The U.S. Open Cup schedule-makers did the Galaxy no favors, breaking up their three-week World Cup break with a two-day trip to Portland for Friday’s round of 16 game with the Timbers, a team they played in Oregon just two weeks ago.
That game ended in a draw, snapping Portland’s six-game winning streak. But the Galaxy may not be taking the same team back.
Forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored twice in Saturday’s MLS win over Real Salt Lake, was in Moscow on Thursday, shilling for a sponsor at the World Cup. Midfielders Romain Alessandrini (quadriceps) and Sebastian Lletget (ankle) were questionable with injuries.
The Galaxy declined repeated requests for updates on both players. But the team did say midfielder Baggio Husidic, who hasn’t played since mid-April, could return to the lineup.
Given the opponent, a two-week break following the game and the fact that a win Friday would send them into the quarterfinals of a tournament they haven’t won since 2005, the Galaxy are likely to use a largely first-team lineup in Portland rather than the reserves who played in the team’s first Open Cup game last week.