Pregame Notes: Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy

JELD-WEN FIELD, Portland, Ore.
July 13, 2013 (WEEK 20, MLS Game #183)
8 p.m. PT (NBC SN)

Their long undefeated streak finally put to an end, the Portland Timbers now face a huge match in the Western Conference when they play host to the LA Galaxy on Saturday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. The Timbers lost for the first time since early March last weekend, falling 1-0 to the Columbus Crew on the road. The Galaxy have won back-to-back games in impressive fashion, taking a 2-0 home win against FC Dallas last weekend.


REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Corey Rockwell; AR2 (opposite): Kermit Quisenberry; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 156 games; FC/gm: 25.0; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 53; pens: 60

SUSPENDED: POR: Pa Modou Kah (through July 14)
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Will Johnson, Pa Modou Kah, Diego Chara … LA: Marcelo Sarvas
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: POR: Will Johnson (CAN), Rodney Wallace (CAN), Frederic Piquionne (MTQ) … LA: Landon Donovan (USA)

ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Timbers 1 win, 7 goals … Galaxy 4 wins, 12 goals … Ties 1
AT PORTLAND (3 meetings): Timbers 1 wins, 6 goals … Galaxy 1 win, 5 goals … Ties 0
FUTURE MATCH: 9/29: Portland Timbers vs. LA Galaxy, 12:30 p.m. PT (NBC)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. They reached a scoreless draw June 19 at StubHub Center.
  • Portland’s lone victory in six all-time meetings between the teams came in 2011 at Jeld-Wen Field.
  • The Galaxy are 3-0-1 all-time in the series in Carson, having outscored the Timbers 7-1.
  • Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. POR: P6 W4 L1 D1 … Caleb Porter vs. LA: P1 W0 L0 D1

6/19: LA 0, POR 0

  • There were few chances to score in the contest. Galaxy fullback Sean Franklin came closest when he hit the post.
  • Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was called upon to make four saves, as was Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.
  • LA GALAXY (4-1-3-2): Carlo Cudicini - Sean Franklin, Tommy Meyer, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Rafael Garcia (Pablo Mastroeni 91+) - Robbie Rogers (Colin Clark 69), Juninho (Hector Jimenez 93+), Gyasi Zardes - Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts - Ryan Miller, Pa Modou Kah, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Michael Harrington - Diego Chara, Will Johnson - Kalif Alhassan (Sal Zizzo 88), Diego Valeri (Frederic Piquionne 67), Darlington Nagbe - Ryan Johnson (Ben Zemanski 81).

The LA Galaxy made two wins in a row, getting a pair of late goals for a 2-0 win against FC Dallas on Sunday evening at StubHub Center. The Galaxy are in a tie for third place in the Western Conference with 30 points from 18 matches.


  • The Galaxy finished off the match with two second-half goals. In the 65th minute, Robbie Keane took a long pass from Omar Gonzalez on the left flank, got to the byeline and chipped in a ball that found Marcelo Sarvas running nearly parallel to the goal for the simple finish.
  • The second came with 10 minutes to play. Robbie Rogers, from the byeline to the left of goal, sent the ball into the center of the box where Hector Jimenez slotted home first-time.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made no changes to the team that claimed a 2-1 win against the Columbus Crew at StubHub Center.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Carlo Cudicini - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez (Colin Clark 81), Marcelo Sarvas (Pablo Mastroeni 88), Juninho (Rafael Garcia 90), Robbie Rogers - Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes.


  • The Galaxy have put together back-to-back league victories for just the second time this season, after defeating Kansas City and Real Salt Lake on April 20 and 27.
  • “Tonight was one of our better games on the year,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena after the game. “… We are starting to now have close to our first group together, which has been close to impossible the whole year. So, I think we are beginning to see signs of becoming a better team.”
  • Robbie Keane continued his remarkable run. He recorded his second two-assist game in the last three contests; he now leads MLS with eight assists.
  • “I like setting up goals so it’s always pleasant. I think the position where I play I like to score goals but I think certainly I also like to set up goals as well,” said Keane.
  • Keane has two goals and four assists over the last three games; in just 11 league games this season, Keane has seven goals and eight assists.
  • “Robbie is the leader of our team, he is our captain. He is arguably our best player. Robbie has a great head on his shoulders; he’s a very competitive person,” said Arena. “He took a blow in a game against Columbus on Thursday and he was a last-minute decision whether he could play tonight and you can see that he’s the last guy that’s not going to play. He’d have to be in real bad shape not to play. So, his competitiveness, his hunger to play and to win is contagious. Besides, his quality, his leadership is critical. Tonight he showed the team that this game was important and he wanted to win and he was there.”
  • Robbie Rogers made his fifth consecutive start and played the full 90 minutes for the first time since signing with the Galaxy, also contributing his first assist of the season.
  • “[It] was his best performance since he's been here. … It takes a while, and I think his fitness looked real good, and the last, I'd say, 60 minutes tonight were real good,” Arena said. “A little unlucky: The one header he had looked like a goal to me, [and] there was another shot they saved off the line. He was a little unlucky there, but he's in good positions, his width at times is real good.”
  • Marcelo Sarvas scored his third goal of the season, his second over the last three matches. The three goals are a new single-season career high in MLS for Sarvas.
  • “Marcelo’s been great in the last few games and totally deserves that goal. He’s been doing well. Full credit to him, he’s been one of our best performers in the last month or so,” said Keane. Added Arena: “We’ve gotten more out of Marcelo and [Juninho] over the last three games getting into the attack.”
  • Hector Jimenez made a second consecutive start with Landon Donovan away with the U.S. national team and scored his third goal of the season, his second in the last three games.
  • “I've just got to be probably more consistent and make it harder on Bruce to decide whether I should play or not,” Jimenez said. “I've just got to keep building on what's going on right now and take advantage of the time Landon's gone.”

The Portland Timbers saw their undefeated streak put to an end after 15 games, falling 1-0 to the Columbus Crew on Sunday afternoon at Crew Stadium. The Timbers are in a tie for third place in the Western Conference with 30 points from 18 matches.


  • The Crew took the lead in the fifth minute. Federico Higuaín flighted in a corner kick from the left and Bernardo Añor powered a header inside the near post from the top of the goal area.
  • The Timbers' bad start was made worse when center back Pa Modou Kah earned a red card and conceded a penalty after committing a foul on Crew forward Aaron Schoenfeld in the box. But Higuaín pulled the spot kick outside the left post.
  • Timbers head coach Caleb Porter made four changes to the team that took a 3-0 win against the Colorado Rapids at Jeld-Wen Field. Michael Harrington came into the back four for Ryan Miller, and Ben Zemanski, Kalif Alhassan and Ryan Johnson replaced national team campaigners Will Johnson, Rodney Wallace and Frederic Piquionne.
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts - Jack Jewsbury, Pa Modou Kah (ejected 11), Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Michael Harrington (Michael Nanchoff 82) - Diego Chara, Ben Zemanski - Kalif Alhassan (Mamadou Danso 13), Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe - Ryan Johnson (Jose Adolfo Valencia 66)


  • The Timbers saw their undefeated streak come to an end after 15 games, tied for the fourth-longest in MLS history, and the second-longest within a single season (FC Dallas, 19 games, 2010).
  • “It’s not a bad thing to taste defeat, we haven’t in 15 games. We’ve had a great run of results, and now that it’s midseason, it’s not all that bad to get bloodied and taste defeat. This team will respond positively from defeat, like good teams do, and I’m looking forward to seeing their response [this] week,” said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter.
  • It was the first loss for the Timbers since a 2-1 home defeat by Montréal on March 9, and just the second loss of the season for the club across 21 games in all competitions.
  • “We’re proud of the guys in terms of the way we battled back the last 75, 80 minutes a man down. To be quite honest, we had a lot of the ball and created a lot of chances for being a man down, and really, we kind of drove the game,” said Jack Jewsbury. “From that aspect we’re going to hold our heads high from the way we responded to an early goal, but we definitely have to start better than we did today.”
  • The Timbers allowed a goal in the opening 15 minutes of a game for the fourth time this season. They’ve conceded 10 goals in the opening half hour – tied for second-most in MLS (with San Jose, behind D.C. United’s 14).
  • “Ultimately, that first 13 minutes cost us the game,” Porter said. “Absolutely admirable for our guys to play 80-plus minutes down a man – we didn’t give up a goal and we had chances to level. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a team go that long down a man and not give up a goal; but we should have never been in that situation to begin with.”
  • The Timbers were also shut out at the attacking end for the second time in three games, after being blanked just once in their opening 15 league contests.
  • “I thought overall our start to the game is what probably did us in. Yet, I think the next 80-plus minutes reinforced just how strong, tough and driven this team is. We had as much of the game as they did, even down a man. We had four or five chances that could’ve fell and earned us a point,” said Porter.
  • Pa Modou Kah was making his sixth consecutive start in central defense after joining the club, but will miss the LA match after seeing two yellow cards in the space of just 11 minutes. Futty Danso came on after Kah was sent off, his first league appearance since June 15.
  • Michael Nanchoff made his MLS season debut, coming on for the final eight minutes in his home state, then was sent on loan to Swedish club Jönköpings Södra IF through the remainder of the MLS season.