The Portland Timbers have headed south to the somehow cooler weather of California to take on one of the top teams in the Western Conference, Los Angeles FC.
Since the Timbers’ 2-1 win in the first match up between the two sides back in May, LAFC have lost only once, and the Timbers have not lost at all. Both sides have left their mark on the Western Conference already this season, but an away point — or three — for the Timbers could set the side up well to push up the table and actually challenge for one of the coveted top spots in the West.
To that end, the Timbers will be matching up their defensive prowess — they have been among the best in the league during their current eleven match unbeaten run — against the hottest striker in MLS, Adama Diomande. As a team, LAFC have been outscored by only Atlanta United, but if Diomande can continue his absurd scoring pace of nine goals in seven games, then LAFC has every chance of catching up to the league leaders.
The match up also comes with some added intrigue as Gio Savarese and Bob Bradley will be looking to game plan for both today’s match and Wednesday’s US Open Cup quarter final, when their teams will square off again for the second time in four days. Both sides have players recently returned from the World Cup, and both feature significant depth with which to make tweaks and changes to their approach to each match. How Savarese and Bradley rotate and adjust their lineups today and Wednesday will be just as important as any match up that plays out on the pitch.
Storylines: “The team as a whole likes to stay compact and force play out to the wings, effectively stretching opponents. They are a very proactive team who loves having possession, though be careful on the counter — this team can fly.”
Stop by the Rose City Forecast before the opening whistle to make your predictions about today’s match.
Watch it on: ESPN
Where: Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, CA
When: Sunday, July 15th at 3:00 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers: 8-3-5, 5th place in the Western Conference, Beat San Jose Earthquakes 2-1
Los Angeles FC: 10-4-4, 2nd place in the Western Conference, Beat Orlando City SC 4-1