The Los Angeles Galaxy will continue to be without some offensive firepower on Friday night when they host the Portland Timbers.
Forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, who has a team-high 10 goals, is out due to injury. So are top midfielders Sebastian Lletget and Efrain Alvarez, both at the CONCACAF Gold Cup with the U.S. and Mexico teams, respectively.
But the Galaxy (8-6-1, 25 points) sit in third place in Major League Soccer's Western Conference, despite not failed to win four of their past five games.
The Galaxy went 0-2-1 on their road trip that ended with a 4-0 loss at FC Dallas on Saturday.
"The team's in a good spot mentally. Obviously they're a little frustrated in terms of just on the road and only getting one point out of the three games," Los Angeles coach Greg Vanney said Wednesday. "Dallas was always going to be a challenging game given kind of where we are roster-wise and being on the road and knowing what the conditions in Dallas are like, having played there for two years."
The Timbers (6-7-1, 19 points) seek to move up the Western Conference standings, as they sit in a disappointing eighth place. Portland handed the Galaxy a 3-0 defeat in Oregon on May 22 but is 3-4-1 since then. The Timbers had won back-to-back games before a 2-1 loss on Saturday at Minnesota United.
Portland announced the signing of Colombian forward Santiago Moreno on Thursday. The 21-year-old speedster has major club experience in South America and drew attention from other teams around the world.
The Timbers are without forward Eryk Williamson, who is with the U.S. team at the Gold Cup.
"We have a locker room that will feel comfortable," Portland coach Giovanni Savarese said of Moreno. "This is a club where he can continue to grow."
The Timbers' roster has players from six different South American countries, including Colombia.
One of those is Argentina's Sebastian Blanco, who just recently returned from a long-term injury and has been key to the attack in the past. Savarese is looking for Blanco to find his form as he plays more.
--Field Level Media