KBSR, Timbers vs. LA, 9.2.20
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

KeyBank Scouting Report | Timbers welcome Galaxy to Portland


Date: Sept. 2, 2020
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Forecast: Clear, 80 degrees

Referee: Joe Dickerson
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Hanson, Adam Garner
Fourth Official: Kevin Stott
VAR: Alejandro Mariscal

Local TV: FOX 12 PLUS
Talent: Jake Zivin (play-by-play), Ross Smith (analyst), Nat Borchers (analyst)
English Radio: 1029 and 750 the Game
Talent: Keith Bleyer (play-by-play), Joe Sleven (analyst), Fletcher Johnson (host)
Spanish Radio: La GranD (KGGD 93.5 FM, 1150 AM)


Entering Wednesday’s regular-season match against Portland, the LA Galaxy (2-3- 2, 8pts) are coming off a 3-2 win over the San Jose Earthquakes at Dignity Health Sports Park on Aug. 29, which extended a two match winning streak. Cristian Pavón ranks first on the team with four goals and three assists in seven regular-season appearances in 2020. Sebastian Lletget, who scored the game-winning goal over San Jose on Aug. 29, ranks second on the team with two goals. Additionally, Goal- keeper David Bingham has tallied 22 saves and one shutout in seven league starts.


Wednesday’s match marks the 24th regular-season meeting, and the 27th meeting across all competitions between the Timbers and the LA Galaxy since Portland joined MLS in 2011. The series is tied 10-10-6 across all competitions between the Timbers and the Galaxy. Dating back to March 12, 2017, Portland has a record of 6-2-1 against the Galaxy across all competitions, outscoring LA 18-7 during that span. Notably, Sebastián Blanco has tallied four goals and three assists in nine appearances across all competitions against the Galaxy. In three regular-season matches played against LA, Jeremy Ebobisse has tallied three goals, while Diego Valeri has registered six goals and eight assists in 17 regular-season matches against the Galaxy.


The Portland Timbers have one of the most diverse rosters in Major League Soccer, having 14 different countries represented. Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Slovenia, United States and Venezuela. Notably, 15 different players on the Timbers’ roster have made appearances for their respective national team.


In his first career start at Providence Park, Jaroslaw Niezgoda tallied his second goal of the 2020 regular season in a 4-4 draw against Real Salt Lake on Aug. 29. Niezgoda made seven appearances (one start), logging two goals and an assist in 210 minutes of action in the during the MLS is Back Tournament. Notably, Niezgoda has registered a rate of 1.22 goals and assists per 90 minutes played across all competitions in 2020.


With his assist in the 4-4 draw against Real Salt Lake on Aug. 23, Diego Valeri now sits at 79 goals and 83 assists in 218 appearances (208 starts) in league play since joining the Timbers in 2013. Valeri needs one more goal to reach 80-plus goals and 80-plus assists for his career in regular-season play. Landon Donovan (145 goals, 136 assists) and Jaime Moreno (133 goals, 102 assists) are the only players in MLS history to reach 80-plus goals and 80-plus assists in their career during the regular season. Since making his debut for Portland in 2013, Valeri leads all MLS players in assists (83) and chances created from open play (368), ranks fifth in goals scored (79) and tied for seventh in games played (218) during regular-season play. Notably, in 17 career starts against the LA Galaxy, Diego Valeri has tallied six goals and seven assists.


By winning the MLS is Back Tournament, the Timbers claimed their second major championship (MLS Cup - 2015) in the last six seasons. After the win, Major League Soccer announced that Sebastián Blanco, Diego Chara, Jeremy Ebobisse and Larrys Mabiala were named to the MLS is Back Tournament Best XI, with the tournament champions having the most players of any club represented in the Best XI. Blanco was named the MLS is Back Player of the Tournament after tallying three goals and five assists in seven appearances in the competition. Additionally, Andy Polo won the MLS is Back Goal of the Tournament, while Steve Clark won the MLS is Back Save of the Tournament based off fan voting. Notably, the Timbers finished the tournament with an undefeated record (5-0-2).