CARSON, Calif. – It was a historic night for LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho, who made his 100th start for the club and notched his 102nd appearance for the team.
Reaching 100 appearances is a tradition in Brazil that includes a pregame ceremony and the player donning the number 100 kit for the match. Juninho didn't get to change his number for the match against Portland, but he was given a hardy chant from the Angel City Brigade supporters group during the 19th minute of the game.
“It was unbelievable. It was a great night,” Juninho told LA Galaxy Insider. “The result wasn't good, but I love my fans. I've been here for four years and I don’t have the words to thank them for all the support that they've given to me.”
The Brazilian stalwart was tidy in central midfield as he, and partner Rafael Garcia, limited chances for the visiting Portland Timbers. Although LA was solid in the back, the Galaxy created little going forward as they repeatedly saw their attacking chances snuffed out by the Timbers.
“Our back line was perfect and allowed no goals, but up front tonight, we were very poor,” said Juninho. “We just need to train and get better.”
And LA and the Brazilian midfielder will have a chance to get better on Sunday when they take on moribund Chivas USA, who are winless in their last six MLS games. But despite Chivas’ dismal record as of late, Juninho is not taking them lightly.
“Chivas is the Clásico. It’s very bad when you lose in a Clásico,” he said. “We're in the same stadium, so we’re going to fight and hopefully take the result.”