Greg Vanney hopes the LA Galaxy will start to iron out the mistakes that have frustrated them in recent weeks when they visit the Portland Timbers.

The Galaxy started the 2022 MLS season with back-to-back wins, only to then lose their next two.

Head coach Vanney felt his side would have been good value for positive results in those matches, too, but were let down by shortcomings in both boxes.

After time to regroup during their international break, Vanney said: “If we have 28 chances and the opposition has two, you like your chances in games like that.

“Now, it’s about execution in the final action. It’s about not having situations where we don’t compound the first mistake with multiple mistakes.

“Those are things that hopefully as we get sharper and guys continue to work out our timing and our kinks that we’re going to execute better and better.

“But I feel like we’ve been definitely the team that has had the best opportunity to win each of these games, so that’s a good sign for us.”

Opposite number Giovanni Savarese suggests he has already seen signs of the Galaxy’s progress in preparing for this match with Portland.

“It’s a team that is possession-orientated and has been getting better and better game by game,” he said.

“We can see that they’re working weekly to improve and get better, and the movements, the pattern plays that they have around the field, they execute it in a better way with a good group of players who are competitive.

“We know that it’s going to be a good game in our stadium. They are always good games against the Galaxy.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Portland Timbers – Jaroslaw Niezgoda

Niezgoda was used mainly from the bench during his first two MLS seasons, meaning his figures made for impressive reading. Seven starts and seven goals in 2020, three starts and three goals in 2021. Niezgoda has started all five matches this term and netted only once, surely running out of time to prove he is worth his place.

LA Galaxy – Javier Hernandez

Chicharito may have scored two of the Galaxy’s four goals so far this season, but he certainly could have been more clinical. He has had 15 shots so far, including seven in a win against Charlotte FC in which he did not find the net. Vanney needs improvement in attack as well as defence.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– The home side won all three meetings between the Timbers and Galaxy last season, with LA winning the last two, both in Carson, for their first winning streak over Portland since 2012. The Timbers have won the last two meetings in Portland, scoring eight goals in those games, while the Galaxy have never kept a clean sheet at Providence Park in MLS play (13 visits).

– Despite winning just one of their first five matches (D3 L1), the Timbers’ six points through five matches equals the fourth best start to a season in club history. Portland have only started better in 2020, 2017 (10 points) and 2011 (seven points).

– The Galaxy have lost consecutive matches after opening the season with two straight wins. The two losses come after losing just once in their previous nine matches dating back to last season.

– Cristhian Paredes became the fourth different player to take Portland’s last four non-shoot-out penalties in the Timbers’ 1-1 draw with Orlando City on Sunday (D. Valeri, D. Asprilla, F. Mora). Portland’s previous 18 penalties were split between just two players: Diego Valeri (16) and Dairon Asprilla (two).

– Chicharito is second in MLS in shot attempts (15) and tied for third in shots on target (eight) but has scored with just two of those, leaving his conversion rate at 13.3 per cent. Last season, Chicharito scored with 28.8 per cent of his shots (17 of 59), second-best in MLS among players with 50 or more shot attempts.