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Fast start lifts Galaxy past Timbers

GalaxyTimbers (Getty)


CARSON, Calif., — Landon Donovan's return to action after missing time with a knee injury came just in time as his two goals helped lift the Los Angeles Galaxy past the Portland Timbers, 3-0, at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night.

Donovan, David Beckham and Juninho all returned to action after missing recent matches due to injury or suspension and their presence quickly paid off, with the Galaxy scoring twice in the first ten minutes before Donovan finished the game off with his second goal of the night.

Before Saturday’s games, Donovan had failed to score a goal in the previous 11 games dating back to last year which included the play-offs. Surprising, Donovan was fine with this statistic.

“I could care less about scoring, I want to win,” Donovan said. “I’m not as much of a scorer anymore. Part of my game has not been the same as when I was younger. But I want to win, and it feels good to win.”

Chad Barrett scored in the opening four minutes of the match; Beckham and Donovan assisted in the goal. Donovan’s pass bounced off Barrett’s foot onto his lower shoulder, and he blasted it past keeper Troy Perkins.

Barrett's goal looked as though it could have been a handball, but Barrett wasn't about to give the goal back.

“Did I hand ball it?” asked a puzzled Barrett. “I thought it hit me in the chest. I’d have to watch the replay. I don’t remember it hitting my arm. We’ve gotten some calls going against us the last couple of days, so it’s good to get a call our way.”

Minutes later, Timbers defender Rodney Wallace held and pulled Donovan in the box. Referee Roman Hernandez was right in front of the action and quickly pointed to the spot, and Donovan converted the ensuing penalty.

The Galaxy sealed the victory in the 67th minute, when Juan Pablo Angel sashayed his way through the penalty area and sent a cross to Donovan for a header goal.

“The story line is our two early goals," Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. "To be up by two goals in the opening ten minutes of the game is important."

“We lost three nil,” admitted Timbers Coach John Spencer. “We probably lost the game in the first ten minutes, going two nil down. I was disappointed that we conceded two goals in quick succession.”

Though it was a good result for the LA side, Spencer still managed to find areas for improvement.

“It’s still a little sloppy over 90 minutes; our concentration could be a little better at the end of games. We got a little sloppy at the end.”

One surprising beginning to the game was seeing their designated ace Juan Pablo Angel on the bench.

“I thought our forwards in our last game [Barrett and Lopez] played well so I didn’t want to make a change,” said Arena.

Angel came in as a half time substitution for an injured Lopez and delivered the cross that Donovan headed into net.

“It was difficult for Juan, because he didn’t get any notice and he wasn’t warmed up properly and it difficult for him to start the game,” explained Arena. “But as he got warmed up, he played better.”

Next week Los Angeles travel to Pizza Hut Park to take on FC Dallas. The Timbers return him to play host to Real Salt Lake.  


  1. Perlaza has wheels. I was fortunate enough to see him play two weekends in a row; last week in Portland, then back home in LA. If not for Ricketts’ dominance, Perlaza would have connected with Cooper for Portland’s only real chance in the second half.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Portland host RSL. I imagine RSL will be playing its second string, but it will be a good game regardless.

  2. Not quite – Eric Hassli’s gotten 7 yellows in 5 games, compared to Beckham’s 5 yellows in 7 games. Still, I’m pretty sure that (1) Becks set a league record for fastest suspension for yellow card accumulation, and (2) the only reason Hassli didn’t was that he sat out two games with red cards.

    But I digress. I find it hilarious to say that Beckham’s “controlling” the refs – he’s controlling them so much that he averages almost a yellow card a game.

  3. Starting to feel like a real league now. Totally forgot a class-act like JPA was on the Galaxy until he got that assist. It’s nice to not remember some top players on some teams.

  4. Someone should let Donovan know that if he doesn’t care at all about scoring, then he COULDN’T care less. Not “could.”

    /grammar nerd

  5. ‘Beckham harassing and controlling the ref as usual”…you forgot the part about leading the league in yellows as he exerts his control.

  6. Nah, I saw the ref give Becks the eye of death, which Beckham backed off and Donovan pushed becks away from the ref. I’m pretty sure the refs hate him at this point, just saying. They have the internet too, ya know.

  7. Barret used the rotator cup part of the shoulder, the one that connects it to the rest of the body. It was a clean goal, portland fans stop crying.

  8. You must have some vision problems. The Barrett dominated the ball in the best Pato style, with the shoulders. Um Golaço!

  9. LA got a break early with Barrett’s goal, where uses his arm to control the ball. Even though LA was clearly the better team Portland should have had a couple of goals, but Ricketts had a great game.

  10. ” Donovan’s pass bounced off Barrett’s foot onto his lower shoulder”. He actually played it off his arm, which makes it a handball.

  11. Yes that was a clear cut penalty. Wallace had Donovan in a jailhouse bathroom embrace when Beckham chipped the ball to him. Penalty.
    In fact, the LA v Port game was very clean football overall. It was a good game and a good thrashing. LA really put it on them.

    You wanna watch an ugly game? Watch Chicago v Houston. Chippy as a woodchuck. That game was all fits and starts, route 1 long ball, tough to watch. Chicago did however pull it together a few times in the second half to create some fast counters.

  12. It’s more than that penalty (which Cooper never would’ve gotten). LA is systematically crowding and putting pressure on the ref. And it’s paying off.

  13. Hall and Wallace should swap positions. Wallace is a left back who seems to be singleminded about going forward while Hall is a much better defender.

  14. Diego Chará made his debut for Portland after the half. He looked like he has plenty to give Portland this year…

    Also, I’m ready to let Wallace go.

  15. Portland are simply a completely different team away from home, conceding early in games is always a bad idea on the road.

  16. Cuz Chad Barrett doesnt score goals he misses…this is by far a bigger deal o.-

    Actually until you said it I didnt know he broke his ankle…I knew he got hurt though @@

  17. Why has no one here mentioned that the league MVP fractured his ankle?
    Not as brutal as the Zakuani incident but still sort of a big deal…

  18. What a crazy day…I saw Torres score a goal then if it wasnt alrdy a topsy tervy day Chad Barret scored….must be a full moon and some planets aligned tonight…

    Ives you should do a spotlight on Chad cuz this must be a shock even for him


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