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LA Galaxy Portland Timbers match preview: What to watch, predicted starting 11 and TV schedule

Finally, #MLSIsBack

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Portland Timbers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

2017 was a bad dream for Galaxy fans, only without the dream part. 7 p.m. this Sunday at the StubHub Center (live on FS1), a rebuilt LA Galaxy squad led by Sigi Schmid have an opportunity to write a new chapter.

2018 roster changes:

Out: Bradley Diallo, Clement Diop, Rafael Garcia, Jermaine Jones, Jon Kempin, Jack McBean, Jack McInerney, Raul Mendiola, Robbie Rogers, Brian Rowe, Nathan Smith, Pele Van Anholt, Jose Villarreal, Jamie Villarreal, Gyasi Zardes

In: David Bingham, Servando Carrasco, Rolf Feltscher, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Ola Kamara, Perry Kitchen, Emrah Klimenta, Chris Pontius, Jorgen Skjelvik, Brian Sylvestre (A decision on trailist Cordell Cato has not been made)

What to watch:

The right side of the Galaxy defense. At one time center back Michael Ciani seemed destined to be cast aside as an afterthought this season, if not outright released. Now, it appears he’s got the starting job. (For now) This positions the 33-year old veteran next to right back Rolf Feltscher, an effective defender who nonetheless has struggled with pacy attackers during the preseason.

You can guess where I’m going with this. If the two don’t communicate properly on Sunday, Sebastian Blanco can pick them apart. Also dangerous: Newly acquired Peruvian winger Andy Polo, arriving from Morelia on loan.

The other Gio. Sunday also marks Timbers manager Giovanni Savarese’s highly-anticipated coaching debut in Major League Soccer.

Fortunately for the Galaxy, LA will be facing a weakened Timbers side, with Diego Chara and Fanendo Adi reported to be less than full strength.

Predicted starting 11:

Lineup 11

Joáo Pedro has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, while Jona dos Santos only returned to practice today but is expected to start.

How to Watch:

Date/Time: March 4th, 7 p.m. PST
Venue: StubHub Center
TV: FS1
Stream (outside of LA): MLS Live

Officials:

Referee: Jair Marrufo
ARs: Eduardo Mariscal, Jeffrey Greeson
4th official: Alejandro Mariscal
VAR: Kevin Scott