Three Points: LA Galaxy defense holds firm, but offense generates little against Portland

Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano’s Three Points to LA’s 0-0 draw with the Portland Timbers

CARSON, Calif. –LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano gives his Three Points to the Galaxy’s scoreless draw with the Portland Timbers. The draw extended Portland’s 14-game unbeaten run while snapping LA’s three-game losing streak in all competitions.  

GALAXY ATTACK GETS LITTLE IN SCORELESS DRAW

The LA Galaxy attack was dynamic in the first 15 minutes of their clash with the Portland Timbers, but the team was unable to create much as they played to a scoreless draw.

Landon Donovan served as LA’s primary catalyst going forward as he cut through the Timbers defense multiple times, but was repeatedly stopped by Portland defender Pa-Modou Kah. The Gambian defender proved to be a thorn in the Galaxy’s side throughout the match as he routinely stifled any attempts at goal by the Galaxy. The Galaxy’s finest chance of the night, however, came from a collection of their defenders in the 56th minute of play as a Tommy Meyer cross glanced off the head of Todd Dunivant and into the path of Sean Franklin, who stuck out his right leg and flicked the ball off Donovan Ricketts’ left post before the Jamaican goalkeeper deflected the rebound out of danger.

The draw snapped LA’s three-game losing streak in all competitions, but the club remains winless in their last four contests. 

GARCIA SOLID AS HE FILLS IN FOR SARVAS

Filling in for the suspended Marcelo Sarvas, Rafael Garcia showed why he has become the LA Galaxy’s go to man off the bench this year in scoreless draw with the Timbers.

Partnered alongside Juninho, Garcia nullified Portland’s Diego Valeri, who was extremely ineffective in leading a toothless Portland attack.  Taking a page from Sarvas, Garcia covered extensive ground in defense as he repeatedly broke up any forays forward by Portland. The midfielder was also effective going forward and he nearly conjured up a winner in the game’s dying moments, sending a lofted ball into space for Robbie Keane, only to see a pair of Portland defender close down the Galaxy captain before he could get a shot off.

Sarvas is expected to regain his starting role for Sunday’s match against Chivas USA, but Garcia will continue to be a fixture in the Galaxy squad as they head into the congested summer schedule.

ROBBIE ROGERS MAKES HIS FIRST START

Robbie Rogers made his first MLS start since September 28, 2011, but was unable to get his name on the scoresheet or help LA find a breakthrough.

Stationed on the left side of midfield to start the game, Rogers frequently interchanged with LA’s other winger, Gyasi Zardes, but found little space to operate against the Timbers fullbacks who rarely strayed forward. Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena did show plenty of trust in Rogers, who handled all set pieces for the team during his 69 minutes of action. He was eventually replaced by Colin Clark.

READ: After first start with the LA Galaxy, Robbie Rogers looking for more

With a match on Sunday against Chivas USA, time will tell if Rogers is able to recover enough to keep himself in the starting lineup. If he does start on just three days rest, it should put to rest the questions surrounding Rogers’ fitness level.

Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com