Timbers MatchDay: at L.A. Galaxy

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter



Timbers at L.A. Galaxy

Kickoff: 11:30 a.m. today at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

TV: NBC, channel 8.

Radio: AM 750.

Timbers (6-6-9, 27 points): Two consecutive wins, both delivered by Diego Valeri shots from distance late in games, have breathed some life into the Timbers season. A win here would be a milestone achievement: the first three-game MLS win streak in the Timbers four seasons in the league, and Portland’s first over the Galaxy in L.A. A win would put Portland even on points with Los Angeles, though the Galaxy has played three fewer games. Midfielder Darlington Nagbe, quiet in the attack at times this season, was dynamic in Sunday’s 3-2 win at Montreal and was named to the MLS Team of the Week. Nagbe was held out of training midweek because he was “banged up” according to coach Caleb Porter. Nagbe has suffered the most fouls in the league (67), 16 more than the next most fouled player, Sporting Kansas City’s Benny Fielhabber. Valeri’s 62 shots leads the Timbers by a long shot. Maximiliano Urruti scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season at Montreal. The Timbers are one of only four MLS teams with at least four road wins this season.

Porter, who has a record of two wins and three draws against the Galaxy, said he expects both teams to attack. He said one key to containing the Galaxy is to make them play defense, without committing turnovers that lead to counter-attacks, a Galaxy strength.

Galaxy (8-4-6, 30 points): The Galaxy are coming off probably their most impressive performance of the season, a 3-0 win on Monday at Seattle. Landon Donovan led the charge with a goal and two assists as L.A. took advantage of a Seattle defense that was missing all-star Chad Marshall. The Galaxy has the best goal differential in the league at plus-13 (29 scored, 16 allowed). In their last 10 league games, the Galaxy are 6-3-1. Against Portland, L.A. has scored three goals and allowed three as the teams have played to a pair of draws including 2-2 on July 4 at the StubHub Center when an own goal off a scrambling Rauwshan McKenzie kept Portland from winning.