I don’t know about you, but that last match seemed like a loss more than a draw. But that needs to be put in the rear-view mirror as the LA Galaxy come to down. This will be the 24th regular season matchup between the two teams since the Portland Timbers entered the league back in 2011. Most recently, they faced the Galaxy in the MLS is Back Tournament in the group stage and were able to handle business.
This match is the tale of two teams headed in the opposite direction. The Galaxy are coming off big derby wins against LAFC and the San Jose Earthquakes. Even with those wins, though, the Galaxy are below the red line in 9th place in the Western Conference.
The question for the Galaxy tonight is have they turned a corner?
The series is tied 10-10-6 across all competitions between the Timbers and LA. Dating back to March 12, 2017, Portland has a record of 6-2-1 against the Galaxy across all competitions, outscoring LA 18-7 during that span. Diego Valeri has registered six goals and eight assists in 17 regular-season matches against the Galaxy.
1. The Timbers need to be on the same page.
Please, for the love of God, get on the same page. Maybe I’ll count tonight how many unforced errors the Timbers make. Through most of the last match, the Timbers didn’t seem to be on the same page on both sides of the ball. This needs to be corrected asap, or watch some of those 4-4 draws turn into 5-4 losses.
2. The defense needs to be better.
I’m not sure what’s going on, but the Timbers defense needs to put the failures of the Real Salt Lake match in the past — just because the Timbers handled them during the tournament doesn’t mean it’s time to slack off now. Listen, they can score goals and will if the entire defense plays together. This means not getting caught out of position so bad that you’re gassed by the time you get back to your position.
3. Play the full 90.
The Timbers can, at times after getting a lead, take the foot off the throttle a little bit late in matches. Sometimes it works out; other times, they drop two points at home against a very, very beatable Real Salt Lake squad. I fully believe that once the Timbers get the lead, they should be hungry for more while playing smartly. If the Timbers can stick to playing their game and keeping their heads in it, I believe they can get three points at home.
Location: Providence Park, Portland Oregon
Kick-off time: 7:30 Pacific / 10:30 Eastern
TV broadcast: Fox 12+
Rival SB Nation site: LAG Confidential
Radio broadcast: 750 The Game (English) and La GranD 1150AM/93.5 FM (Spanish)