It may have been another draw for the Portland Timbers as they finished 2-2 against the LA Galaxy on the 4th of July, but head coach Caleb Porter said in his postgame comments from the StubHub Center, a point on the road against a top MLS team in front of sellout crowd of 27,000 people is never anything to be too disappointed about.
“I’m not going to let where we’re at the in the table taint the fact that that’s a very good point on the road against a very good team with a big crowd,” Porter said. “In the end, we gave them all they could handle and they gave us all we could handle.”
Moreover, the Timbers extended their road unbeaten streak to six consecutive matches in all competitions and five consecutive regular-season games.
Second-half goals from Diego Valeri and Jorge Villafaña offset a 65th-minute Marcelo Sarvas strike to open scoring, after a uneventful first 45 minutes, and had Portland heading into the final minutes holding a 2-1 victory.
But an unfortunate own goal from center back Rauwshan McKenzie, who had turned in a solid performance otherwise, on a Baggio Husidic pass left the Timbers with a draw. Porter believed it was “probably a fair result” between two good teams.
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“I thought across the board I got good performances from pretty much every guy on both sides of the ball,” he said. “One of the things I told them is if we play like we did tonight over the course of the next 16 games, we’re going to be where we need to be, there’s no doubt about it.”
Porter also noted that the Timbers have never lost at the StubHub Center, against either LA or Chivas USA, over the last two seasons and that they are unbeaten in five games against the Galaxy.
“Every time we play the LA Galaxy, it’s an absolute battle,” Porter said. "They’re one of the best teams in the league. They had their big guns today, they came to play, they were up for it and I thought we matched them toe-to-toe. I thought it was a very even game.”
And as both teams look to move into the playoff race, Timbers captain Will Johnson also noted that the result was a failure of the Galaxy to pick up three points at home. Portland will have a chance against another conference rival next Sunday when they travel to face the Seattle Sounders, just four days after they face their Cascadia rivals in a US Open Cup quarterfinals matchup.
“Obviously we’re disappointed that we didn’t close out the game, but the point allows us to stay in the race and it doesn’t allow the Galaxy to get three points ahead of us,” Johnson said. “So it’s more important on that front from me.”
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com.