After a five goal shelling suffered in Georgia, the Portland Timbers (1-3-0) will have to have a short memory and put that loss behind them as they welcome the Los Angeles Galaxy (0-1-2) to Providence in a big early season Western Conference clash.
Storylines so far
So, uh, yeah, last Saturday wasn’t great. Portland looked disorganized and unmotivated as the goals kept pouring in in Atlanta. A defeat at the hands of one of the hottest teams in the league may have been expected, but nothing like that. It was an uninspiring and dispiriting performance from a team that has decidedly fallen into yet another early season slump.
The good news is that Portland is back at home. The bad news is that they’re pretty much still just as banged up as last week.
#RCTID injury updates (via Gio):— Ryan Clarke (@RyanTClarke) March 23, 2023
Asprilla/Ayala: “Possibly playing next weekend.”
Mora: “Progressing well. Can’t give you a timeline.”
Blanco: “We’ll see how he feels.”
Paredes/Yimmi: “Earlier than we thought, but we need to be careful.”
Evander: “Hopefully by next week.”
Head coach Giovanni Savarese will have his hands full yet again as he juggles absences to put the best team on the field, while also adjusting his team to ensure that they improve on last week’s dismal display.
That team will face an LA Galaxy side that also has stumbled out of the gates. LA has scored just two goals through three games and has yet to win. Today is their third away day in four games, and they are also dealing with their own rash of absences.
Those include star forward Chicharito, who is still out with an injury (suffered in preseason against the Timbers), breakout striker Dejan Joveljic, who is away on international duty, and starting goalkeeper Johnathan Bond, who is also out with an injury.
Still, the Galaxy cannot be counted out. They have the mercurial and talented Riqui Puig in the squad, and plenty of other talented players who can hurt Portland — especially if the Timbers don’t correct their gappy backline and inconsistent pressing from last week.
Both Portland and LA are early seasons strugglers. Today’s clash will help tell us a lot about the prospects of the next few months for both these teams — for better or worse.
If you dare to relive the high-, er, lowlights of last weekend, Alex has your recap here.
If you want to read up on what to expect this afternoon, Sam has your match preview here.
How to watch
Location: Providence Park | Portland, OR
Time: 1:30 p.m. PT (kickoff set for 1:55 p.m. PT)
Watch: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV (Free), FOX
Listen: 750 The Game (English), La GranD 1150AM/93.5 FM (Spanish)
Here's how we go— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) March 25, 2023
▪️ First MLS start for Guti ☝️
▪️ Bingham in goal
▪️ Bonilla in the back #RCTID pic.twitter.com/BYbbffXQ85
Your Los Angeles Galaxy ❤️— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 25, 2023
https://t.co/uirqE1AH07#LAGalaxy x @ModeloUSA pic.twitter.com/m1nQB5UHqb