Spencer, Timbers face "another difficult game"
PORTLAND, Ore. – After a pair of confidence-boosting home victories, the Portland Timbers test their momentum on Saturday on the road against an LA team that may be getting their Galaxy of stars back. (11 pm ET; Fox Soccer).
Landon Donovan has been out for a couple of weeks with some knee pain and swelling, while David Beckham (yellow-card accumulation) and Juninho (red-card suspension) are expected to return after missing LA's 2-1 defeat of the Chicago Fire on Sunday.
“It’s going to be another difficult game,” Timbers coach John Spencer said. “We know that. We just need to make sure that we’re ready to compete when we get down there."
An emphasis this week has been trying to minimize the mistakes that led to late goals against Chicago and FC Dallas when the Timbers appeared to have those games tucked away.
Spencer said the players know they need to raise the level of concentration to minimize mistakes, particularly late in the game when they are fatigued. Portland have yet to record their first clean sheet and have allowed 10 goals in five games this season.
That stands in stark contrast to the two goals allowed by LA over their past four games. The Timbers and Galaxy met in a closed exhibition match on Feb. 8 and played to a 1-1 draw.
Tickets for sale
The Timbers announced this week that tickets for the US Open Cup play-in match against the San Jose Earthquakes on May 3 at JELD-WEN Field are on sale. Portland and San Jose will meet in the second round of play-in matches. The teams are vying for one of two remaining spots in MLS’ eight-team field in the 201 Open Cup tournament.
Additionally, tickets are on sale for Portland’s exhibition against Dutch club AFC Ajax, slated for May 25 at JELD-WEN Field. Season-ticket and package holders have the Ajax friendly included in full-season packages as Exhibition A, as well as half-season plan B and five-game pack F.
The 2010-11 UEFA Champions League participants feature Dutch national team goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and defender Gregory van der Wiel, who both played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Ajax's squad also includes Danish international Christian Eriksen and Belgium national-team members Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.
Stars of the week
Rookie goalkeeper Jake Gleeson, who began the season No. 3 on the Timbers’ depth chart, won his second MLS Save of the Week honor this week. He was joined by teammate Jorge Perlaza, who won the vote for Goal of the Week.