Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy get another crack at the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Ore. on Sunday, Sept. 29. The Galaxy are currently 13-10-6 (45 points), while the Timbers are 11-5-13 (46 points). Both teams are fully aware that a victory can inch them closer to catching the Seattle Sounders at the top of the MLS Western Conference standings.
Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by NBC Sports. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for Sunday afternoon’s riveting encounter between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Portland Timbers in the Rose City.
1. Andrew Jean-Baptiste will score for Portland
Nuff said. Next!
2. Only one goal in the first half
It’s going to be another scrapper in the West between two evenly matched teams. Neither one will be giving an inch here. Only one goal will be scored in the first half.
3. Robbie Keane with a goal and an assist
With Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan expected to start, the one-two combination should take center stage in this one. Keane will get a goal and an assist to help the Galaxy’s chances on Sunday.
4. Landon Donovan with a brace
Los Angeles’s No. 10 is on a march towards history, and in order to pass Jeff Cunningham, he needs to finish. Donovan will get a brace and inch closer to the all-time career mark for MLS goals.
5. Jaime Penedo with at least five saves
Jaime Penedo is no Carlo Cudicini, and with Jimmy P in goal, the Galaxy should be able to put on a stronger performance defensively. Penedo will make at least five saves to contribute to LA’s cause.
6. Diego Valeri with a goal and an assist
The play of Diego Valeri will be important towards a positive result for Portland. Valeri leads the team with eight goals and 12 assists and is a bona fide difference maker. Valeri will make it nine goals and 12 assists on Sunday.
7. Big game from the Big Cat from Montego Bay
Donovan Ricketts had a solid game the last time he faced the Los Angeles Galaxy, and he will deliver once again. Ricketts will make at least six saves against a Galaxy side ready to put him on notice. Well, Ricketts knows this team inside out, so it’s nothing new…
8. No goals or assists for Ryan Johnson
Ryan Johnson has been a major contributor for the Timbers this year with eight goals and four assists. However, he will be shut down on Sunday by LA’s midfield. There will be no goals or assists for Ryan Johnson in this game.
9. At least 30 fouls and four yellows
Hard, tough, physical encounter between two sides jockeying for a playoff spot. That’s MLS for you. So, you can expect at least 30 fouls to be whistled and four yellow cards to be issued. No one will be sent off, however.
10. Los Angeles with a solid win
The Galaxy Reserves proved they can win on the road with their victory over Club Sport Cartagines. Now the first team need to do their share and also prove that they can do the same. It won’t be easy, but it can be done.
Los Angeles Galaxy 3, Portland Timbers 2