LAFC vs Portland Timbers
Saturday, September 9 at 7:30 pm PT
Location: Providence Park - Portland, Oregon
Radio: 710 AM ESPN, ESPN LA App, 980 AM La Mera Mera
Coming off a 3-1 defeat to Inter Miami FC last Sunday at BMO Stadium, LAFC now travels to face the Portland Timbers on Saturday, September 9, at Providence Park.
Ryan Hollingshead scored LAFC’s lone goal in the 90th minute in the disappointing defeat to the Herons in front of a record crowd of 22,921 at BMO Stadium.
The defeat drops the Black & Gold into third place (40 points) in the Western Conference Standings behind the Seattle Sounders (41) and St. Louis City SC (47) with eight matches to go. LAFC has played fewer games (26) than any team among the Top 5 in the West.
LAFC returns to Providence Park for the first time since October 2022, when Denis Bouanga’s first-ever goal for LAFC in the 90’+5’ minute helped clinch the Black & Gold’s second-ever Supporters’ Shield en route to hosting and winning the MLS Cup final.
The Black & Gold have won three straight matches against the Timbers, including a 3-2 win in March at BMO Stadium.
The Club will be without Bouanga, Denil Maldonado, Stipe Biuk, and Cristian Olivera, who have all been called up to their respective International Clubs.
Portland parted ways with head coach Giovanni Savarese last month and is now led by interim manager Miles Joseph. The Timbers are looking to return to the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2022.
The Club sits in 12th place in the Western Conference standings, with 30 points and nine matches to play. FC Dallas currently holds the last playoff spot with 34 points and eight matches to play.
Brazilian international Evander has been a bright spot for the Club. The 25-year-old playmaker has scored seven goals and has four assists in 22 matches played.
Portland is expected to be without Bryan Acosta, Miguel Araujo, and Juan David Mosquera, who have also all been called up to their respective International Clubs.
THE BLACK & GOLD WILL WIN IF
It successfully manages both the FIFA international break and Portland’s artificial turf. Playing without its top scorer, Bouanga, who is competing for Gabon, the Black & Gold need to lean on captain Carlos Vela to steer the ship and on Mateusz Bogusz and new arrival Mario González to create and finish opportunities.
TIMBERS CAN WIN IF
It capitalizes on one of MLS’ best home-field advantages. Six of the Timbers’ seven MLS wins this season have come at Providence Park, where they are 6W-4L-3T this season. Portland is coming off a 2-2 road draw in Seattle in which the visitors came back from a 2-0 deficit thanks to goals from Evander and Dairon Asprilla.