CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy are throwing out the records when they take on the Portland Timbers on the Fourth of July.
Both the Galaxy (5-3-5) and Portland (4-5-8) have endured frustrating seasons that featured up-and-down form that has the two sides are currently outside the five Western Conference playoff places. For all the Timbers struggles, they still boast one of the league's most talented attacks that includes Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe and Fanedo Adi.
Against the Timbers, the Galaxy will look to extend their league unbeaten run to five games and build upon last Saturday's 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.
"[Portland Timbers] are a little bit of a tricky team to scout. If you watch them last week against Kansas City, they lost the game, but you see so many flashes of greatness which is what you saw last year," said Landon Donovan. "It's dangerous because they're a team that if they turn it on then they're a very good team and they can beat you. We don't know what we're going to get, but we expect a really good game."
Soccer has caught the attention of America over the past month and now MLS kicks back into full swing with a slate of games this weekend.
MLSsoccer.com gets you excited for the action with this hype video.
CARSON, Calif. – Injuries and international departures have wreaked havoc on the LA Galaxy’s depth this season, but the team received a bit of good news this week about the status of center back Leonardo.
Following the Galaxy’s 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers, Time Warner Cable Deportes’ Elmur Souza reported that Leonardo suffered a broken finger on his right hand in the match that would require surgery. Following training on Tuesday, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena revealed that despite the injury, Leonardo is not expected to miss any time.
“He picked up an injury with his finger, but I think that he’s going to be fine,” said Arena. “We expect him to play [against Houston].”
However, Leonardo was slightly more cautious as he admitted that he was still taking his recovery “day by day” with the hopes of starting against the Dynamo.
“I feel okay, but a little bit sore. After 48 hours, I can feel more pain after the surgery, but it’s nothing crazy,” Leonardo told LA Galaxy Insider. “We’ll see how I feel. I trained [on Wednesday], but the problem is that when I’m defending I use a lot of my hands. I just have to be careful and we’ll give it time.”
Thoughts on Leonardo likely keeping his starting role on Saturday against Houston?
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In the latest edition of Instant Replay, MLSsoccer.com's Simon Borg reviews the controversial plays of the last week including the apparent stoppage time foul on LA Galaxy Juninho that had the Galaxy incensed after the 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers.
Borg begins commenting about the Galaxy match at 5:11 in the video.
Thoughts on his call?
Juninho and Robbie Keane left frustrated after questionable call late in LA Galaxy draw with Portland Timbers
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The LA Galaxy could not hide their disgust at referee Armando Villarreal after their 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers.
Villarreal's decision to not award a foul after Juninho was brought down by Portland's Darlington Nagbe after an uncontested run through the field gave life to the Timbers who scored on a Diego Valeri finish two minutes later. Following the match, the Brazilian midfielder confirmed that he was taken down by Nagbe.
"I felt like that he pushed me in the back," said Juninho. "[The referee] made a real mistake."
Galaxy captain Robbie Keane agreed that it was clear that Juninho was brought down, but he told reporters after the game that the Galaxy must perform better in the closing moments of matches if they are to improve upon a frustrating result.
“We can stand there and make excuses, but we cannot concede the goal at the end there’s no questions about that. In the last few seconds, we have to be stronger," said Keane. "The linesman has to see that [Juninho foul] because he’s right there while the head referee is chasing the game like the rest of us. There were some poor decisions, but we have to accept and take responsibility ourselves because in the last minutes, we can’t allow goals like that.”
Watch the foul below and comment on whether or not you believe the call was correct
PORTLAND, Ore. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media after LA's 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers.
His comments are below.
(On the officiating…)
ARENA: “Our team played very well, but the referee has to give us that call on Juninho. It’s at least a foul or a yellow card or red card. We have to manage the game better at the end, we had five minutes of extra time, but listen, we fell asleep at the end of the game. A bunch of guys can do better on the last play, but we played very well and should have walked away with three points….[Villarreal] blew it.”
(On whether the team feels cheated…)
ARENA: “Our team played very well. We had a thoroughly dominating performance. They didn’t create a lot except for their set piece where [Futty Danso] hit the far post. We were very good defensively and kept the ball very well, but it is a shame that we didn’t get the three points. We can fault the referee as much as we want, but we were still in control at the end of the game where we could have denied them a goal scoring opportunity.”
(On whether this is the team’s best performance of the season…)
ARENA: “Yes, I’d say so. It will help us to play some games consecutively and get a bit of a rhythm.”
(On the play of Landon Donovan…)
ARENA: “Landon was the best player on the field today, he played very well. It was good to see.”