PORTLAND, Ore. – The LA Galaxy expect a high-tempo match from the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field, but how they deal with the fast paced game will decide the result on Saturday.
With the Timbers fueled by an emotional crowd at JELD-WEN Field and likely to come flying out of the gate, right back Sean Franklin believes that LA’s ability to manage the game will be vital.
“They’re a team that attacks a lot. They’ve got great players up top with [Ryan] Johnson, [Darlington] Nagbe out wide, and [Diego] Valeri underneath. It’s going to be a tough game,” said Franklin. “When you play on the road, you have to know what kind of game that you’re in. This year, we haven’t done our best of job managing games.
“It’s all about going out and making sure that we’re the ones to run the tempo. We need to hold the lead or keeping the tie if we need to get out of here with a point,” said Franklin. “Managing the game tomorrow is going to be huge, at times, it won’t be our best soccer, but we need to be focused for 90 minutes.
As for the key to the game for LA? Franklin believes that the best defense for LA will be a good offense.
“The key is just to press them early. Don’t let them get comfortable in their stadium,” said Franklin. “They have one of the best 12th men in the league with their crowd and we want to make sure that we take them out of the game early.”