The longest current winning streak in MLS will be on the line Saturday when the red-hot Portland Timbers host Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy at Providence Park.
The Timbers have won six straight games. According to Oregonlive.com, Portland is one of only 10 teams to have won six straight games in a single season since MLS began allowing draws in 2000.
“I don’t think about the winning streaks,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese told the team’s website. “The victories of course allow you to be able to have a better environment, allow you to be able to correct things in a positive way and that’s very good. But we have to stay focused. It has to be one match at a time.”
The Galaxy will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 3-2 loss to FC Dallas at home Wednesday. Ibrahimovic returned from a 1 1/2-game suspension against FC Dallas, but couldn’t spark LA to a third straight win.
“ changes how we play and we end up playing balls in the air,” Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said after the loss to FC Dallas. “We’ve got to get on to second balls more often and our service has to improve. Our crossing is too inconsistent. It’s too hit and miss. When Ibra is on the field, crossing the ball and being able to get to balls in the air becomes a strength of our team, so that part of our game needs to improve.”
The series between the Timbers and Galaxy has been near-even historically. The Galaxy have seven wins; the Timbers have six, with five draws.
Most recently, Portland beat LA 3-1 last August. A repeat performance would now give the Timbers seven wins in a row, which according to MLS would tie the league record for single-season winning streak in the post-draw era.
“We don’t play to prove anybody wrong or right,” Savarese said. “We play to win. We have to just make sure we keep on going in this direction. I’ve been very content with the mentality of the players, very happy to see that whoever steps on the field gives 100 percent. We’re on the right path.”
—Field Level Media