Pregame Notes: Timbers host Galaxy at JELD-WEN

LA look to earn series sweep vs Portland

PORTLAND TIMBERS vs LA GALAXY
JELD-WEN FIELD, Portland, Ore.
July 14, 2012 (WEEK 19, MLS Game #179)
8 p.m. PT (NBC SN; AM1150, 1330 AM, LIVE CHAT)

 
The Gavin Wilkinson era for the Portland Timbers in MLS begins Saturday evening on the NBC Sports Network as they play host to MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy. The Timbers come off a 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake last weekend, the last game in charge for John Spencer. The Galaxy snapped a two-game losing slide last weekend in a 2-0 win at the Chicago Fire. It’s the third meeting this year between the clubs, the Galaxy having won both previously at home.
 
REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. SAR (bench): Frank Anderson; JAR (opposite): Kermit Quisenberry; 4th: Tyler Ploeger
MLS Career: 138 games; FC/gm: 25.0; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 48; pens: 50
 
 
INJURY REPORT:
PORTLAND TIMBERS – OUT: DF Chris Taylor (R hip surgery); DOUBTFUL: DF Eric Brunner (concussion); MF Franck Songo’o (R knee MCL sprain); DF Rodney Wallace (R ankle sprain)
LA GALAXY – OUT: DF Andrew Boyens (L sports hernia surgery); FW Edson Buddle (R knee surgery); MF Dan Keat (R knee surgery); DF Leonardo (R knee inflammation); QUESTIONABLE: DF Omar Gonzalez (L knee surgery); MF Mike Magee (R shin hematoma); MF Kyle Nakazawa (back spasms); FW Pat Noonan (R quad strain)
 
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED:
POR: Diego Chara (through July 15)
LA: Juninho (caution accumulation; through July 15)
 
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD:
POR: Lovel Palmer
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
POR: Kris Boyd, Diego Chara, Jack Jewsbury, Steven Smith
LA: Landon Donovan, David Junior Lopes
 
HEAD-TO-HEAD
  • ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Timbers 1 win, 4 goals … Galaxy 3 wins, 7 goals … Ties 0
  • AT PORTLAND (1 meeting): Timbers 1 win, 3 goals … Galaxy 0 wins, 0 goals … Ties 0
  • 2012 (MLS)
  • 4/14: LA 3, POR 1 (Donovan 44; Juninho 83; Beckham 91+ -- Boyd 23)
  • 6/17: LA 1, POR 0 (Dunivant 61)
  • The teams have met twice already this season, with the Galaxy winning both. LA won 3-1 on April 14 at The Home Depot Center, as goals from Landon Donovan, Juninho and David Beckham responded to an early Kris Boyd strike, then won 1-0 on June 17 in Portland on a goal from Todd Dunivant.
  • The teams split their two games in Portland’s inaugural season, the Galaxy winning 3-0 on April 23, and the Timbers returning the favor with a 3-0 win Aug. 3 at Jeld-Wen Field.
  • Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. POR: P4 W3 L1 D0 … Gavin Wilkinson vs. LA: first game
LAST MATCH (MLS):
  • The game's only goal came in the 61st minute. David Beckham swung a corner kick to the far post and Todd Dunivant ran onto the floating ball and headed it down, off the right post and into the net.
  • Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders made four saves for the club's first shutout of the season, in his first league match since April 21.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Josh Saunders - Sean Franklin, David Junior Lopes, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Bryan Jordan (Kyle Nakazawa 80), Juninho, David Beckham, Marcelo Sarvas - Landon Donovan, Chad Barrett (Jack McBean 82).
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-3-1-2): Troy Perkins - Jack Jewsbury, Hanyer Mosquera, David Horst, Mike Chabala - Kalif Alhassan (Eric Alexander 79), Diego Chara, Franck Songo'o (Sal Zizzo 65) - Darlington Nagbe - Kris Boyd (Mike Fucito 73), Danny Mwanga

LA GALAXY

The LA Galaxy put an end to their two-game losing slide, defeating the Chicago Fire 2-0 on Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park. The Galaxy are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 23 points from 19 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy took the lead in the 22nd minute. A cross struck defender Jalil Anibaba in the arm on the edge of the box, and referee Jair Marrufo pointed to the penalty spot. Robbie Keane calmly slotted home the spot kick to the right, sending goalkeeper Sean Johnson diving the opposite direction.
  • In the 78th minute, LA made it 2-0. Landon Donovan broke forward on the counter and served a breakaway pass to Keane, and the Irish international beat Johnson at the near post to put the game out of reach.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made three changes to the team that went down to a 2-1 defeat to Philadelphia Union at The Home Depot Center. Sean Franklin came into the back four for Omar Gonzalez, Michael Stephens started in midfield for Mike Magee, and Chad Barrett entered up top for Landon Donovan.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Josh Saunders - Sean Franklin, David Junior Lopes, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez (Bryan Jordan 60), Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho (Bryan Gaul 73), Michael Stephens - Robbie Keane, Chad Barrett (Landon Donovan 65).
TEAM NEWS
  • After going their first 13 league games without a defensive clean sheet, the Galaxy have three in their last six games, coinciding with their run of four wins in that time.
  • “We were great defensively,” Landon Donovan said. “Chicago has been playing really well. They’re very dangerous, [have] a lot of very dangerous players and they didn’t have many good opportunities. I thought our defending as a whole was great, our individual defending was great and our mentality was good. It was a very good shutout.”
  • Robbie Keane netted his second two-goal game of the season – coming on his 32nd birthday – after hitting twice in the 3-1 win vs. D.C. United on March 18. His six goals are tied for the Galaxy lead.
  • “Of course we want to score as many goals as we can, but the important thing is the team and getting points on the board and that was the case,” Keane said. “It was important that the team won, it’s not about one individual. It’s about the whole team. I’m happy enough for the team.”
  • Donovan came off the substitutes’ bench and set up the second Keane goal. It was the 99th assist of his MLS career, the most among active players and sixth-most in league history.
  • “We’re a little fatigued, he had a little bit of a nick and we just wanted to be smart about that. We have confidence in our other players and I think they did a good job,” said Arena. “We made the decision yesterday; he needed a little bit of a break. He had a great influence on the game. He played quite well for his 30 minutes.”
  • After making his first start of the season at midweek against Philadelphia and playing 45 minutes, Omar Gonzalez was an unused substitute against Chicago.
  • “Given the conditions, the travel and the heat, we decided to hold him back this game to give him a little bit more time,” Arena said. “We just want to be safe with him. He’s getting there. He obviously played the other day but we want to slowly build his minutes and bring him back at the right time.”
  • The game started a three-game road swing for the Galaxy and a run of seven of eight games away from The Home Depot Center. READ: Galaxy eye road success as key to turning season around

  • “We had three good games in a row and then we had a couple of games where we played well but ended up losing,” said Donovan. “That was really frustrating and disappointing but our mentality was great coming here. A lot of teams might have caved and said ‘You know what, we’re going to try and get a point here’ but we had a good mentality.”
Match Preview
View from the Booth

PORTLAND TIMBERS

The Portland Timbers saw their winless and goalless streak on the road extended, suffering a 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Timbers are in eighth place in the Western Conference with 19 points from 17 games.
 
LAST MATCH
  • Real Salt Lake finally broke through in the 60th minute. After collecting the ball outside the area, Kyle Beckerman floated a ball towards the penalty spot that Alvaro Saborío rose up to meet and flick into the corner of the Portland goal.
  • Just two minutes later, Real and Saborío each had a second. Chris Wingert drove in a cross from the left flank and Saborio stretched forward to nod it past goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
  • Things got testy in the 64th minute after a Diego Chara tackle on Javier Morales, and Chara was sent off nine minutes later after parrying Saborío’s header off the line with his left hand, and the score was 3-0 after Saborio converted the resulting penalty kick.
  • Timbers head coach John Spencer made two changes to the side that held on for a 2-1 win against the San Jose Earthquakes at Jeld-Wen Field. Kosuke Kimura and Diego Chara came into the team, in place of Franck Songo'o and Kris Boyd.
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-1-4-1): Troy Perkins - Kosuke Kimura, David Horst, Mamadou Danso, Steven Smith - Diego Chara (sent off 74) - Eric Alexander (Hanyer Mosquera 75), Lovel Palmer (Mike Fucito 68), Jack Jewsbury, Darlington Nagbe - Danny Mwanga (Kris Boyd 68)
TEAM NEWS
  • The Timbers fell to 0-6-2 on the road this season, their last away win coming last Oct. 2 at Vancouver. They are one of two teams still without a road win this season (along with Toronto FC).
  • “It’s great when we’re at home, sure,” Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins said. “At some point, you have to draw the line and say enough is enough. Everyone’s got to say it, do it, believe it and whether or not we win at home doesn’t matter. At this point, we’ve got to win on the road.”
  • The Timbers have not scored on the road since the 3-1 loss at LA in their first meeting this season, April 14. They have gone 517 minutes without a road goal; the all-time MLS record is 683 minutes, set by the New York Red Bulls from March 19-June 13, 2009.
  • While the Timbers have suffered their road woes, they do bring a six-game undefeated streak at Jeld-Wen Field (4-0-2) into the LA visit.
  • “We can’t let it get to us. It’s going to happen; you’re going to have these during the season. We had a couple last year, every team has it,” said defender David Horst. “What makes a good team is being able to get yourself back up, pull yourself off the ground, and go on to the next game. That’s what makes a good team.”
  • Fullback Kosuke Kimura, acquired in a trade with the Colorado Rapids, started and played the full match.
  • “It was tough for me the last couple days because I was with the Rapids and next thing, I’m with the Timbers. I trained with them one day and then started the game today,” Kimura said. “I definitely need to know my teammates’ tendencies better and I have to understand how they want to play. I don’t have the chemistry yet with the team, so I definitely need it.”
  • The loss at Salt Lake proved to be the final in charge for John Spencer, the first head coach in the club’s MLS history.
  • “It's obviously disappointing with the coach leaving his post," striker Kris Boyd said. "I said it was one of the big reasons I came here in the first place, but now we need to get on with it in a professional manner and look forward to the game against LA on Saturday. I'm a professional athlete; I turn out and do my job. I'll do that until I'm told otherwise. As I've said, I've enjoyed my time here, it's been great. As I've said, yes, it's disappointing that the coach has lost his job. But we need to move on in a professional manner."
  • General manager Gavin Wilkinson, who was the club’s head coach for four seasons at the second-division level, returned to manage the club on an interim basis.
  • “We've also got to look at decisions that affect the mentality of the team," Wilkinson said. "There's been a lot of change. How much more change can they cope with? There may be some changes this week; there may be more changes in the next couple of weeks. I'm not looking to come in and do everything overnight. That could be very, very disruptive. At the moment, we've got a game just around the corner and it's important to get the guys focused on that.”