BY ADAM SERRANO
CARSON, Calif. — Cameroonian midfielder Franck Songo’o stole the show for the Portland Timbers as the trialist set up a pair of goals to help lead the Timbers to a 4-1 win against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Tuesday in the first MLS pre-season match for both teams.
Bright Dike opened the scoring in the eighth minute finishing a corner kick from trialist Franck Songo’o. A minute later, Songo’o helped the Timbers double their lead after connecting with Jorge Perlaza for the Timbers second goal.
After both teams made wholesale changes at outset of the second half, James Marcelin gave the Timbers a 3-0 lead finishing a chance created by a through-ball from Khalif Alhassan in the 67th minute. Dan Keat ended the Timbers’ shutout hopes in the 80th with the second-year midfielder scoring on an overhead kick from six yards out.
The Timbers finished the scoring the 85th minute when Mamadou “Futty” Danso converted on a penalty kick after a Kyle Nakazawa hand ball. After a through victory over the defending MLS Cup champions, Timbers head coach John Spencer was encouraged by his club’s performance.
“It was a good first half from all of the guys that played in that half,” said Spencer. “We went up on two quick goals with some good plays and passing movement and two very good finishes. “
Observations, notes, lineups and highlights from the scrimmage are after the jump:
Songo’o enjoyed the finest performance of a stellar Portland first half assisting on two Timbers goals. The former FC Barcelona product was a threat throughout the match, creating several opportunities from his spot on the right flank. On his second assist, Songo’o showed his physicality as he out-muscled Todd Dunivant before sending a pass to Perlaza, who easily finished from close range. Following the match, head coach John Spencer admitted that he may be on the verge of joining the club.
“For sure, if we can agree to certain numbers, we’re happy with what he’s brought to the team so far,” said Spencer. “It’s just up to us to sit down and hopefully agree on something to keep him here on a longer basis.”
Edson Buddle made his first appearance for the Galaxy since re-joining the club late last week from Germany. In his first outing for the Galaxy, Buddle was partnered alongside Paolo Cardozo, who played as a withdrawn forward. During his first 45 minutes of action, Buddle found himself in a physical battle with Portland defender Hanyer Mosquera, who routinely resorted to hard challenges to contain the forward. After his first game action in more than a month, Buddle was pleased with his initial showing.
“It felt good, it’s good to see the team,” said Buddle. “They’re moving the ball well. The young guys have gotten a lot better and I’m just happy to bea part of it. A different result and I would have been in a better mood, but there are things to work on and that’s good.”
For the second straight match, center back A.J. DeLaGarza was partnered alongside rookie defender Tommy Meyer in the Galaxy’s central defense. After a mostly silent performance against the LA Blues last week, Meyer appeared settled alongside DeLaGarza and may be solidifying a place as the front-runner to replace the injured Omar Gonzalez. Another leading candidate, veteran defender Andrew Boyens appeared in the second half partnered alongside supplemental draft choice Brian Gaul.
PORTLAND: GK Perkins, D Palmer (Purdy, 46), D Brunner (Danso, 46), D Mosquera (Jean-Baptiste, 46), D Wallace (Chabala, 46), M Songo’o (Alhassan, 46), M Jewsbury (Marcelin, 46), M Chara (Braun, 46), M Alexander (Davids, 46), F Dike (Rincon, 75), F Perlaza (Richards, 46)
LOS ANGELES: GK Saunders (Noble, 46), D Jordan (Davies, 46; McCarty, 78), D Meyer (Boyens, 46), D DeLaGarza (Gaul, 46), D Dunivant (Murray, 46), M Franklin (Jimenez, 46), M Beckham (Walker, 46), M Sarvas (Keat, 46), M Stephens (Nakazawa, 46), F Buddle (McBean, 46), F Cardozo (Cristman, 46)