The Portland Timbers look to turn last week’s dramatic win over D.C. United into a winning streak today at Providence Park, with a LA Galaxy team that lost twice in Oregon last year looking to rebound from a 1-0 loss in Colorado. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. Eastern, with the match being broadcast on NBCSN and available to stream via NBC Sports Live Extra.
Bruce Arena went 0-2-1 against Caleb Porter in the Portland boss’s debut season, a record that doesn’t reflect the close nature of all three games. The two matches at Providence were each decided by one goal, with converted corner kicks leaving the then-defending champions shut out up north.
But just as that record against Portland deceives, so does LA’s 2-2-2 record this season. Both of the Galaxy’s losses have been 1-0 defeats where Robbie Keane missed penalty kicks. Last week, the captain’s miss near the hour left the team shut out for the second time this season, with the multiple bye weeks LA’s endured relegating the team to seventh in the West ahead of kickoff.
If they’re able to take advantage of a suspect Portland defense, that standing should improve, but against D.C. United, Portland’s defense showed some improvement. Both of United’s goals were flukes (a deflection and an own goal), while at the other end of the park, the penalty box prowess the Timbers have been missing all season surfaced in goals by Gastón Fernándex and Maxi Urruti.
With Portland sitting in eighth place, today’s match represents needed points for both teams. For LA, it’s a chance to break through against Porter. For Portland, it’s another opportunity to show 2013 wasn’t a fluke.
Portland: Ricketts, Jewsbury, Danso, Kah, Harrington, Chara, Valeri, Johnson, Nagbe, Fernández, Zakuan
Subs: Weber, Paparatto, Powell, Alhassan, Nanchoff, Zemanski, Urruti
LA Galaxy: Penedo; Gargan, Opare, Leonardo, DeLaGarza; Juninho, Husidic, Donovan, Ishizaki; Keane, Friend
Subs: Rowe, Samuel, Zardes, Rogers, Meyer, Walker, Mendiola