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LA Galaxy close to full strength to host Portland Timbers

Mar 16, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; Minnesota United defender Ike Opara (3) battles for control against LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget (17) in the second half at Dignity Health Sports Park. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

LOS ANGELES — The LA Galaxy will have several key pieces returning to the fold ahead of their Sunday evening matchup against the Portland Timbers. Kickoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. Here’s what you need to know heading into the match:

  • The Galaxy started their 2019 MLS regular season with a 2-1-0 record and have won both of their matches at home. Their last match was two weeks ago at home against Minnesota United, where they narrowly fought off the Loons with a 3-2 victory. 
  • The Portland Timbers have had a less-than-ideal start to their 2019 season and will enter the match looking for their first win. They have allowed a total of 10 goals so far in three matches, and have only scored four goals. 
  • Designated players Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Achilles) and Romain Alessandrini (hamstring) are expected to return from injury for this match. Further, both LA Galaxy players who departed on international duty, Jonathan Dos Santos (Mexico) and Sebastian Lletget (USA), have returned to the club and are expected to play Sunday. 
  • Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto was applauded for his tactics in the team’s last match after making an effective change up top: Uriel Antuna, who normally plays on the wing, was moved to center forward and Chris Pontius moved to the outside wing. It is uncertain how much will have to change tactically for Schelotto to include Ibrahimovic or Alessandrini, but some change is to be expected simply due to style differences between Ibrahimovic and Antuna.
  • Defense continues to be a concern for the Galaxy. They have yet to secure a clean sheet.
  • Sunday night will be LA Kings Night at Dignity Health Sports Park, when various LA Kings players and alumni will be in attendance and fans will receive “an exclusive LA Galaxy x LA Kings co-branded car flag,” according to a release from the Galaxy.
  • Ted Unkel will be the referee for the match and his team will consist of Frank Anderson (AR), Mike Rottersman (AR), Alejandro Mariscal (4th Official) and Kevin Stott (VAR).

 

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