Timbers-Galaxy Preview

The Associated Press

The surging Los Angeles Galaxy are coming off perhaps their most impressive result of the year.

They'll try to pick up another three points Saturday against the Portland Timbers, who go for their first win in six visits to Los Angeles.

The Galaxy (8-4-6) are seeking a fourth victory in five games after beating Seattle 3-0 on Monday. Landon Donovan had a goal and two assists as Los Angeles snapped the Western Conference leader's six-game home winning streak.

"The way we played from start to finish, I thought was magnificent," forward Robbie Keane said. "Certainly, I think, our best performance all season. ... For me, this is the Galaxy of old."

Defender Omar Gonzalez returned to the lineup for the first time since May 3, helping the Galaxy record their fifth clean sheet. Gonzalez missed a total of 13 games and his World Cup assignment due to knee and ankle injuries.

"That (shutout) meant everything to us," Gonzalez said. "There was a couple of times when even Robbie and Landon were saying 'we didn't give up a goal.' And that just goes to show how committed we were to really making a statement and showing that this is the second half of the season and we're ready."

With 30 points, Los Angeles is tied with Colorado and FC Dallas for the final three playoff spots in the West. Portland (6-6-9) isn't far behind at 27 after beating the Rapids 2-1 on July 18 and winning 3-2 at Montreal on Sunday to match its longest win streak of the season.

The Timbers have been outscored 9-3 in going 0-3-2 in Los Angeles, though. Portland appeared headed for victory before an own goal tied the game in the 86th minute of a 2-all draw there July 4.

These clubs also played to a 1-all draw in Portland on May 11.

The Timbers' Maximiliano Urruti scored his team-leading eighth goal in league play on Sunday and Diego Valeri added the tiebreaker in the 82nd minute.

"For us, this was three points or bust," coach Caleb Porter said. "This team - they've been through a lot this year, and we never quit and we've kept fighting and grinding. Because of what we've been through, we are one of the most mentally tough teams in MLS right now because we've had to do it the hard way."

Timbers captain Jack Jewsbury became just the 26th player to reach 300 MLS games after making his second consecutive start at fullback. He has two assists in 15 games this year.

"He's in an elite group of guys," Porter said. "When you make it a win, then now it becomes more memorable and he'll remember the 300th game because we won the game on the road."

The Timbers have scored 12 goals in going 4-1-1 over their last six as the visiting club. Los Angeles has averaged 2.3 in going 5-0-2 at home since falling 1-0 to Real Salt Lake in its season opener March 8.

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