Los Angeles (2-2-2) at Portland (1-3-5), 2:30 p.m.
Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of clubs hoping to move up in the Western Conference table will square off at Providence Park on Sunday as the Portland Timbers play host to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Portland picked up its first win of the season last time out, ending an eight- match winless start thanks to a last-minute winner from Maximiliano Urruti for a 3-2 victory over D.C. United.
"Obviously it's three points, but sometimes it feels like more and I think this is one that feels like more and I think it'll lift the group," said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. "I think they'll play freer, more confident. I think we're going to continue to get better and better.
"We've been playing well, but I think sometimes when you feel that weight of a bit more pressure because you're not getting results and you get frustrated. We showed right until the end, getting the result, that this team believes."
Gaston Fernandez scored in back-to-back games for the second time this season. He netted the opening goal just 34 seconds into the affair, the fastest goal scored by a Timbers player during the club's MLS tenure.
"He's very important to us, he scores when he's in the game and we know that we can count on him," Urruti said of Fernandez. "Any player that scores is going to be important for us throughout the season."
Portland and Los Angeles are level in the Western Conference table on eight points apiece, but the Galaxy have played three fewer games than the Timbers.
Bruce Arena's men are coming off of a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids last weekend, a result that snapped a four-game unbeaten run for the Galaxy.
"We just blew this game. There's no excuses for us. We should've won this game. Very least get a point," Arena said after the match. "We get a chance early in the game, we miss a penalty kick early in the second half, have a lot of possession, we don't put a shot on goal, I don't think for the game. I think (Stefan) Ishizaki's, it was maybe blocked off the line, that was about the only shot on goal. It was terrible execution on our part in the final third of the field."
Los Angeles was dealt a major blow in the days leading up to the match when Marcelo Sarvas suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, an injury that should keep the midfielder sidelined for as long as 2 months.
"Certainly, Marcelo would have been great to have there, but that's not an excuse," Arena said. "We have enough players that can execute and win games for us."