Five days after they opened the year, the Portland Timbers are at it again.
Portland plays in their first road fixture of the year as they travel to Los Angeles to face LAFC — the defensing MLS Cup and Supporter’s Shield champions
Storylines so far
The last time we saw the Timbers (1-0-0, 3 points), they were winning their first opening day fixture in five years. Courtesy of Juan Mosquera’s first goal in green & gold, Portland struck early and weathered the storm from Sporting Kansas City on Monday night at Providence Park. It wasn’t the prettiest performance, but it was an effective one.
The last time we saw LAFC, they were winning the 2022 MLS Cup final in dramatic fashion. Gareth Bale — who is now retired — scored a last-game equalizer in stoppage time of extra time to force penalties, which the black and gold emerged from victorious to nab their first MLS Cup.
LAFC was unexpectedly idle during the first week of the MLS season, as their marquee rivalry game against the LA Galaxy was rained out due to inclement weather in the Los Angeles area. Because of that, today serves as not only their home opener, but their MLS opener as well.
It will be a tough environment for the Timbers to walk into, and they’ll do with a limited offensive line. Yimmi Chara suffered a hamstring injury in Monday’s opener, and will be on the shelf for a the next several weeks. However, the Timbers will get to enjoy the return of Claudio Bravo and Aljaz Ivacic, who both are options to start and give the Portland backline a boost.
Sam has your recap from Portland’s season opening win, along with your preview for how this afternoon’s clash might go down.
How to watch
Location: BMO Stadium | Los Angeles, CA
Time: 1:30 p.m. PT (Kickoff @ 1:55 p.m. PT)
Watch: Fox; MLS Season Pass on Apple TV