Major League Soccer

Greg Vanney confident in LA Galaxy amid losing streak

Lizzy Becherano
Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney confident his side can defeat the Portland Timbers.
Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney confident his side can defeat the Portland Timbers. / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

Major League Soccer returns as Western Conference giants LA Galaxy faces the Portland Timbers on Sunday at Providence Park. 

The clubs both enter the clash with six points after failing to find their way in the first couple of weeks of the 2022 campaign. The Timbers, who set the bar high for themselves after reaching the 2021 MLS Cup final, are struggling with only one victory so far.

LA Galaxy kicked off the season strong, winning two consecutive matches before dropping points against the Seattle Sounders and Orlando City. But head coach Greg Vanney remains confident. 

"Outside of individual mistakes, I thought we really controlled the games and we put ourselves in a position where the majority of the games, you win," said Vanney. "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 has had the best opportunity to win each of these games, so that's a good sign for us."

But traveling to Portland will not be easy, as the Timbers remain unbeaten at Providence Park in their last three matches. The team boasts an offensive style of play with a strong ability to counterattack, leaving Vanney aware of what LA Galaxy are heading into.  

"They're never going to change too much. If they see the opportunity to try to initiate some pressure high, they'll do it. But if they don't, they're very comfortable getting into their mid-block or their lower block, condensing the spaces, making it really difficult for the opposition to create chances,” he admitted.

"Their center backs are fantastic at protecting the front of the goal and they can kill you in transition, especially when those guys are out on the field, Sebastian Blanco, Yimmi Chara and the likes, they have a lot of quality and a lot of speed that can really hurt you in those transition moments."

A win for the Galaxy would move them up significantly on the Western Conference table as they sit in seventh with a record of 2-0-2.