LAFC at Portland Timbers
Sunday, October 2
Location: Providence Park - Portland, Oregon
TV: ABC, ESPN Deportes
Radio: 710 AM ESPN, ESPN LA App, 980 AM La Mera Mera
After two weeks without an MLS match for the FIFA International Break, LAFC travels to Oregon to face the Portland Timbers in a Western Conference matchup at Providence Park on Sunday.
With two games left in the MLS regular season, the Club is 20-8-4 and have already secured the top seed in the Western Conference and a bye in the first round of the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs.
LAFC (64 points) is tied with the Philadelphia Union in the Supporters’ Shield standings but the Black & Gold own the tie breaker due to total number of wins per match. LAFC can secure the Supporters’ Shield with a Philadelphia loss to Charlotte FC on Saturday and an LAFC win on Sunday.
The Timbers currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference standings with 46 points through 32 games played and are fighting for a spot in the Playoffs.
PORTLAND TIMBERS IN-DEPTH
Led by head coach Giovanni Savarese, the Timbers are looking to continue their late season surge into clinching a potential spot. The Timbers (4-0-1) are unbeaten in their last five games and are also unbeaten in their last six games vs LAFC (3-0-3).
The Timbers have scored 51 goals this the season from 12 different goal scorers. Designated Players Jaroslaw Niezgoda (9 goals), Dairon Asprilla (8 goals), Sebastián Blanco (7 goals) and Santiago Moreno (7 Goals) are all dangerous attacking weapons.
LAFC WILL WIN IF
They can remember how to get three points away from home. The team is 0-4-1 on the road in their last five away games, but the group had time to rest after a hectic August and September schedule. Cristian Arango remains the team’s biggest threat, especially on the road. Arango has scored 30 MLS goals since his debut in August of last year with 16 of those goals being scored away from the Banc. The LAFC defense will also have its hands full with Portland’s goal scorers and will need to limit space and limit any potential mistakes.
PORTLAND TIMBERS CAN WIN IF
Asprilla, Niezgoda, Blanco, and Moreno have their way on the pitch, using the home crowd and the hard turf field to their advantage. The Timbers will most likely come out with a 5-3-2 formation, which has resulted in success for them recently. Portland aims to limit any and all space defensively as they like to drop back into a tight mid-block formation. The Timbers will also look to take advantage of set pieces as they have scored 10 out of their last 15 goals off of set pieces.
Inspired by FIFA 15, a football simulation video game developed by EA Canada and published by Electronic Arts under the EA Sports label.