Time to switch gears. After an excruciating week that saw the LA Galaxy add three more games to their MLS winless streak, Bruce Arena's side are back in action on Wednesday as they take on the Portland Timbers in the U.S. Open Cup.
The Galaxy arrive to this round of 16 clash following a controversial win over amateur side La Maquina in the fourth round of the competition. The Santa Ana-based club did a valiant job to force extra time where a "cheap" goal put the Galaxy en-route to a 4-1 win. To make long story short, Baggio Husidic played a quick free-kick just outside the area as opposing players were distracted waiting for an injured Jose Villarreal to be attended. Dave Romney then found himself all alone in front of goal to fire in the go-ahead goal.
While the goal was entirely legitimate, there was no shortage of criticism. The goal even ignited La Maquina to file a protest to the US Soccer federation but ultimately failed in their attempt to get the game replayed.
Of course, none of that is relevant here, and the Portland Timbers provide an entirely different challenge. The defending MLS champions are on something of a positive run, unbeaten in their last five games, including three straight victories at Providence Park.
As scheduling is concerned, the Galaxy are in the middle of another busy week. This will be the fourth Galaxy game in a space of just 11 days, and in that regard, it wouldn't be surprising to see Bruce Arena make wholesale changes to his squad.
As such, while we can be fairly sure Bruce Arena wouldn't mind a place in the quarterfinals, the fact of the matter is he has failed to reach the final eight of the competition on every occasion since he took over the Galaxy. In that respect, the odds aren't stacked in the Galaxy's favor for this one.
LA Galaxy 1-1 Portland Timbers - April 10, 2016 - MLS
The Galaxy needed a late Nat Borchers own goal to rescue a point against the defending MLS champions.
LA Galaxy (4-4-2): Diop; Sorto, Steres, Leonardo, Cole; Mendiola, Husidic, Larentowicz, Boateng; Villarreal, McBean
Portland Timbers (4-2-3-1): Gleeson; Valentin, Ridgewell, Okugo, Peay; Jewsbury, Zemanski; Barmby, Asprilla, Mattocks; Mclnerney