Three Points: The LA Galaxy earn a late 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers
PORTLAND, Ore. – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano offers his Three Points to the Galaxy’s 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers.
ROBBIE KEANE SAVES THE DAY BUT OFFICIATING COSTS GALAXY POINTS
The LA Galaxy believed that they were going to be taking three points from Portland, but a missed call by official Armando Villarreal led to a sequence that saw the Timbers steal a point at home.
Moment after scoring, the Galaxy went on a breakaway as Juninho rushed forward alone on the goalkeeper with Landon Donovan in support. As Juninho appeared to set up to shoot, he was brought down by Portland Timbers forward Darlington Nagbe just inches from the penalty area, but Villarreal waved play on despite penalty shouts from the Galaxy. Moments later, Portland capitalized as Diego Valeri fired a shot that beat goalkeeper Jaime Penedo for the equalizer.
Following the match, the Galaxy were livid about the play with LA head coach Bruce Arena stated that Villarreal “blew it” by not awarding a foul on the takedown by Nagbe.
DONOVAN ENTERS WORLD CUP CAMP WITH STRONG MATCH
Landon Donovan didn’t get his record breaking 135th goal, but he enjoyed a strong performance in his final match for the team before going off to the U.S. National Team’s pre-World Cup camp next week.
Donovan was active from the outset as he served as the main offensive conduit for a Galaxy attack. His best chance of the afternoon came late in the second half when he knocked down the ball and squared up a chance at former teammate Donovan Ricketts, but the Jamaican made a big save to keep LA off the board.
As for the chase for the record breaking 135th regular season goal? That will most likely have to wait until at least July as he looks to lead the United States at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
JUNINHO HELPS STIFLE THE TIMBERS
Against the possession-oriented Portland Timbers, the LA Galaxy needed their midfield anchor Juninho to have a strong match and the Brazilian delivered.
Throughout the match, Juninho covered considerable ground from his position in front of the defense, routinely breaking up Timbers’ forays forward. The stats back up Juninho’s brilliant play as the Brazilian managed 14 recoveries, two interceptions and a defensive block. The Galaxy’s midfield fulcrum provided an equally calming presence on the offensive end as he was frequently able to spark LA attacks with deep balls from the midfield while completing 49 of his 58 passes on the afternoon.
But regardless of his strong performance on both sides of the ball, Villarreal’s inability to call a foul on his late game breakaway will earn the headlines.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com