CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy, coming off arguably their best performance in years in a 3-0 destruction of Western Conference-leading Seattle Sounders FC last Monday at CenturyLink Field, in some ways face an even more daunting task Saturday.
Namely, a follow-up as the Galaxy take on the Portland Timbers at 11:30 a.m. at StubHub Center (NBC).
The Galaxy’s Landon Donovan, who was superb in the win over Seattle with a goal and two assists, said Saturday’s game is just as critical as the game with the Sounders.
“It is an important game,” he said this week. “I think for us after a very good performance against Seattle it’s important for us to follow up with another good performance.
“We want to show now at this point of the year that we’re consistent. And this is an opportunity to keep doing it.”
The Galaxy (8-4-6, 30 points) continue to inch their way up the Western Conference standings and are 6-1-3 in their last 10 regular-season games, with the only blemish a 2-1 loss at Sporting Kansas City on July 19. They’re also a league-best 5-1-2 at home this season, with their only loss a 1-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake in the season opener on March 8.
The Galaxy also have been tough on the Timbers at StubHub, where they’ve never lost in five meetings (3-0-2) and have outscored Portland 9-3 at home.
So it’s understandable the Galaxy are feeling good about themselves, with the win over the Sounders only adding to their steady improvement.
“The confidence is the easy part now,” Donovan said. “Everybody understands and has a blueprint of what it looks like to play a game like that (in Seattle).
“Is every game going to look sort of as comfortable as the first half the other day (when the Galaxy took a 3-0 lead)? No. But we can match that effort every week; there’s no reason we can’t.”
The Galaxy, getting strong play from the likes of Donovan, Robbie Keane (10 goals, 6 assists) and Gyasi Zardes (six goals in his last seven matches), face a Timbers side coming off a come-from-behind 3-2 victory at Montreal.
Portland features the likes of forward Maximiliano Urruti (team-high eight goals) and midfielder Diego Valeri (eight assists).
The Galaxy are well aware of the Timbers’ competitiveness, having tied Portland in the previous two meetings between the teams this season, and know there’s no room for error in the season now.
“Our division is very tight,” head coach Bruce Arena said. “We’re certainly going to push real hard to get three points.”
Added center back Omar Gonzalez, who returned from a sprained ankle on Monday, “We have the best record at home right now, and we want to keep that up.
“Hopefully we can keep on moving forward.”