The LA Galaxy will be without leading scorer Javier Hernandez once again on Friday, as they aim to snap a three-match winless streak when they take on the Portland Timbers.
The Galaxy are third in the Western Conference, five places ahead of the underperforming Timbers, though only three points would be separating the teams should Portland win.
Hernandez has scored 10 goals this season, with only Seattle Sounders' Raul Ruidiaz netting more. However, the former Manchester United forward has been out for the last five matches.
The Galaxy have won just one of those games, and Greg Vaney has confirmed his talisman is out again.
"Javier is unlikely to play this week," Vaney said.
"He has been taking some steps forwards towards reaching full fitness and that is positive. But he is in that weird stage when a player thinks he is ready to come back, he feels some aches and pains.
"So we are going to follow up with his recovery and we are going to do one last big checkup before we take the next big step for him."
Portland, meanwhile, have bolstered their ranks by adding midfielder Santiago Moreno from Colombian side America de Cali.
"There has been a lot of interest in Santiago from many teams, so the fact that he decided to come to Portland makes us feel special," said Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese.
"We are all excited to have a talented player coming here that will provide us many great assets but still has room to develop, and I believe that Portland is a very good place for him to continue to grow."
LA Galaxy - Victor Vazquez
Victor Vazquez played up top for the Galaxy in their 4-0 defeat to FC Dallas. He created four chances, a game-high.
Portland Timbers - Diego Valeri
Playmaker Diego Valeri has scored two MLS goals in 2021, both coming against Los Angeles sides - LAFC and the Galaxy.
- The Timbers have won three straight matches against the Galaxy for the first time in the club's MLS history. Neither team has run off four straight wins over the other, with the Galaxy also winning three in a row during the 2012 season.
- The Galaxy are on their first winless run of the season, collecting just one point from their last three matches. LA, who lost, 4-0, at Dallas in its last match, has not lost or failed to score in consecutive matches this season.
- Portland's 2-1 defeat at Minnesota on Saturday was its seventh loss in 14 games this season. Those seven defeats equal the most the Timbers have ever had at this stage of a season, tying their total from 2019, when they played their first 12 games on the road.
- The Galaxy have let in 26 goals through 15 matches this season. They've allowed more at this stage of a season just twice: 30 in both 2008 and 2020. Los Angeles missed the playoffs in both of those seasons.
- The Timbers last seven goals have had seven different primary assisters. Including secondary assists, fourteen different Timbers players have recorded an assist this season, tied with LAFC for most in MLS in 2021.
Updated July 29, 2021