Three Points: The LA Galaxy draw 2-2 with the Portland Timbers

LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano offers his analysis of the LA Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with Portland

CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano’s Three Points to the club’s 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers.

CONCENTRATION FAILS THE LA GALAXY IN THE SECOND HALF…

The LA Galaxy took a deserved lead after 65 minutes that lasted just five minutes as the team’s concentration failed them allowing the Portland Timbers to claw their way back into the match.

Sarvas’ finish from the top of the box gave LA the lead, but immediately after the goal, the Timbers adjusted and began to frantically press the Galaxy in search of the equalizer which was found two minutes later on a stellar tally by Diego Valeri. This pressure put the Galaxy on the back-heel as the Timbers proved quicker to the ball allowing them to put LA behind minutes later.

Portland’s urgency helped the Timbers take the lead in the 70th minute as a failed Galaxy clearance fell to Jorge Villafana who put the visitors in front and quieted the sellout crowd at StubHub Center.

…BUT LA BATTLE BACK TO EARN A POINT

Down a goal, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena threw numbers forward as LA sought to open a Portland side that seemed content to sit back after pulling ahead.

The Galaxy’s response was almost immediate as Landon Donovan had two decent penalty shouts after being pulled down by Portland defenders, but got nothing from referee Jair Marrufo. Moments after Donovan was brought down just outside the box by Diego Chara in the 76th minute, Juninho had a chance of his own as his free kick was saved by Donovan Ricketts.  Sensing Portland’s shaky defense, Arena changed his back four to a back three in the back after pulling A.J. DeLaGarza for Rob Friend in the 82nd minute, a move that further frazzled Portland.

Baggio Husidic, who was by far the most industrious substitution, finally helped LA pull level in the 86th minute when he launched a cross that ricocheted off Portland defender Rauwshan McKenzie to help the Galaxy earn a point. 

PORTLAND GAME PRECOURSOR TO DEFENSIVE SWITCH?

Omar Gonzalez wasn’t on the field for the LA Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers, but his presence loomed large over the game.

With the returning U.S. National Team defender in the stands, Bruce Arena slotted Tommy Meyer alongside A.J. DeLaGarza in central defense while Robbie Rogers and Dan Gargan were stationed out wide. Meyer performed aptly enough alongside DeLaGarza for wide stretches; however, don’t expect him to lock down a spot on the back four permanently due to Gonzalez’s return.

With Rogers and Gargan impressing again as outside backs, it appears increasingly likely that Arena will opt for a Gonzalez-DeLaGarza tandem once the U.S. international returns to action. Just when Gonzalez makes his first start is still in question as the Galaxy return to action next week against Real Salt Lake.

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