The Los Angeles Galaxy will take on the Portland Timbers in what looks to be a rainy day in Portland. The Timbers are looking to rebound from a disappointing home tie against Real Salt Lake in which Nick Rimando stood on his head to keep Portland off the score sheet. The Galaxy, on the other hand, managed a multiple goal win against Chicago, but played less than inspired soccer through most of the game. Both teams boast great defenses so I suggest we all strap in for a gritty low scoring affair.
What to watch for:
- Weather: Soccer balls behave weirdly enough on turf as it is, but add rain on top of that and you have a recipe for weird bounces, broken plays, and technical mistakes. Which way those bounces go may very well decide the game.
- Robbie Keane: Robbie Keane was out of his element last game. He was constantly drifting deep into the midfield and was having to play the attacking fulcrum role in the final third rather than his normal game of creating shots for himself. When Baggio Husidic entered the game, Keane was able to move around more and which allowed him to get into more shooting positions. Can Baggio or whoever starts next to Juninho push up high enough to let Keane do his thing?
- The right: Stefan Ishizaki pushes very high up the field and does not track back very well. When paired with Dan Gargan, our right side is vulnerable to quick counters as neither are that speedy. It doesn't happen often, but it's a chink in the armor that teams have exploited before and if I'm Portland, that's what I'm going after in this game.
- Jose Villarreal: Can the Galaxy's movement as a whole find a way to get Villarreal to make inverted runs into shooting positions? This is largely going to be based on the degree to which Keane drifts wide, thus allowing Jose Villarreal to move into that vacated withdrawn striker spot.
Fun fact: There isn't actually an FC in the clubs official name. So where does the PTFC stuff come from? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
How to Watch
Match date/time: 3/15 (Happy pi day) 4 p.m. PST
Venue: Providence Park
TV: Fox Sports 1