LAFC aims to keep early momentum going vs. Timbers
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If there is one thing that Los Angeles FC showed in its MLS regular-season opener last weekend it is that the magic from one of the most impressive expansion seasons in league history remains largely intact.
LAFC will enter a Sunday matchup against the Portland Timbers coming off a scintillating 2-1 victory over Sporting KC that came when Adama Diomande scored on a rocket shot of a goal 3 1/2 minutes into extra time.
"We showed we're trying to start the season trying to say to the league, 'Hey, we want to be a good contender to win MLS,'" LAFC's Carlos Vela said. "We have to start to win games like that. We have to continue on this line if we want to be a strong team."
The Timbers, meanwhile, figured to be fully thawed out following their 3-3 tie in the opening weekend at Colorado. The game, which began in 18-degree temperatures and amid a steady snowfall, has been confirmed as the coldest game in MLS history.
The temperatures, the snow and a Colorado goal in the fourth minute of extra time was an ominous way for Portland to start a season-opening run of 12-consecutive regular-season road games while Providence Park gets an upgrade to the stands on the east side of the stadium.
"(We) didn't show the maturity that we need to show," Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese said. "We need to be better. We need to have found a way to have been able to close the game. It wasn't good enough from us. Sometimes a point can be a good thing away from home, but not today."
Playing at LAFC's Banc of California Stadium does not figure to be any easier of a task. LAFC lost just one home game last year, in a debut season where it earned 57 points and advanced to the playoffs as the Western Conference's third seed. Portland finished fifth in the Western Conference last season.
LAFC midfielder Andre Horta is questionable with a right quad strain, while midfielder Alejandro Guido is out with the same injury. For the Timbers, defender Bill Tuiloma is questionable with a right leg strain, while goalkeepers Aljaz Ivacic (left leg) and Kendall McIntosh (thigh) are out.
The Timbers defeated LAFC 2-1 in May of last season at Portland, with the teams paying to a 0-0 tie at Los Angeles on July 15.