And Another Draw: POR vs LA

The LA Galaxy tied yet another game and received no compensation on a foul (penalty?) that wasn’t called. Robbed of a full win and what should have been a red card to the Portland Timbers, the Galaxy earn only one point and left most fans wondering:  Where was the defense when it mattered? The Galaxy maintained good possession during the game but for the most part, it didn’t translate into goals. Stefan Ishizaki’s crosses and corner kicks only amounted to stifled attempts.

After a full ninety minutes with the score at 0-0, the first goal of the game went to LA. Robbie Keane scored his fifth goal of the season two minutes into stoppage time after Dan Gargan took a long throw in that found its target.

A few minutes left, you have an opportunity to get a goal. Try to get a goal. We did that and lucky enough, the bounce came for us in this situation.

Donovan Ricketts had just deflected a ball from Keane, who was all in for this game. From the first half in the 38th minute when he and Donovan’s combination play posed a threat to the Timbers, Keane’s agility and striker intuition was on form. The elation of Keane’s goal, however, was short lived and followed by two disappointments.

The first disappointment came only seconds after the goal, when Juninho gained possession of the ball and found himself in a breakaway situation. Portland’s Darlington Nagbe came up behind him and Juninho went down. This foul, as far as we could see from the telecast, was witnessed by the referee and it was not called. The match continued as though nothing had happened.

The second disappointment happened within a minute, when Diego Valeri scored a goal and knotted the game up at a goal apiece. The Galaxy is still without Omar Gonzalez since his injury from last week’s loss to the Rapids but there is no excuse for not being able to hold on to a lead for more than a couple minutes. The defense lost focus. Head coach to the Galaxy, Bruce Arena, agreed,

Five minutes of extra time on [Portland]’s injuries and all. You know, listen, we fell asleep at the end of the game. A bunch of guys can do better on the play, but we played very well today. Should have walked away with three points.

It seems important to note that the Galaxy ended with 21 shots and Portland with 10 in this tie game. While Rob Friend was in the game, he chipped a beautiful shot from about 25 yards away in the 28th minute. Friend proved to be a great asset to the Galaxy before he was subbed out by Bruce Arena as the Galaxy Manager sought a change of pace in the second half.

Both Gonzalez and Donovan are expected to be named to the US World Cup training camp and will be missing from the team for a period of time, so what will change? Donovan still hasn’t scored the record breaking 135th goal. He seemed lively at today’s game but unless he pulls out the electric moves that Galaxy fans are used to seeing, we may all have a long ways to wait for that goal. Next week the Galaxy play the Houston Dynamo, with a slightly different line-up and hopefully a stronger defense.

Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy (MLS Highlights)