CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy found the cure to their offensive shortcomings Saturday in the form of the expansion Portland Timbers, claiming a 3-0 victory at The Home Depot Center.
Landon Donovan scored a brace to finally open his 2011 campaign while Chad Barrett added another as the Galaxy scored three goals for the first time since a 3-1 win over Columbus last September. Donovan returned to the starting lineup after missing three matches due to a knee injury.
PHOTOS: Galaxy shutout Timbers
Just four minutes into the match, Donovan reminded Galaxy fans what they had been missing. The LA captain found Barrett near the top of the penalty area. The former Toronto forward controlled the ball with his shoulder, knocked it down in front of him and ripped a 16-yard shot past Troy Perkins into the back of the net.
Four minutes later, LA doubled their lead. Portland’s Rodney Wallace grabbed Donovan inside the area and the Galaxy were awarded a penalty kick. Donovan easily converted, notching his first goal of the season.
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: Galaxy 3, Timbers 0
Portland had little to offer as a rebuttal in the first half. About the only time the Timbers threatened the Galaxy goal was just before the intermission when Mamadou Danso got his head on the end of a Jack Jewsbury's free kick, but Donovan Ricketts dived and pushed the ball aside.
Juan Pablo Ángel was inserted into the match at halftime, replacing Miguel López, but was not immediately impactful. Portland sent out their own Colombian Designated Player as Diego Chará made his MLS debut. Later, the Timbers put Darlington Nagbe into the match, but the Galaxy still controlled the proceedings as Portland were unable to get much going offensively.
Eventually, though, Ángel made an impact. In the 67th minute, the Colombian skirted past Danso, raced towards the end line and whipped a ball to the far post. Donovan hammered a header into the back of the net to give the Galaxy a commanding 3-0 advantage.
The Timbers found some momentum in the late stages of the game as Kenny Cooper's chip was denied by a diving Ricketts in the 71st minute. Nine minutes later, Cooper volleyed a long Jorge Perlaza cross straight on frame, but Ricketts denied the Portland forward yet again.
Portland drop to 2-3-1 after winning their last two straight at home. The Timbers next host CONCACAF Champions League finalists Real Salt Lake at JELD-WEN Field on April 30. The Galaxy improve to 4-1-3 and next travel to Pizza Hunt Park to take on FC Dallas on May 1.
Postgame Interview: Landon Donovan
LA -- Chad Barrett 2 (Landon Donovan 1, David Beckham 4) 4
LA -- Landon Donovan 1 (penalty kick) 8
LA -- Landon Donovan 2 (Juan Pablo Angel 1, Chad Barrett 1) 67
POR -- Rodney Wallace (caution; Tactical Foul) 7
LA -- Sean Franklin (caution; Reckless Foul) 17
LA -- Mike Magee (caution; Reckless Foul) 91+
Portland Timbers -- Troy Perkins, Steve Purdy, Eric Brunner, Mamadou Danso, Rodney Wallace, Jeremy Hall (Darlington Nagbe 59), Jack Jewsbury, James Marcelin (Diego Chara 46), Kalif Alhassan (Sal Zizzo 72), Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza.
Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Goldthwaite, Adam Moffat, Ryan Pore, Jake Gleeson.
LA Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts, Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, Mike Magee, Juninho (Michael Stephens 78), David Beckham, Landon Donovan (Paolo Cardozo 74), Miguel Lopez (Juan Pablo Angel 46), Chad Barrett.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Birchall, Frankie Hejduk, Jovan Kirovski, Josh Saunders.
Referee: Ramon Hernandez
Referee's Assistants: Peter Manikowski; Claudio Badea
4th Official: Landis Wiley
Time of Game: 1:51