CARSON, Calif. — Landon Donovan scored a goal and assisted on another to help the LA Galaxy beat the Portland Timbers 4-0 in an MLS Reserve Game on Monday at The Home Depot Center. Donovan played 33 minutes in the game as he continues to work his way back from a left hamstring strain that has kept him out of the Galaxy lineup for much of the last month.
Andrew Boyens got the Galaxy on the scoreboard first, heading a free kick from Kenney Walker past goalkeeper Joseph Bendik in the 30th minute to give LA a 1-0 lead that they would take into halftime.
The Timbers made two substitutions at the break, brining on Brent Richards for Mike Fuctio, who left the game just before halftime with an apparent injury, and Jake Gleeson, who replaced Bendik in goal.
Just before the hour mark, with the temperature approaching almost 90-degrees, the Galaxy made their first two changes of the afternoon, bringing on Donovan and Pat Noonan in place of Edson Buddle and Christian Wilhelmsson, who started his second straight game with the reserves. Just three minutes after coming on, Donovan and Noonan linked up to double the Galaxy lead with Donovan, who was playing the first Reserve League game of his MLS career, splitting the Portland defense with a through ball and Noonan calmly finishing with his right foot.
Five minutes later, Noonan returned the favor, collecting a Donovan pass on the left wing and then crossing back into the middle for the Galaxy captain, who calmly finished with a right-footed volley to put his team in front 3-0.
Jack McBean rounded out the scoring in the 82nd minute with his third goal of the season, tying him for the team lead. Right back Oscar Sorto, an Academy player who came on for Hector Jimenez in the 61st minute, hit a perfectly weighted ball over the top of the Timbers’ defense, putting McBean through on goal. The 17-year-old narrowly beat Gleeson to the pass and was able to flick his shot into the empty net before colliding with the Portland goalkeeper.
At the other end of the field, Brian Rowe, who was making his first Reserve League start for the club, was able to maintain the shutout despite being tested by Kris Boyd and Danny Mwanga. The shutout was the LA reserves’ third of the year and first since August 7.
The 4-0 win matched LA’s biggest-ever win in the Reserve League while the four goals scored were their most in the competition since scoring five against Chivas USA in July 2008.
With the win, the Galaxy improved to 5-3-1 for 16 points on the season while the Timbers fall to 3-5-1. LA remained in second place in the West Division standings one point behind the San Jose Earthquakes, who beat Vancouver 2-1 earlier on Monday. Portland remained tied with Seattle for fifth place in the division with 10 points each.
The Galaxy will close out their Reserve League schedule on Friday, October 12 when they host Vancouver at The Home Depot Center. Portland will conclude their schedule on Wednesday, September 26 when they host Seattle.
LA Galaxy 4, Portland Timbers 0
Monday, September 10, 2012
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
LA – Andrew Boyens 1 (Kenney Walker 1) 30’
LA – Pat Noonan 1 (Landon Donovan 1) 60’
LA –Landon Donovan 1 (Pat Noonan 2) 65’
LA – Jack McBean 3 (Oscar Sorto 1) 82’
LA – Christian Wilhelmsson (Yellow Card) 51’
POR – Charles Renken (Yellow Card) 87’
LA Galaxy: Brian Rowe; Hector Jimenez (Oscar Sorto^ 61’), Andrew Boyens, Tommy Meyer, Bryan Gaul; Christian Wilhelmsson (Pat Noonan 57’), Kenney Walker (Jack McBean 70’), Rafael Garcia, Michael Stephens; Jose Villarreal (Raul Mendiola^ 83’), Edson Buddle (Landon Donovan 57’).
Subs Not Used: Brian Perk.
^ - Galaxy Academy Players
Portland Timbers: Joseph Bendik (Jake Gleeson 46’); Ryan Kawulok, Mamadou Danso, Eric Brunner, Ian Hogg (Cam Vickers* 71’); Eric Alexander, Kalif Alhassan, Pablo Di Fiori* (Sebastian Rincon 61’), Danny Mwanga, Kris Boyd (Charles Renken 66’), Mike Fucito.
Subs Not Used: None.
* - Timbers Guest/Training Player
Referee: Daniel Radford
Referee's Assistants: Cesra Calderon and Omar Meza
4th Official: Steve Elliott