy side.
Scouting Report: “The Galaxy’s central defense pairing of Michael Ciani and Jorgen Skjelvik is also a work-in-progress, which has led to some rough moments on the Galaxy backline this preseason. Ciani has been in the better form of the two, but there’s a clear lack of confidence in the relationship.”
Timbers 101: “The midfield is where things get spicy as we could see the Timbers deviate from their standard 4-5-1 formation and go with a 4-4-2 diamond, especially if they are looking to lock down the middle of the pitch in the likely absence of Diego Chara from the starting XI.”
And make your predictions for today over at the Rose City Forecast.
Watch it on: FOX Sports 1
When: Sunday, March 4th at 7:00 p.m. PT
Where: The StubHub Center in Carson, CA
Portland Timbers: 0-0-0, finished 2017 with a record of 15-11-8
LA Galaxy: 0-0-0, finished 2017 with a record of 8-18-8