In Major League Soccer’s Matchday 2 finale, the LA Galaxy play host to the Portland Timbers at StubHub Center on Sunday.
From the start, the Galaxy are forced to go looking for a positive result after losing their opening match against FC Dallas 2-1. Though Curt Onalfo’s team showed flashes of cohesion, the real statement was made by the visitors, who once again look like they will be a top force in the Western Conference. Previously, the Galaxy had lost just once in their last 19 home matches.
As decisions go, Onalfo’s second game in charge of the Galaxy doesn’t get any easier. Injuries have been a constant problem in the last two seasons, and for this match alone, LA will be without Robbie Rogers, Ashley Cole, and Gyasi Zardes. Furthermore, the MLS Disciplinary Committee came down hard on the Galaxy this week, handing down suspensions to Jermaine Jones and Dave Romney for incidents that occurred in last week’s match.
In the case of the Portland Timbers, Caleb Porter’s men arrive at an ideal time. In their curtain opener against Minnesota United, Portland crushed the new Major League Soccer franchise 5-1. Fanendo Adi and Diego Valeri played a determining role in the victory over the “Loons”, scoring a pair of goals respectively.
For this weekend, it is arguable that the Timbers have the tools to compete in the home of the Galaxy. However, it is worth mentioning that the Timbers have only one win in their last nine games against the five-time MLS Champs.
While it is too early for it to be a do-or-die match for the Galaxy, mutual trust is built with wins. Portland won’t be easy, but if Onalfo and company want to foster a winning environment, the sooner they can start winning games, the better.
Match date/time: Saturday 4:00 pm EST, 1:00 pm local
Venue: StubHub Center, Carson, California
TV: Fox Sports (US), Fox Deportes (US-Spanish)