Sunday is the first of back-to-back matches with the Portland Timbers at Banc of California Stadium. First up, a League clash with Western Conference implications, as LAFC sit five points ahead of the Timbers but with two more games played. Then, on Wednesday, the two sides meet again in the Open Cup quarterfinals.


Portland took the reverse fixture in this matchup 2-1 back in May, and the Timbers are unbeaten in their last 11 matches in MLS. But LAFC are unbeaten at home this season and on a nice streak of four unbeaten as well. Let's take a look at Sunday's match (3pm PT | ESPN) between LAFC and the Portland Timbers:


Where To Watch/Listen


LAFC vs Portland Timbers, July 15 at 3pm PT

TV: ESPN


Radio: ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980


Opponent Form


The Timbers defeated San Jose at home 2-1 last weekend, thanks to a pair of goals from Samuel Armenteros. On an 11-match unbeaten run in MLS, 13-match run in all competitions, Portland has not lost a match since April 8 in Orlando 3-2.


What The Team Is Saying


Bob Bradley on Portland's current run of form: "Portland has gone through a great stretch, I think it’s 13 games without a loss. I think as a team, they have a lot of different dimensions. They’re organized, they’re athletic, they’re good on set pieces, and very good on the counter. We certainly have a lot of work to do, but we look forward to it."


LAFC Projected Starting XI


(4-3-3): Tyler Miller; João Moutinho, Laurent Ciman, Walker Zimmerman, Steven Beitashour; Benny Feilhaber, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Lee Nguyen; Latif Blessing, Adama Diomande, Carlos Vela


What To Watch For


Armenteros vs Dio: If it wasn't for Adama Diomande's historic start to his MLS career, we might be talking about Timbers forward Samuel Armenteros as the best forward acquisition in MLS this season. Armenteros has six goals in the first seven matches of his MLS career, while Dio has nine. The forwards are similar in their movements on the pitch as well. Both linger until the very last second on the shoulder of the last defender, and by the time the pass arrives in the box, it's too late for the opposing defense. 


Armenteros opened his MLS account with the game-winning strike against LAFC back in May, while Dio was not yet in the picture for LAFC. Will it be Dio's time to return the favor?


Return of Vela:Carlos Vela made his triumphant return from the World Cup last Saturday against Orlando City. Coming into a 2-1 match in the 64th minute, Vela's corner was eventually sent over the line by Dio to push the score to 3-1. Two minutes later, Diego Rossi capped the night with LAFC's fourth goal, as the Black & Gold took all three points. In the reverse fixture against the Timbers, Vela scored one of his trademark left-footed curlers. Against Portland, he'll likely get his first start since returning from Russia.

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