Portland Timbers vs. LA Galaxy
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 14
Providence Park — Portland
June 2 — 5 pm ET
WATCH: ESPN2, TSN
The LA Galaxy look to bounce back from a wild 3-2 midweek loss to FC Dallas that came on the heels of a pair of 1-0 wins when they head to Providence Park to take on the hottest team in MLS: the Portland Timbers, winners of six consecutive games.
The Timbers, who come into Saturday afternoon’s game off a 3-2 road win over the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, are a perfect 4-0-0 at Providence Park and join NYCFC (5-0-0) as the only MLS teams this season with an unblemished home record.
Portland have won four of their eight home games against the Galaxy (2L-2D). Portland have never been held scoreless at home against LA, averaging 2.0 goals per game, per Opta
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Giovanni Savarese made three changes to the team that defeated LAFC, 2-1, the previous week, with Julio Cascante replacing an injured Liam Ridgewell in central defense, Andres Flores coming on for Andy Polo (who joined Peru’s national team ahead of the World Cup) and Samuel Armenteros the lone striker in favor of Fanendo Adi.
Armenteros’ first-half brace bookended a Cascante own goal to give Portland (6-3-2) a 2-1 halftime lead. Diego Valeri’s fifth goal of the season in the 56th minute all but put the game away, with Yannick Boli’s cosmetic penalty kick deep in second-half stoppage time the final goal of the game as the Timbers extended their winning streak to six.
“I don’t think about the winning streak,” Savarese said in his weekly press conference. “I only think about the fact that we did the job that we needed to do in Colorado and now we have one more match. Every week we have to think about the next match. The victories, of course, allow you to have a better environment, allows you to be able to correct things in a positive way and that’s very, very good. But we have to stay focused that it has to be one match at a time.”
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: D - Larrys Mabiala, M - Diego Chara
- International duty: M - David Guzman, M - Andy Polo
- Injury Report: OUT: D - Roy Miller (left Achilles tendon injury), D - Liam Ridgewell (right quad injury), GK - Jake Gleeson (back injury), M - Jack Barmby (right lower leg injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Vytas (right thigh injury), F - Jeremy Ebobisse (right thigh injury), GK - Kendall McIntosh (right thigh injury)
Projected Starting XI
(4-3-2-1, right to left)
GK: Jeff Attinella — Alvas Powell, Larrys Mabiala, Juan Cascante, Zarek Valentin — Cristhian Paredes, Diego Chara, Andres Flores — Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco — Samuel Armenteros
- Notes: The Timbers have won six straight MLS matches, tied for the second-longest winning streak by any MLS club since 2010. They’ve conceded a total of five goals over the stretch. … Armenteros is averaging a goal every 89 minutes the season, tied for the second-best rate of any player with at least three goals.
Sigi Schmid overhauled half of his lineup from the squad that defeated the San Jose Earthquakes, with Daniel Steres and Ashley Cole returning as outside backs and Tomas Hilliard-Arce starting centrally in the four-man backline. Servando Carrasco came back into the midfield, which moved Sebastian Lletget into the No. 10 role with Jonathan dos Santos away with the Mexican national team. Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned from injury to play as the lone striker, which slotted Ola Kamara to the wing.
Goals by Ryan Hollingshead and Cristian Colman seven minutes apart gave FC Dallas a 2-0 halftime lead and Carlos Gruezo increased the visitor’s advantage in the 66th minute. Ibrahimovic scored a late brace to pull the Galaxy (5-7-1) close, but they still suffered their fourth defeat in seven games at StubHub Center.
“Part of it is me. I made some lineup changes because I thought with the game coming up with Portland, I thought we needed to make sure we had some guys who were fresh,” Schmid said after the game when asked what is to blame for his team’s defensive performance. “The first thing I’m going to do is analyze if I made the right decisions, but obviously there’s other opportunities. We have more than 11 players on this team and when your number is called, you’ve got to be ready. Just our intensity and our desire, our drive, our determination in the first 15 minutes was not good.”
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: M - Perry Kitchen
- International duty: M - Jonathan dos Santos, M - Giovani dos Santos, F - Ola Kamara
- Injury Report: OUT: F - Bradford Jamieson IV (concussion), D - Rolf Feltscher (shoulder surgery)
Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: David Bingham — Daniel Steres, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole — Sebastian Lletget, Perry Kitchen — Chris Pontius, Romain Alessandrini, Emma Boateng — Zlatan Ibrahimovic
- Notes: The Galaxy have had 205 of their passes intercepted. Only New England (212) has had more. … Over their last nine games, the Galaxy have won just three games (6L), all of which have been shutouts. In their six losses they have conceded an average of 2.7 goals per game.
- Overall: Portland Timbers 6 wins, 27 goals … LA Galaxy 7 wins, 32 goals … 5 ties
- At Portland: Timbers 4 wins, 16 goals … Galaxy 4 wins, 12 goals … 2 ties
- Last meeting at Portland: Portland Timbers 3, LA Galaxy 1 (Aug. 6, 2017)
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Cameron Blanchard
4th Official: Dave Gantar
VAR: Ramy Touchan