Craig Mitchelldyer

Postgame Notes & Quotes: LA @ Portland

LA Galaxy 0, Portland Timbers 3

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

JELD-WEN Field – Portland, Ore.

Scoring Summary:

POR – Mike Chabala 1 (Darlington Nagbe 1) 26’

POR – Jorge Perlaza 5 (Diego Chara 3, Kenny Cooper 2) 33’

POR – Eric Brunner 2 (Sal Zizzo 2) 68’

Misconduct Summary:

LA – Landon Donovan (Yellow Card) 64’

POR – Diego Chara (Yellow Card) 83’

POR – Sal Zizzo (Yellow Card) 89’


LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant; Chris Birchall, David Beckham, Juninho (Dan Keat 81’), Michael Stephens (Adam Cristman 46’); Landon Donovan©, Juan Pablo Angel (Miguel Lopez 46’).

Subs Not Used: Brian Perk, Gregg Berhalter, Bryan Jordan, Mike Magee.

Portland Timbers: Troy Perkins©; Lovel Palmer, Eric Brunner, David Horst, Mike Chabala; Diego Chara, James Marcelin, Sal Zizzo (Kalif Alhassan 90’), Darlington Nagbe; Jorge Perlaza (Brian Umony 87’), Kenny Cooper.

Subs Not Used: Adin Brown, Mamadou Danso, Rodney Wallace, Peter Lowry, Bright Dike.

Referee: Mark Kadlecik

Referee’s Assistants Paul Scott and Mike Kamemeinert

4th Official: Ricardo Salazar


  • With the loss, the Galaxy are now 12-3-9 on the season. They remain in first place in the Western Conference with a league-best 45 points. LA remain in first place in the Western Conference, three points ahead of FC Dallas, who they host on Saturday.
  • The loss snaps the Galaxy’s 14-game unbeaten streak, which dated back to a 2-1 loss at FC Dallas on May 1. They were 8-0-6 during that streak.
  • The 14-game unbeaten streak was tied for the longest in MLS this season and the third longest unbeaten streak in Galaxy history. The only streaks longer were a pair of 15-game unbeaten streaks, the first of which happened during the 1997 and 1998 seasons while the other started late in the 2009 season and ended in June 2010.
  • The loss snaps the Galaxy’s three-game winning streak.
  • The Galaxy are now 6-3-4 on the road this season, including 4-3-1 against the Western Conference.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that won 4-0 over the Whitecaps in Vancouver on Saturday, bringing David Beckham and Chris Birchall back into the midfield. They replaced Gregg Berhalter and Mike Magee with Sean Franklin returning to right back and Landon Donovan moving up front.
  • This was the first game back in the lineup for Beckham and Birchall had to serve one and two game suspensions respectively.
  • The Galaxy were without Sean Alvarado, Chad Barrett, Jovan Kirovski, Leonardo and Donovan Ricketts, who all missed the game through injury.
  • The Galaxy fell behind 1-0 in the 26th minute when Mike Chabala scored his first of the season. That goal was the first that the Galaxy had allowed in the first half of a game since May 14 when the trailed 1-0 before beating Sporting Kansas City 4-1.
  • That was also the last time the Galaxy trailed in a game.
  • Chabala’s goal was the first allowed by the Galaxy in 234 minutes dating back to the 2- 1win over Chicago on July 9.
  • Jorge Perlaza doubled Portland’s lead seven minutes later with his fifth goal of the season.
  • This was just the fourth time this season that the Galaxy had allowed two or more goals in a game and just the second time that they had done so in the first half.
  • The only other time the Galaxy allowed more then one goal in the first half of a game this year was the 4-1 loss at Real Salt Lake on March 26. They were down 3-0 at halftime of that game.
  • That was also the only time this year that the Galaxy trailed at halftime.
  • The Galaxy were outshot 9-0 in the first half with the Timbers putting five of their nine shots on goal.
  • This was the first time since June 18 that the Galaxy had not been tied 0-0 at the half. LA had been tied 0-0 at halftime in each of their last five regular season games.
  • Juan Pablo Angel and Michael Stephens each came off at halftime and were replaced by Adam Cristman and Miguel Lopez.
  • The Timbers made it 3-0 in the 68th minute when Eric Brunner scored off a Sal Zizzo corner kick. This was only the second time this season that the Galaxy had allowed three or more goals in a game and just the eighth time that they have done so with Bruce Arena in charge.
  • Landon Donovan was shown the Galaxy’s only yellow card in the game for a foul in the 64th minute. Portland's Diego Chara received the other in the 84th minute.
  • Juninho was not booked, meaning that he remains on yellow card warning. If he does not receive a yellow card in his next game, he will have one expunged from his record.
  • Todd Dunivant once again played the full 90 minutes at left back for the Galaxy. He is the only player on the club to start all 24 regular season games while also play the full 90 minutes in each.
  • This was the Galaxy’s first ever game at JELD-WEN Field, which is the 36th different stadium that the Galaxy have played a regular season game in. They are now 16-15-5 their first time playing in a new building.
  • LA are now 15-7-3 all-time against expansion teams, including 2-1-0 this year. They are 1-0-0 against Vancouver ad 1-1-0 against the Timbers.
  • Tonight’s loss was the Galaxy’s first to an expansion team since losing 2-0 at home to Seattle Sounders FC on August 15, 2009.
  • The attendance for tonight’s game was a sellout crowd of 18,627 at JELD-WEN Field.
  • The Galaxy will return to Los Angeles on Thursday and train Friday before hosting FC Dallas at The Home Depot Center on Saturday. That game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and will be shown on Prime Ticket on tape delay starting at 8:30 p.m.


Portland Timbers Head coach John Spencer
On the overall result:
"I think that we took on opportunities at the right moment. I asked the guys from the first minute to try and out-run them every inch of the field and I think we did that tonight. It's a very pleasing result, obviously, after the way things have been going. I think we showed a massive amount of character tonight mentally after what happened to us at the weekend, when everybody expected us to blow Toronto away for some reason. I keep saying that there are no easy games in MLS. It's a very unpredictable league, as you've seen tonight. We've played very well and beat a team that is possibly the best team in the country right now."

On missing captain and midfielder Jack Jewsbury due to a hamstring strain:
"I think that Jack's been great for us. He's been influential. I think James Marcelin came in there and did a good job for us. I don't think there was one player on the field tonight that we couldn't say put in a fantastic performance, but you can't forget what Jack Jewsbury has done for us from the start of the season to now. He was missed, but I don't doubt for a minute that if he played tonight it wouldn't be the same result."

On the team stepping up defensively and holding LA without a shot in the first half:
"I think that the guys have really taken a lot of the criticism in the last few weeks personally. I [told] them a few times that if I didn't think they had the ability, they wouldn't be here. Our concentration, at times, has let us down. Landon (Donovan) is a world class player ... I think Landon is the best player in the country by a mile. We tried to force him wide and keep him out of the middle of the field because he's so dangerous. I think we did a great job of that. I think the guys were up to really prove a lot of people wrong, that we could keep clean sheets. But now we have to enjoy it tonight and look forward to the San Jose game at the weekend with the same mentality. You can't get up for the bigger game and drop your standard for the game you think you should win."

On winning at home:
"We've beaten some quality teams here. We beat the Crew, who are sitting at the top of the East, we should've beaten New York, we beat Philadelphia and Salt Lake. We've beaten some quality teams. What we have to do now is follow this up with a real good performance this weekend."

On managing the game better with a 2-0 lead:
"I think at 2-0 I was trying to tell them to relax. Pass the ball, keep the ball, don't force it unless you have to force it. [LA has] done a little bit of traveling this week, so make them run. We knew that they were going to possibly leave three at the back and flood the midfield ... You always run the risk of them punishing you on the counter-attack, but you can't then fall into a negative mindset where you're running too much with them. If you play it forward and get your fullbacks to join in, then Landon (Donovan) and David (Beckham) have a decision to make: Do they hang high or do they track back? Tonight, they were tracking back and we pulled them back into defensive areas where they didn't really want to be."

Midfielder Sal Zizzo
On the result:
"It was a lot of fun. One of the best games you'll see from us, hopefully you'll see more. It was the most fun I've had all season."

On getting out of the gate quickly and playing a full 90 minutes:
"We needed an early goal and we got it. Mike (Chabala) hit a great strike, luckily it deflected and went into the corner. Going up 1-0, and even going up 2-0 and then 3-0, we don't think the game is over and we were able to close it out and that's what we've been working on."

On playing without Jewsbury:
"He's our captain, he's our leader out there. We've got a lot of leaders on this team who, in his absence, were able to put in a good performance."

Goalkeeper Troy Perkins
On the result:
"It was good. It certainly buries some demons tonight and got rid of that bad mojo of not finishing games out. Obviously, the third goal helps a lot, lets a lot of pressure off of us in the back, but the guys fought for 90-plus minutes tonight and put out everything they had."

On keeping LA without a shot in the first half:
"[We] just stayed compact and organized. I think we really made it tough for them to play early on. They couldn't find their rhythm and [we] forced them to play long balls. On that surface and the guys we had matched up it was to our advantage.

On closing out a game:
"I think finally someone struck us in the back of the head with a hammer and the idea finally stuck. I was a little more vocal about little things like keeping the ball and keeping guys back instead of looking forward."

Midfielder Darlington Nagbe
On managing the game better than in the past:
"In this game, when we got the two goals, we didn't give up and we went and got the third one. Once we got the third one, I feel like we defended well. Everyone was on it defensively and I feel like that was the big difference. Against Toronto, we laid back and we didn't push to get the third goal. In this game, I feel like we did."

On carrying the momentum into this weekend's game with San Jose:
"We know we're confident. We just beat one of the best teams in the league, so we know that we can do it. So, we've just got to go on the road now and do it against San Jose."

On whether or not playing a star-studded team like the Galaxy helped boost the team's excitement:
"I feel like it came from us. We just wanted to win at home since we gave away the three points against Toronto. I feel like the motivation just came from us wanting to get a win."

On playing without Jewsbury:
"I feel like a lot of guys stepped up vocally and a lot of guys stepped up leadership-wise. He is our captain, he is our leader on the field."

LA Galaxy Head coach Bruce Arena
On flow of the game:
"We were dominated in the first half and it was the story of the game. I don't think we made adjustments for the size of the field and the surface and we were really outplayed in every position on the field. We were dominated, we were beat. I don't think there's anything sophisticated about the analysis of this game. We were beat all over the field."

On moving on from the loss:
"You have to throw it behind you – if you dwell on this, you're not going to win any more games. We were beat tonight and there's absolutely no excuses."

On if players were looking past Portland to FC Dallas:
"We haven't even mentioned Dallas yet, so I don't think it was that. I think we just didn't start the game off well and didn't make any kinds of adjustments to the speed of the surface and the field dimensions. They were a step quicker on every play in the opening 30 minutes of the game and they beat us soundly."

On halftime adjustments:
"Obviously if we played the first half like we played the second half we would have had a better chance in this game, but we were soundly beat."

On what the team was lacking:
"There was nothing we had. We were lacking in every area. Technically we were poor, physically we were dominated and [we were] out-competed. If there's any game where you can point to 10 field players and say you lost your matchup this is the game."

On the atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
"It's nice. It's a wonderful setting, obviously, with great support and tonight's a night where you give your opponent all the credit they deserve."

Forward Landon Donovan
On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
"The atmosphere was excellent. We've seen it from afar on TV and even walking off the bus a lot of their crowd was already here. It was loud and I'm sure they're pretty happy tonight."

On unbeaten streak coming to an end:
"It's hard to go through a long stretch of the season unbeaten, especially in our league, where there's a salary cap and teams are playing with the same rules. It was a good run. There were probably a couple times where it could've been broken up but tonight we didn't deserve to win and we paid for it."

On difficulty of the game:
"We made it hard on ourselves. We knew they were going to come to play and this would be the biggest game they played all year and we weren't ready for it. If you're not ready to play in this league, you'll get beat."

On looking past Portland to FC Dallas:
"I think we were just not prepared and that's down to every one of us on the field. We know what our jobs are and we were prepared well by our coaches but we just didn't get it done."

Midfielder David Beckham
On atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field:
"It's a good atmosphere, obviously something you want to play in front of. You want to play in front of fans that are passionate about their team. It's a great night for them tonight. They needed a result like this and I'm pleased with John Spencer because obviously he's a man that has great experience in the game, so it was a great atmosphere but obviously tough for us to lose."

On whether this is was their worst performance of the season:
"No I think we've played worse, but other times we've just come out of it with a great play or a great goal. But I think the first half is what killed us – we were outworked, outplayed, out-hustled, and for a team as good as us, that should never happen."

On being surprised at result:
"I'm surprised at the way we played, but if you perform like that, you deserve to lose like that. We go home a little bit embarrassed because of the result, but at the end of the day, it's the first game we've lost in three months. We've been on a good run, [but it] had to end somewhere."

On if Portland looked like an expansion team:
"They looked like a good team. At the end of the day, they looked like a team that was passionate about winning. They want to win in front of their own fans and they did them proud tonight and the fans did the team proud because it's a good atmosphere to play in."

On the city:
"Everyone's been great. It seems like a nice city, a passionate city about this team and it's nice to be around, it's refreshing."

On improvement he's seen in the Timbers since the April 23 game at LA:
"They seem more hungry. I'm sure they always want to win because they're professional players and I'm sure they love playing for this team but they were hungry tonight. They didn't want to lose this game, especially in front of their own fans, and they did well, so congratulations to them and they deserved the win."