The Portland Timbers came into the Los Angeles Galaxy match with a four-game winning streak in Major League Soccer play, and a five-game winning streak in all competitions. This includes a win over the Seattle Sounders, who were down to seven players after three red cards and an injury in the U.S. Open Cup match-up.
During the win streak, Portland has scored 10 goals and only conceded two. The Galaxy came in with one loss in the last seven. Los Angeles has shown great form recently by scoring five goals against the Philadelphia Union in their previous MLS game and six goals against PSA Elite in the U.S. Open Cup. They are led by 2014 MLS MVP Robbie Keane and two U.S. Men’s National Team players, forward Gyasi Zardes and center back Omar Gonzalez. The nationally televised game on ESPN would, however, become a blowout.
In the thirteenth minute, LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget finished a deflected cross to put the home side up 1–0. That was the fourth consecutive game Lletget tallied a score. He then drew a penalty and in the eighteenth minute was calmly converted by Keane past Portland goalkeeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey. In less than 20 minutes, the Timbers were down two goals.
In the thirty-third minute, Keane picked out left back Robbie Rogers, who finished past Kwarasey to make it a 3–0 lead at the half. Keane, however, was not done, and in the seventy-second minute he found Juninho for his second assist, making it a 4–0 game.
Substitute Jose Villarreal added on another goal to make the final score 5–0. To make matters worse, Portland Timber center back Liam Ridgewell was thrown out with a red card for kicking the back of LA Galaxy substitute forward Alan Gordon. Gordon retaliated with a shove and received a yellow.
The LA Galaxy scored five or more goals for the third consecutive game. They would take more shots than Portland (17–16) and have more on frame (9–1).
Their next match would be against the Seattle Sounders, who would be without U.S. Men’s National Team star Clint Dempsey and Nigeria International Obafemi Martins. Dempsey was serving a three-game suspension for his outburst in the U.S. Open Cup game. Martins suffered a groin injury in the cup match, keeping him out for three to six weeks. Portland was also without Ridgewell, who was on a suspension from the red card he received in the LA Galaxy contest. Norberto Paparatto started in his place alongside Nat Borchers. The Sounders would go into the Cascadia clash shorthanded, and it showed.
The game finished with all 22 men, but the Timbers would top their 3–1 U.S. Open Cup win over Seattle even more decisively. The Timbers played in front of a sold-out Providence Park crowd, and got the scoring started in the twelfth minute when Darlington Nagbe fired outside the box and past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Nagbe came into the game with no goals and two assists.
The Sounders responded when right back Tyron Mears set piece delivery to forward Lamar Neagle. That tied the game up at 1–1. Seattle was fortunate to be tied at the half, with Portland having 11 total shots and 6 on target to their mere 1 on target. In the second half, the Timbers continued to apply pressure and were rewarded when Nagbe collected a pass near midfield and dribbled past Sounders all the way to the top of the box, sliding the ball to Fanendo Adi. Adi hit it past Frei to break the 1–1 tie.
Rodney Wallace, who came on as a substitute for Valeri, made a huge impact off the bench. He found Adi, who dribbled all the way to the box and fired it past Frei again for another brace. In stoppage time, Wallace added another goal from Maxi Urruti to make the final score 4–1.
The Timbers had more total shots than the Sounders (23–6) and more on-frame (11–1). Portland successfully rebounded from the 0–5 national television trouncing to the LA Galaxy, to beat their I-5 Cascadia rivals Seattle 4–1.
Next up for the Portland Timbers is Real Salt Lake on Wednesday on the road at Rio Tinto Stadium in U.S. Open Cup. The Timbers follow it up next Sunday at Providence Park against the San Jose Earthquakes in a nationally televised MLS regular season game on ESPN 2.