Portland (6-1-8) at Los Angeles (6-6-2), 10:30 p.m. The hottest team in MLS continues its reign of terror on Wednesday as the Portland Timbers head to the StubHub Center to face the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Portland just knocked off FC Dallas, the top team in the league, in a 1-0 victory at Jeld-Wen Field on Saturday, extending the club's unbeaten run to 13 games.
The Timbers have not lost since falling 2-1 to the Montreal Impact at Jeld-Wen on March 9, going 6-0-7 over their subsequent matches to climb to a spot within two points of the lead in the race for the MLS Supporters' Shield.
Timbers head coach Caleb Porter believes that his side has been able to claim results due to their proactive approach to each match.
"I think it's great when teams approach games without fear of losing," Porter said after the FC Dallas defeat. "I've always felt that's the best way to win, is to play to win. As simple as that sounds, a lot of teams play not to lose. We play to win. It doesn't mean we win every game, but my feeling is if you approach the game the right way then you'll be rewarded."
The mentality clearly has been manifested in Portland's road matches this season. Not only have the Timbers been able to come away from fortresses like Sporting Park, CenturyLink Field and FC Dallas Stadium with points, but the club is the last remaining unbeaten side in MLS this season.
Points at the StubHub Center may be the next scalp in Portland's sight, but Los Angeles will be rolling over as the Galaxy have plenty to play for when the two sides clash on Wednesday.
Los Angeles has lost two league matches on the bounce by a combined score of 8-1, hardly the form of back-to-back MLS Cup champions. After a humbling 5-0 road defeat to the New England Revolution, the Galaxy were topped by Real Salt Lake in a 3-1 result at Rio Tinto Stadium on June 8.
Omar Gonzalez, who is away on United States national team duty, is clearly missed in the Galaxy defense. To compensate, the club went out and traded for Pablo Mastroeni, adding some veteran experience to the back line.
"There's no secret that we lacked a little bit of bite and at times some leadership, particularly in the defensive part of the field at the end of games," Landon Donovan told the club's official website. "(Mastroeni) certainly brings that. He brings obviously a ton of experience and he's a good soccer player.
"When you combine all that, I think he's going to help us a lot."
In the club's last home match, Los Angeles managed to put together a 4-0 thumping of Seattle Sounders FC. That is the kind of outing, on both sides of the ball, the Galaxy will be hoping for on Wednesday in what is the first meeting of three with Portland this season.