Each Major League Soccer matchday in 2021, the KeyBank Scouting Report will give you a snapshot of the Portland Timbers’ next opponent. On with a short turnaround from their win over the weekend, the Portland Timbers travel Wednesday to play Los Angeles FC at Banc of California Stadium (7:30pm PT, FOX 12 PLUS).
When these two teams last met on Sept. 19, LAFC came to Portland having won their last three matches with loads of momentum and 12 goals scored over the stretch. However, Portland busted that streak and won that match 2-1 at Providence Park with Dairon Asprilla and George Fochive scoring goals. Los Angeles then went on to lose 2-0 on the road against the San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 25.
LAFC now sit in eighth place in the Western Conference on 33 points, outside of the playoff line, with a record of 9-11-6.
A bright spot for the LAFC offense remains Colombian striker Cristian Arango who has tallied goals in six of his last seven games which is also a team high for the season. While Carlos Vela is tied for second on the squad in goals with five – to go along with five assists – the Mexican playmaker has been hampered by injuries all season and has not made an appearance since Aug. 21. Designated Player forward Brian Rodríguez has scored only two goals this year but was held out of their 2-0 loss to the Quakes due to injury.
Midfielder José Cifuentes has been having a breakout campaign for LAFC in 2021, appearing in 25 games while contributing five goals and four assists.
With Wednesday's game being only 10 days after Portland last faced LAFC, their defense has remained much the same. In that game against the Timbers and again against San Jose, LAFC featured a backline of captain Jesús David Murillo (team-leading 24 starts), rookie Mamadou Fall – also known as Mbacke (two goals) – and Sebastien Ibeagha. Another defender/midfielder to keep an eye on is South Korean international Moon-Hwan Kim who utilized his speed on the outside wing.
Adding to LAFC's injury woes, key midfielder Eduard Atuesta has missed the last three games with an ankle injury.
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