Final: Galaxy 3 Portland Timbers 0
Unbeaten in four games now – and with just one defeat so far this season – the Galaxy also have their third shutout of the season in comfortably dispatching the expansion Timbers.
Kenny Cooper had their best two chances of the game – Donovan Ricketts also pushed a second half Cooper effort around the far post – but the Galaxy defense was never overly troubled.
With Real Salt Lake not playing this weekend to rest up for their CONCACAF Champions League commitments the Galaxy now have sole possession of first place in the Western Conference.
Donovan Ricketts just made a point blank save from Kenny Cooper in an effort to preserve the shutout in the 80th minute. Cooper getting on the end of a Jorge Perlaza cross – but failing to connect very proficiently from seven yards out – was the closest Portland has come all night to a goal.
Landon Donovan was replaced in the 74th minute by Paolo Cardozo.
Landon Donovan started and finished the sequence that led to the Galaxy’s third in the 68th minute, winning the ball just outside the Timbers’ box and then getting on the head of the subsequent Juan Pablo Angel cross, heading home from seven yards out.
The Galaxy are making it look easy.
Darlington Nagbe came on for Jeremy Hall in the 59th minute. Also, was remiss in not noting that the Timbers’ first designated player, Colombian Diego Chara, entered the game at the half, too, replacing James Marcelin.
Juan Pablo Angel has replaced the largely anonymous Miguel Lopez at the outset of the second 45 minutes. BTW, we were told Angel didn’t start tonight for reasons of continuity – why change a winning offense.
This game already began to peter out at the end of the first half. The Galaxy are firmly in control of this game.
Surprising stat: The Galaxy have five shots on goal, the Timbers three.
We’re 30 minutes in here and if the Timbers were feeling cocky after scoring seven goals and reeling off two wins in their last two games, the Galaxy are setting them straight.
This is as dominant a Galaxy performance as we’ve seen this season. The Galaxy have the vast majority of the possession with Portland finding it tough to get out of their own half.
Sean Franklin picked up a yellow card in the 18th minute.
The Galaxy took the lead for the second consecutive game via Chad Barrett. He struck a sweet half-volley from the top of the D outside the penalty box just 3:32 into the game.
David Beckham started the move, Landon Donovan fed Barrett who touched the ball once with his foot and once with the top of his arm/shoulder before lashing it home.
The Galaxy went up by two goals in the eighth minute, Rodney Wallace holding Landon Donovan in the box and then the Redlands native converting the PK.
Happy Easter to all from Home Depot Center where we have a celebrity guest, former Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas, slumming with us ink-stained wretches in the press box.
The Galaxy return home unbeaten from their longest road trip of the year to face the expansion Timbers, fourth in the Western Conference after beating FC Dallas 3-2 last Sunday.
With Leonardo suffering a season-ending knee injury in the 2-1 win last Sunday at Chicago, Coach Bruce Arena shuffles his back four, dropping Frankie Hejduk to the bench and restoring Sean Franklin and A.J. DeLaGarza to starting roles on the back four.
There’s wholesale changes in midfield too, where Michael Stephens, Chris Birchall and Paulo Cardozo all are on the bench and Juninho (who returns from suspension), David Beckham (ditto) and Landon Donovan (who returns from injury) replace them.
For a second consecutive game striker Juan Pablo Angel will see the start of this game from the bench.
Galaxy XI: Ricketts-Franklin, DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Dunivant-Magee, Juninho, Beckham, Donovan-Lopez, Barrett.
The Timbers start former D.C. United goalkeeper Troy Perkins in goal; he’s making his 100th MLS appearance.
Timbers XI: Troy Perkins-Steve Purdy, Eric Brunner, Mamadou Danso, Rodney Wallace-Jeremy Hall, Jack Jewsbury, James Marcelin, Kalif Alhassan-Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza
Former Chivas USA midfielder Sal Zizzo is on the bench and so is top MLS draft pick Darlington Nagbe.
The game is live on Fox Soccer Channel.
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