Portland travel to Carson for penultimate road match of the 2023 regular season to take on LA Galaxy this Saturday at 7:30pm PT..
In the penultimate road match of the regular season, the Portland Timbers make the trip to Southern California for their final battle with the LA Galaxy. The two Western Conference rivals will clash at Dignity Health Sports Park this Saturday kicking off at 7:30pm PT in a match that could further catapult the Timbers up the league standings, and potentially into an Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs hosting-seed if they can add to their four-match winning streak in Carson.
Portland is in seventh place (11-11-9, 42pts), and among the hottest teams in the league at the moment. The Timbers are undefeated in their last five matches (4-0-1), have earned four straight wins recording two-plus goals in each, and gained of 16 total points since their loss at Houston five weeks ago. They make their return to Carson after 469 days, and face an LA Galaxy (8-11-10, 34pts) that has been in mixed form as of late, registering a 1-1-3 record in their last five matches to sit in 13th place.
Interim head coach Miles Jospeh and staff have the Timbers in seventh place in the West with three matches to go in 2023. Their impressive run of form that began with the 2-2 comeback draw at Seattle on Sept. 2 has turned the Green and Gold from back-to-back playoff-less season candidates to a legitimate threat for a host seed in the West.
It would require the right mix of results across the Western Conference, but the Timbers have the potential of sneaking into the top 4 in the West with a result this weekend against LA. Here is how the standings and games in-hand situation look for the Timbers heading into the weekend:
Pts. Diff. to PTFC
Wild Card Round
Playoffs & Host Seed
Here are the matches to watch this weekend that could further shake-up the Timbers' standing in the West:
Saturday, September 30
Houston vs Dallas
Minnesota vs San Jose
Vancouver vs D.C.
Sunday, October 1
LAFC vs Salt Lake
Numbers to Know:
In 32 all-time regular season meetings, both clubs have scored 56 goals against one another, averaging about 1.75 goals per game. Ironically, the only other meeting this season resulted in a scoreless draw at Providence Park on March 25. Historically, Portland has been most effective the third quarter of matches against the Galaxy, netting the ball 25 times between the 46th and 75th minute.
FOUR with 4+
The hot-streak that Portland is currently on has revived a club that just over a month ago was on the outside of the playoffs looking in. Following the win against Colorado, Portland has now had 7 straight matches of scoring multiple goals, recording 15 goals across that period dating back to August 26 – good for second most in the league and trails only Atlanta United (17). In that seven-match span, four different Timbers have registered four or more goal contributions a piece – Felipe Mora (4G, 1A), Evander (4G, 1A), Santiago Moreno (2G, 3A) and Dairon Asprilla (1G, 3A).
80 is #17
Timbers #80 Antony became the 17th different goalscorer for Portland this season. His strike in the 19th minute against the Rapids – his first goal in MLS – brings the Timbers into a three-way tie with Atlanta and Miami for most goalscorers this season.
Sharing is Caring
Dairon Asprilla bagged himself his third and fourth assists of the season against the Rapids, registering his first-ever multi-assist match for Portland. His four assists so far also matches a career-best in a campaign (2017). Rookie midfielder Noel Caliskan's 30th minute assist on Saturday means 20 different players have tallied an assist for Portland, more than any other team in the league.