LAFC vs Portland Timbers
Saturday, 1:30pm PT
Location: BMO Stadium - Los Angeles, CA
TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, FOX, FOX Deportes
Radio: 710 AM ESPN, ESPN LA App, 980 AM La Mera Mera
LAFC Ready For Home Opener Against Portland Timbers
After inclement weather postponed the season opener, the reigning MLS Cup and Supporter Shield champions LAFC are set to kick-off the 2023 MLS season when they host the Portland Timbers at BMO Stadium on Saturday, March 4.
The Clubs last met in October 2022 in a game that saw a stoppage time goal by forward Denis Bouanga to give LAFC a 2-1 win and the Supporters Shield trophy in front of the fans in Portland.
The Black & Gold are 6-5-5 all-time across all competitions against their northern rivals and will look to extend their three-game undefeated streak vs. the Timbers.
The Timbers also had the start of their 2023 campaign delayed by 48-hours due to weather but were able to begin on a high note after a goal in the 6th minute by defender Juan David Mosquera helped Portland to a 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City.
Led by head coach Giovanni Savarese, the Timbers are hoping to get back on track in 2023 after being eliminated from a playoff spot on Decision Day in 2022, just a year after making a run to the MLS Cup Final in 2021.
Against LAFC, the Timbers will look to continue their streak of having scored in 21 straight MLS games dating back to May of 2022.
Forward Dairon Asprilla, who the led the team with 10 goals in 2022, is out for the match-up due to offseason surgery, while Designated Player Yimmi Chara will be ruled out due to a hamstring injury picked up in Portland’s season opener.
The Timbers are also expected to be without top goal contributor and Designated Player Sebastian Blanco, who continues to recover from a knee injury suffered in 2022.
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LAFC WILL WIN IF
They can continue their perfect season-opening form and take advantage of the fortress created by the home crowd at BMO Stadium. The Black & Gold have won all five of their season-opening matches in the Club’s short history with the last four being at home. LAFC will need to lean on Captain Carlos Vela, who had a combined 23 goals and assists in 2022. The Black & Gold will also need forward Denis Bouanga to continue his hot preseason form and finish any opportunity that come to him.
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TIMBERS CAN WIN IF
They can break down the LAFC attack. Portland has allowed the Black & Gold to score five goals in their last three games against them. The Timbers will most likely come out in a 4-2-3-1 formation and will look to hold LAFC with a low or midblock. Designated Player and offseason acquisition Evander will be the player to watch as he made his presence felt in Portland’s home opener.
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Inspired by a match program from Middlesbrough vs Everton in 1977.