The MLS is Back Tournament kicks off tonight, but for the Portland Timbers they have a little more time in the bubble before they hit the pitch for a real game.
Portland is guaranteed three games in the tournament. First, they’ll face the LA Galaxy on July 13, then the Houston Dynamo on July 20 and finally the Los Angeles Football Club on July 23.
The Timbers will not be underestimating the Galaxy come Monday.
“They’re still a very competitive team, it’s a game that’s going to be difficult,” Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese told reporters on a video conference call.
Last year, the Galaxy finished fifth in the West (one spot ahead of Portland) and lost in the conference semifinals to LAFC 5-3. LA will be without one of their star players against Portland, but Savarese knows they can still cause teams problems.
“[Even with] having Jonathan dos Santos out, who is a very important player for them, they’re still a very good team,” he said. “They can still unbalance you in different moments, with players who can have individual moments to change the game.”
A lot of conversation has also come about the MLS bubble to keep out COVID-19. Diego Chara says the players feel pretty good with all the protocols in place.
— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) July 7, 2020
Coach Savarese was also upbeat with how things have gone so far.
“We are here for a purpose, and so far things have been very good.”
— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) July 6, 2020
The last game the Timbers played was on March 8 when they beat Nashville 1-0.