Matchday Preview, Timbers @ LA, 10.18.15
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

KeyBank Scouting Report Matchday Preview | LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers | Oct. 18, 2015

MATCH INFORMATION

Date: Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015
Kickoff: 4 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: StubHub Center (Carson, Calif.)
Forecast: Partly Cloudy, 79 degrees
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowski, Corey Parker Fourth Official: Alex Chilowicz
National TV: FOX Sports 1/FOX Deportes
Talent: John Strong (play-by-play), Alexi Lalas (analyst)
English Radio: 750 The Game (KXTG 750AM, 102.9FM)
Talent: Jake Zivin (play-by-play), Ross Smith (analyst)
Spanish Radio: La GranD (KGGD 93.5FM, 1150 AM)
Talent: Josue del Castillo (play-by-play), Ozkar Ramos (analyst)

MATCH PREVIEW

Following an important, 1-0 road win against Real Salt Lake on Oct. 14 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, the Timbers return to action on a quick turnaround against the LA Galaxy on Sunday at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Portland enters the match riding a two-game, road-winning streak and is in the thick of the MLS Cup Playoffs race in the tight Western Conference standings. With 47 points through 32 games, Portland currently occupies the sixth spot to the post- season, but trails third-place Vancouver by just three points. The Galaxy enter Sunday’s nationally televised match following a two-week layoff. Head coach Bruce Arena’s side has been idle since a 1-1 draw against Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Oct. 4. The Galaxy have already clinched a playoff berth.

LAST MATCH RECAP

Recording a 15-7 advantage in shots, including a 5-2 edge on goal, the Timbers registered their league-leading 13th shutout of the season in a 1-0 road win against Western Conference foe Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night in front of 19,457 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Forward Fanendo Adi converted a penalty kick in the 54th minute for the deciding goal as Portland moved into a tie on points (47) with Seattle for fifth place in the Western Conference.

LAST TIME VS. LA GALAXY

The Timbers could not overcome a three-goal halftime deficit in a midweek road match as the club’s then four-game winning streak ended in a 5-0 loss against the LA Galaxy on June 24 in front of 21,207 fans at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The loss marked Portland’s first in league play since May 23 and ended the team’s MLS-club record streak at four consecutive wins.

ALL-TIME SERIES NOTES

The Timbers have lost just twice against the Galaxy in their last eight regular-season meetings, compiling a 2-2-4 record since June 19, 2013. At the StubHub Center, however, the Timbers are still in search of their first win (0-5-2).

Sunday’s match marks the third meeting of the season between the two clubs, as Portland played host to the Galaxy on March 15 at Providence Park, earning a 2-2 draw as both teams scored late in the match. On June 24, Portland sustained a 5-0 loss against the Galaxy at the StubHub Center. In Carson, Calif., the Timbers have earned at least one point in two of the last four regular-season matches since 2013 (0-2-2), including a 2-2 draw on July 4, 2014.

SCOUTING THE GALAXY

The Galaxy enter Sunday’s match after being idle for 14 days following a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Oct. 4 at CenturyLink Field. Head coach Bruce Arena’s squad is in second place in the tight Western Conference standings with 51 points and has registered a 12-1-3 record at home in the 2015 regular season. The Galaxy are unbeaten in their last three matches (1-0-2) with their last loss coming against Real Salt Lake on Sept. 19. Forward Robbie Keane ranks third in MLS with 17 goals and a team-leading eight assists in 22 games played, while goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts has earned a 5-2-2 overall record in nine appearances this season.

LATE-SEASON FORM

Since the 2013 season, the Timbers have posted a record of 11-3-7 overall during the months of September and October, including a mark of 5-1-3 on the road. The Timbers only road loss during the months of September and October since 2013 was a 3-2 setback against Toronto FC on Sept. 27, 2014.

SOLID DEFENDING

The Timbers defense ranks first in MLS with 13 clean sheets in 32 games this season. Over the last three seasons, Portland has registered the most shutouts (35) among all MLS teams.

PORTER AT 100

Timbers head coach Caleb Porter registered his 100th career MLS game on Oct. 14 in a 1-0 win against Real Salt Lake. Porter, the 2013 MLS Coach of the Year, has registered a career coaching record of 39-25-36 (.570), while his 25 losses ranks tied with San Jose’s Dominic Kinnear for the fewest among MLS coaches in their first 100 games.

STRONG ON THE ROAD

Wednesday’s 1-0 victory against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah marked Portland’s 13th win on the road since the beginning of the 2014 season, which is a league best over the last two seasons. Portland’s 13 road wins since 2014 is one more than both Sporting Kansas City and Seattle Sounders FC (12). The Timbers have compiled a 13-14-6 (.484) road record since the start of the 2014 regular season.

AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS

The Timbers entered the week among MLS league leaders in total shots (444, 2nd place), blocked shots (125, 1st) and chances created (342, 3rd). Portland ranks tied for first overall in the league with 12 shutouts, while forward Fanendo Adi ranks ninth overall with 12 goals this season.

PLAYOFF PICTURE

With two games remaining on Portland’s regular-season schedule, the Timbers are tied on points (47) with Seattle Sounders FC for fifth place in the tight Western Conference standings. Just three points separate Portland and third-place Vancouver Whitecaps FC (50). The San Jose Earthquakes remain in contention for a playoff spot with 44 points through 32 games entering a match on Friday against Sporting Kansas City.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

With his next assist, midfielder Jack Jewsbury will move into a tie for 10th place overall on the Timbers all-time career assists chart with Timbers Ring of Honor member Jimmy Conway (1978-80). Jewsbury currently sits in 11th place with 15 assists for Portland since 2011.

Midfielder Darlington Nagbe is at 158 career league games for Portland, which is the second-most games played across all eras for a Timbers player. If he plays in the final two matches of the season, he will tie NASL-era midfielder Willie Anderson (160) for most games ever played for the Timbers.

Nagbe is one point shy of moving into ninth place overall on the Timbers all-time scoring list. Entering Sunday’s match, Nagbe has registered 20 goals and 19 assist in his career, good for 59 career points.

With his next assist, Nagbe will become just the seventh Timbers player across all eras to register 20 career assists for the club.

Midfielder Diego Chara’s next appearance will mark his 145th career match for the Timbers. Chara, who is the Timbers MLS-club leader in minutes played (12,695), ranks second behind only Darlington Nagbe in career MLS appearances for Portland since 2011.

Forward Fanendo Adi is one goal shy of tying midfielder Diego Valeri for the Timbers MLS-career record in goals (23). Adi registered his 22nd career goal for the Timbers on Oct. 14 against Real Salt Lake and has already set a Timbers MLS-club single-season record with 13 goals during the 2015 campaign.

Midfielder Diego Valeri’s next start will be his 80th career MLS start for the Timbers since 2013. Valeri enters Sunday’s match with 85 career appearances (79 starts) and is the Timbers MLS-club career leader in goals (23) and assists (34).

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