On a roll with an eight-match unbeaten streak, the Portland Timbers are steaming toward the end of the Major League Soccer regular season.
Portland (14-10-4, 46 points) looks to hold onto fourth place, which would guarantee at least one home game in the postseason, or try to move up as it opposes the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday night in Carson, Calif.
The Timbers, in winning seven of their last eight games (the one non-victory was a draw), have won four straight. The seven wins in an eight-match span is a first in franchise history, and Portland has won all four of its away matches in that span.
Portland coach Giovanni Savarese feels the Galaxy will make it a difficult match. The Timbers, like many other MLS teams, haven't played in roughly two weeks due to an international competition break, and they temporarily lost three players to national teams.
"The practices have been very good, the guys have been competing very well," Savarese said. "But when you have two weeks that you don't play, especially when you have players traveling, we'll see how everything is going to be during the match. I know that mentally they are making sure they are doing well."
The Galaxy (11-11-6, 39 points) currently sit in playoff position, but with only a one-point lead on the team holding the seventh and final playoff spot, Minnesota United. They need wins to keep other teams from overtaking them.
The Galaxy are still in the mix despite not having won a match since Aug. 14. They have five losses and four draws since then.
The Galaxy believe they can turn things around with one big swing of momentum in a game.
"We know that we are trending downward in the standings and we have to flip this thing," midfielder Sacha Kljestan told the Los Angeles Daily News. "But like I said, I'm not worried about this team. I think we'll be fine."
--Field Level Media