— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) April 10, 2016
The Galaxy enter the contest (2-1-1, 7 points) in fifth place in the Western Conference. The Timbers (1-1-2, 4 points) come in sitting in ninth in the Western Conference standings.
The Timbers are suffering from a championship hangover at the moment as they struggle to gain traction so far this season. After winning their opening game, the Timbers have two losses and a draw including an embarrassing 4-1 defeat last week against Orlando City, at Citrus Bowl Stadium.
The Timbers are yet to keep a clean sheet so far this season posting 9 goals against. However, the Galaxy should be aware that the Timbers have also scored 6 goals for which shows that they have plenty of firepower despite their recent struggles. Timbers coach Caleb Porter is expected to make a few changes to his team who have given up a league high in goals against so far this campaign.
The Galaxy are coming into the game with a bit of a mixed bag of results. After looking dominating on opening day of the season with a 4-1 victory over DC United, they lost the very next game to the Colorado Rapids 1-0. The Galaxy bounced back to defeat in state rivals San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 in the “California Clasico”. However, they tied the Vancouver Whitecaps last week 0-0 at BC Place.
Injuries are to blame for the inconsistencies. Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos have been battling nagging injuries, where the latter is a game time decision to play against the Timbers, the former is unclear on his status going forward. The Galaxy will be looking to replace forward Robbie Keane who underwent knee surgery and will be out 4-6 weeks.
Look for the attacking trio of Gyasi Zardes, Mike Magee, and Sebastian Lletget to pick up the slack as a committee by numbers for the Galaxy. Look for midfielders Nigel De Jong and Baggio Husidic to break up the dynamic combination of Diego Chara and Darlington Nagbe for the Timbers.
The battle in the midfield may be one of the keys to the game, but with both teams boasting plenty of firepower, expect this to be a shootout.
Capacity crowd expected, in (finally!) SoCal sunshine, for a matchup that produces 3.5 goals per game. Sign me up! #LAvPOR
— John Strong (@StrongMLS) April 10, 2016
Prediction: LA Galaxy 3 – Portland Timbers 2.
Sunday, April 10, 6:30 p.m. PT.
StubHub Center, Carson, California.