CARSON, Calif. – The Portland Timbers have played just five Major League Soccer matches, but already, LA Galaxy players have been impressed by what they have seen.
After two pulsating matches played before electric atmospheres at JELD-WEN Field, the Timbers will make their first visit to The Home Depot Center on Saturday (11 pm ET/8pm PT, Fox Soccer).
WATCH: Galaxy players and Bruce Arena preview Saturday's match
“They’re new to this league, but they’ve done well to win their last couple of games,” Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said. “We’re ready for them. We’re at home. We need to make this stadium hard to come to and our team hard to beat. We’ve had a good week’s training and we’re ready for their team.”
The Timbers enter the match hoping to add to their modest two-game winning streak. Portland opened the season scoring just two goals and taking one point out of their first three matches, but the club piled up seven goals and nabbed all six points from their first two matches at home.
Galaxy captain Landon Donovan said he liked what he saw from the Rose City club.
“Being hurt, I had the opportunity to watch three of their games in the last couple of weeks,” he said. “I was incredibly impressed. I think we all had some hope that that would be the environment that was created, but we were probably all a little surprised that it was that enthusiastic, that boisterous, and that real of an atmosphere. I can’t wait to go there and play. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Portland seemingly made an impression on the entire league. Whether it was the Timbers Army’s rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" or Timber Joey slicing a piece of wood off a tree after each goal, the Timbers are the talk of MLS.
While some may have been surprised by the Timbers’ fervor and zeal, one Galaxy player was not at all taken aback.
“Being up there in the Northwest, there are a lot of soccer fans up there and you see that with the fans they get up in Seattle and the fans they get in Portland,” Galaxy defender Bryan Jordan said. “It’s really something that is great and you can build on in the league.”
Jordan is no stranger to the Rose City. He played collegiately at Oregon State then had a stint with the Timbers, who were then in the USL-1. So while the Timbers are new to MLS, they’re not new to the North American soccer scene, and could very well be influential within the league.
“Other people see that and they think it’s exciting and I think it pushes other teams, other fan bases to be just as strong, and I think that’s really cool for the league,” Jordan said.
For the near future, though, the Galaxy will set aside their admiration of the Timbers and Portland and will try and take away all three points, something Donovan said he has faith his side will do.
“Over the last few games we’ve actually gotten a lot better at creating chances, moving the ball the right way,” he said. “We know most games we’re going to get good chances to score.”