The still winless and still shorthanded Portland Timbers continue their season-opening road trip this evening, heading to California for the second time this year where they will take on the LA Galaxy.
After a weekend of statement wins from four of the top five teams in the Western Conference, the Timbers will have their work cut out for them as they look to not be on the receiving end of yet another multi-goal loss. That will be made all the more difficult as they will face an LA side likely to be bolstered by the return of designated players Roman Alessandrini and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Having given up a record setting ten goals in their first three games, the Timbers will need to put in the sort of performance that characterized their 2018 turnaround and unbeaten run, rather than the sort of capitulations that have been the hallmark of 2019.
Of course, the Timbers will have some reinforcement of their own when they swap Diego Chara — back from suspension — for Larrys Mabiala — out after picking up his own red card against FC Cincinnati last week. How the return of Chara, without whom the Timbers have been terrible during the whole of their MLS history, will affect the side remains to be seen, but it will have to be a boost to their fortunes.
Storylines: “Look for the Galaxy to try and stretch the field, while trying to either attack down the middle of the pitch or on the right wing, so Valentin could have his work cut out for him. Also look for a lot of crosses coming into the box so the center backs are going to have to be on their best behavior. Besides the crosses, the Galaxy as a whole like peppering the box and the keeper with shots — they’re averaging almost 15 shots per game.”
And stop by the Rose City Forecast to make your predictions about tonight’s match.
Watch it on: ESPN2
Where: Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angles, CA
When: Sunday, March 31st at 6:00 p.m. PT
Portland Timbers: 0-2-1, lost 3-0 at FC Cincinnati
LA Galaxy: 2-1-0, won 3-2 vs. Minnesota United