Galaxy-Timbers Preview

The Associated Press

The Portland Timbers' 15-game unbeaten streak is over, but coach Caleb Porter doesn't sound too concerned.

Considering where his team's next game is, he probably shouldn't be.

The Timbers haven't allowed a goal in their last six home matches, and they'll look to run their winning streak there to four Saturday night when they face the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Portland (7-2-9) missed out on the MLS Cup playoffs in its first two seasons in the league, but it's currently tied with Los Angeles (9-7-3) for third in the Western Conference.

The Timbers have been the league's most steady team, earning at least a point in 16 of their first 17 league games - and also reaching the U.S. Open Cup semifinals - before that 15-match MLS point streak came to an end with Sunday's 1-0 loss at Columbus.

Considering Portland fell behind four minutes in and saw central defender Pa Modou Kah sent off just six minutes later, Porter wasn't sounding any alarms.

"For me there's no failure, there's just feedback," Porter told the team's official website. "The feedback I got today was very positive in a lot of ways, again reinforcing just how tough and strong this team is. We got better today, even though we lost."

Kah's red card leaves him unavailable for this match, and with midfielders Will Johnson and Rodney Wallace on Gold Cup duty for Canada and Costa Rica, respectively, the Timbers won't exactly be fielding a full squad Saturday.

The Galaxy will be happy to have an edge anywhere they can find one. Portland hasn't conceded a league goal in 570 minutes at home since Felipe Martins scored in the 60th minute of a 2-1 Montreal victory March 9, and has won five of its six matches since while scoring 10.

It is the third-longest home shutout streak in MLS history, trailing only the 817-minute run by the Kansas City Wizards from March 25-July 8, 2000, and the 621-minute stretch by the New York Red Bulls from June 17-Sept. 20, 2006.

There was no offense to be found last month when the teams met at the StubHub Center. Galaxy keeper Carlo Cudicini and the Timbers' Donovan Ricketts each made four saves in the scoreless draw.

That was a far cry from Los Angeles' last visit to Jeld-Wen Field, when Robbie Keane scored twice and Landon Donovan had a goal and an assist in the Galaxy's 5-3 win last July 14.

Keane has seven goals and eight assists in 11 MLS matches, and he's had a hand in all four goals in Los Angeles' two wins in July. He scored twice in a 2-1 victory over Columbus on July 4, then set up Marcelo Sarvas and Hector Jimenez as the Galaxy beat FC Dallas 2-0 on Sunday.

Jimenez has impressed again while starting the last two matches with Donovan playing in the Gold Cup.

"I've just got to be probably more consistent and make it harder on (coach) Bruce (Arena) to decide whether I should play or not," Jimenez told the Galaxy's official website. "I've just got to keep building on what's going on right now and take advantage of the time Landon's gone."

The Galaxy haven't won outside of Los Angeles in two months - their only victory in that five-game span came against crosstown rival Chivas - but they're not placing any added emphasis on facing the team even with them in the standings.

"I don't look at the standings until the coaches bring them into the locker room to show us," midfielder Robbie Rogers said. "I just think game by game. This is a game that really excites me because their fans are crazy in a good way."

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