LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers | 2017 MLS Match Preview
LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers
2017 MLS Regular Season
StubHub Center – Carson, California
Sunday, March 12 – 7 pm ET
WATCH: FS1 (USA) | MLS LIVE (Canada)
Can a LA Galaxy squad depleted by injury and suspension bounce back from an opening weekend loss? Is the Timbers' front six, some say the best in MLS, explosive enough to capture just the third regular-season win at StubHub Center by an opposing team since Oct. 2015?
After a 2-1 defeat to FC Dallas, the defending Supporters' Shield champions, the Galaxy face the uneasy prospect of starting the season with two Ls at home as the Timbers roll down the coast buzzing from a 5-1 demolition of Minnesota United FC to kick off the 2017 MLS season. Could the balance of power be shifting in the Western Conference? Portland are out to prove they should be an MLS Cup favorite, while first-year head coach Curt Onalfo and LA prepare to protect home turf.
With so many injuries and suspensions to starters, Onalfo has some shuffling to do. And though it's early in the season, the stakes are high. Two home losses to start 2017 after years of dominance in Carson would ratchet up the pressure before the season really has time to get underway.
- Suspended: Jermaine Jones (MLS Disciplinary Committee), Dave Romney (MLS Disciplinary Committee
- Int’l Duty: N/A
- Injury Report: DF Robbie Rogers (out - ankle); DF Ashley Cole (out - calf strain); FWD Gyasi Zardes (out - knee surgery)
Projected Starting XI (4-4-2, left to right): Brian Rowe — Nathan Smith, Jelle Van Damme, Daniel Steres, Rafael Garcia — Romain Alessandrini, Baggio Husidic, Joao Pedro, Sebastian Lletget — Giovani dos Santos, Jack McBean
Notes: LA has lost two of their last three regular-season home MLS matches after a 15-match home unbeaten run (8W-7D). They've averaged 2.4 goals per home game across their last 27 regular-season games at home.
- Disciplinary Committee suspends LA's Jones, Romney
- Who should replace Jermaine Jones for LA?
- Report: LA extend new offer to Zlatan
- LA Galaxy 2017 MLSsoccer.com Team Guide
The Timbers turned it on late to blow out the expansion Loons, but the signs were there the whole game. This team has the talent to be among the league's best attacking teams. However, they're not without flaws. With Liam Ridgewell questionable, Caleb Porter could be forced to go deep down the depth chart to fill out the center of defense.
One to watch: Homegrown left back Marco Farfan who could start in the place of the injured Vytas.
- Suspended: N/A
- Int’l Duty: N/A
- Injury Report: DF Gbenga Arokoyo (out - Achilles tear); DF Vytas (out - calf strain); DF Liam Ridgewell (questionable - foot); DF Alvas Powell (questionable - ankle)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, left to right): Jake Gleeson — Marco Farfan, Liam Ridgewell, Lawrence Olum, Alvas Powell — Diego Chara, David Guzman — Darlington Nagbe, Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco — Fanendo Adi
Notes: Fanendo Adi’s brace against Minnesota marked his eighth game in MLS regular-season action with two or more goals since the start of the 2015 season. Only Bradley Wright-Phillips (10), David Villa (10) and Sebastian Giovinco (9) have more multi-goal regular-season games in the same time span.
- Valeri wins Alcatel PotW after starring vs. Loons
- Watch Valeri in his POTW performance
- Game recognize game: Villa shows Valeri love
- Blanco, Guzman "difference-makers" in PDX debut
- Portland Timbers 2017 MLSsoccer.com Team Guide
The Galaxy lead the series, as you might expect, but it's tight at 7-4-5 considering Portland's expansion status. It hasn't been tight at the StubHub Center, though, with LA losing just once in nine matches:
LA-POR All-Time MLS Meetings (16 games)
- Overall: LA lead 7-4-5 (31 LA goals, 23 POR goals)
- at LA: Galaxy lead 5-1-3 (20 LA goals, 10 POR goals)
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson (bench side), Eduardo Mariscal (far side)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Salazar
DOWNLOAD: Official MLS Game Guide