CARSON, CA (March 12, 2017) – For the first time since 2012, the LA Galaxy have lost consecutive home games in regular season play. Diego Chara scores in the 8th minute for the Portland Timbers. Later in the first half, Jelle Van Damme had yellow cards just three minutes apart. Down a man, the Galaxy were unable to mount a comeback, losing 1-0.
LA Galaxy Lose Second Home Game To Portland On Red Card
Both teams had left backs making their MLS debuts. Marco Farfan started at just 18-years-old. For the LA Galaxy, Dave Romney was suspended for this match for embellishment last weekend. Clement Diop made his first start of the season in goal for LA. With Ashley Cole injured, 22-year-old Nathan Smith started on the back line. Baggio Husidic started in the midfield for the suspended Jermaine Jones. The rest of the Starting XIs were expected.
While the Galaxy started out very positively, it was the Timbers who got on the score sheet first. After clearing a corner out of the box, Sebastián Blanco collected it. He looked up and fired a long cross to release Diego Valeri. The No. 10 ran onto it with only Smith and Diop back. Valeri squared it to Diego Chara for an easy tap in. The Timbers were up 1-0 in the 8th minute.
The match became chippy after that and came to a fever pitch in the 34th minute when Captain Jelle Van Damme was given a second yellow for an apparent foul on David Guzmán. The teams traded a few chances, but neither converted. The half ended 1-0 with Darlington Nagbe on a yellow card.
Los Angeles came out with more energy in a 4-4-1 with McBean up top. Giovanni dos Santos was subbed out with a leg injury at half time for winger Emma Boateng. Portland seemed happy to sit back and let the Galaxy come at them down a man. Darlington Nagbe and Sebastian Lletget both got chances for their team, but neither could capitalize.
The play kicked up in the 70th minute. First the Timbers had a great build up through Farfan that forced Diop to make a point blank save on Valeri. Then Romain Alessandrini had a volley near post that was deflected out for a corner. Portland got a counter going on the ensuing corner. Fanendo Adi was in on goal at midfield with Daniel Steres falling down. Sebastian Lletget ran back to shoulder Adi off balance and a late arriving Rafael Garcia blocked the shot to prevent the goal.
The Galaxy continued to throw numbers forward. Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson stoned Jose Villarreal at the death. They couldn’t convert though, getting only two shots on target all game. The match ended 1-0.
The Galaxy hadn’t lost more than one regular season game at home in a season since 2013. They hadn’t had a home losing streak since 2012. They hadn’t lost the first two games of the season since 2001. Independent of how, this is a historically poor two game stretch for the Galaxy.
The club is clearly missing some depth and their young Academy players are experiencing growing pains as they adjust to MLS. On the other side, Portland was able to hold on and get a second win on the season. The attack continues to be dangerous and the back line is learning on the fly. They also didn’t win a road game all of 2016. Head Coach Caleb Porter has to be happy with the start to the season.