Timbers MatchDay: vs. Galaxy

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter



Los Angeles at Portland

Kickoff: 8 p.m. today at Jeld-Wen Field.

TV: NBC Sports Network (cable Ch. 32/732).

Radio: 750 AM (940 AM Spanish broadcast).

Tickets: A sellout of 20,438 is expected. Check Ticketmaster for availability of extra and obstructed-view seats.

Where they stand: Portland (5-8-4, 19 points) is eighth in the Western Conference; Los Angeles (7-10-2, 23 points) is fifth in the Western Conference.

All-time series: L.A. leads 3-1; Portland is 1-0 at home, a 3-0 win last Aug. 3.

This season: Galaxy won 3-1 on April 14 and 1-0 on June 17, both games were in Carson, Calif.

Storyline: The Galaxy and their stars are always a measuring stick for their opponents and a target for opposing fans. But this match might be an exception in Portland. It is the first match after the firing of head coach John Spencer. General manager Gavin Wilkinson is the interim head coach. Fans will be interested to see if their are significant changes to the Timbers lineup, formation and style of play.

On the table: Portland has played two fewer matches than L.A., and can pull within one point of the fifth-place Galaxy. The Galaxy is shooting for a third consecutive road win.

Leaders: Goals — Kris Boyd (5) leads Portland; Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane (6 apiece) lead L.A. Assists — Eric Alexander (3) leads Portland; Donovan and David Beckham (5 apiece) lead L.A.

Injury/suspension impact: For Portland, central defender Eric Brunner (concussion) remains out. D/MF Rodney Wallace is unlikely to play. In a surprise, MF Franck Songo'o might be available. The Galaxy is without DF Andrew Boyens, FW Edson Buddle, MF Dan Keat and DF Leonardo. DF Omar Gonzalez is nearing a return from left knee surgery) but might wait for a game on natural grass. Both teams will be missing a key midfielder because of suspension. The Timbers Diego Chara will miss his second game of the season for a handball red card in last weekend's loss at Real Salt Lake. The Galaxy's Juninho is suspended for yellow card accumulation.

Question of the day: How will the Timbers respond in the first match after the firing of head coach John Spencer?

Follow Paul Danzer all Timbers season on Twitter at www.twitter.com/col_timbers