ExLink - 05/19/18 - PORvLAFC

Portland Timbers vs. Los Angeles Football Club | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Portland Timbers vs. LAFC
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 12

Providence Park — Portland
May 19 - 3:00 pm ET

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It is a clash of two surging sides as the Portland Timbers host LAFC Saturday afternoon in the first meeting between the Western Conference foes.

Fresh off a 1-0 triumph over archrivals Seattle, Portland have won four straight games, including all three of their games at Providence Park this season, while LAFC are unbeaten in six straight games following a scintillating 2-2 draw with NYCFC Sunday at Banc of California Stadium.

Portland Timbers

Giovanni Savarese went with an unchanged 4-3-2-1 from the side that defeated San Jose, 1-0, the previous week and for a third straight game, Portland (4-3-2) didn’t concede a goal, stretching a shutout streak to 279 minutes.

Sebastian Blanco provided the late-game drama with his fifth goal of the season four minutes from full time as the Timbers celebrated the victory in the 100th all-time meeting between the Cascadia foes.

“The effort of the collective group – how well they cover each other, how well they are organizing, how hard they’re working to make sure we’re defending well, when someone makes a mistake, someone is right behind helping and I think that’s fantastic,” Savarese said after the match. “I have to give a lot of credit, not only to the defenders, but as well as the offensive players that are working very hard defensively to make things more difficult for teams.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Roy Miller (left Achilles tendon injury), F - Jeremy Ebobisse (right thigh injury), GK - Kendall McIntosh (right thigh injury); QUESTIONABLE: M - David Guzman (right knee injury), D - Vytas (right thigh injury), D - Bill Tuiloma (right knee injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-2-1, right to left)
GK: Jeff Attinella — Alvas Powell, Larrys Mabiala, Liam Ridgewell, Zarek Valentin — Cristhian Paredes, Diego Chara, Andy Polo — Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco — Fanendo Adi

  • Notes: Last weekend was Diego Valeri’s 76th regular season match with 3+ key passes, tied with Federico Higuaín for the most of any MLS player since the start of 2013. … Portland has won nine consecutive league matches at home, a franchise record and tied for the second-longest such streak by a MLS club in league history (San Jose won 12 straight from Aug. 25, 2001 to July 24, 2002).


Bob Bradley made one change to the squad that defeated Minnesota United FC, 2-0, in the midweek, with Omar Gaber making his second start, slotting in at right back with Steven Beitashour moving to the left in place of Jordan Harvey.

Ten minutes after David Villa put the visitors in front, LAFC (6-2-2) leveled on an own goal by Sebastien Ibeagha and then took a 2-1 lead on Carlos Vela’s sixth goal of the season in the 66th minute. However, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi came off the bench to net his fifth goal to equalize nine minutes later and LAFC settled for an entertaining 2-2 draw.

“I was very pleased with the push to win the game,” Bradley said after the game. “We still had moments where we have advantages and maybe we’re not sharp enough, or where certain plays where we turn over and the next thing you know, we’re racing like crazy to put out a fire and that’s not something that I’m so happy about. I thought it was a very good game, certainly a very good game in terms of football and the way both teams went after it.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK - Luis Lopez (right tibial stress fracture), F - Marco Urena (facial surgery)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Tyler Miller — Omar Gaber, Walker Zimmerman, Laurent Ciman, Steven Beitashour — Eduard Atuesta, Benny Feilhaber — Latif Blessing, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Carlos Vela — Diego Rossi

  • Notes: Latif Blessing finished with a career-high five chances created in LAFC’s 2-2 draw with New York City FC last weekend. He had 20 chances created in 25 appearances with Sporting Kansas City in 2017. … LAFC has won four of their six road games this season. Only five teams won more than four road games in all of 2017.

All-Time Series

  • This is the first all-time meeting between Portland Timbers and LAFC.


Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Apolinar Mariscal
4th Official: Nima Saghafi
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic