After some unexpected time between contests, the Portland Timbers will attempt to pick up where they left off when they take on the reeling LA Galaxy at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The match will be televised on Root Sports.
Portland has won three consecutive games, including 1-0 wins over rivals Seattle and Vancouver, to climb to second in the MLS Western Conference with a 7-4-3 record (24 points). The Timbers haven't played a match since Sept. 27 because their Saturday match against Colorado was postponed.
Coach Giovanni Savarese said his players stayed focused through the break, trained with purpose and got in a useful scrimmage.
"Having extra days to recover is a very good thing, as long as the team is able to understand (the need to maintain intensity)," Savarese said.
The coach praised the way his players have responded to an unpredictable and challenging year, and figures this is only the latest case of adjusting.
"We always feel we can do a little bit better. Everyone comes here — staff, players, everyone involved — with that willingness to become better," Savarese said.
He added that the players want "to make sure also that we can bring happiness to everyone in Portland during this difficult time. That when they watch the game they can say, 'You know what? The Portland Timbers (are) playing and they're making my day.'"
The nine days between games is the kind of break Portland isn't scheduled to see again as the Timbers roll through nine games between now and the final regular-season game on Nov. 8.
Savarese emphasized that mentality will be critical Wednesday against a Galaxy club that has lost four in a row and dropped to last place in the tight Western Conference standings (4-7-3, 15 points). LA hasn't won in more than a month since starting this phase of the season with four consecutive wins. That run included a 3-2 win at Portland on Sept. 2.
The Timbers will be without midfielder/winger Andy Polo, who was called into the Peru national team for 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Paraguay and Brazil. Polo will miss five matches and be back in time for an Oct. 28 home match against the Galaxy.
For the Galaxy, midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos (Mexico) and defender Rolf Feltscher (Venezuela) are away in international duty.
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