CARSON, Calif. – In their second match of the 2017 MLS regular season, the Portland Timbers secured their first away win of the season, defeating the LA Galaxy 1-0 before 20,982 fans at the StubHub Center on Sunday evening. Portland’s win against the Galaxy marks its strongest start to a season in the club’s MLS era, with the Timbers picking up six points through their first two regular-season games.
Scoring his first MLS regular-season goal since Oct. 18, 2015, midfielder Diego Chara finished early in the first half for Portland, with midfielder Diego Valeri recording his second assist of the season, as the Timbers went on to win their opening away match for the first time in their MLS era.
Attacking quickly on the counter attack, Portland (2-0-0, 6pts) opened the scoring in the eighth minute when a long, searching ball from midfielder Sebastián Blanco found Chara in space inside the Galaxy’s half. Running onto Blanco’s pass, Chara headed the ball inside the box to Valeri, who played a first-time pass back to Chara for a close-range finish, with the Timbers scoring just 17 seconds after the Galaxy’s corner kick on the other end of the field.
Following a second yellow card for defender Jelle Van Damme in the 34th minute of play, reducing the Galaxy (0-2-0, 0pts) to 10 men, Portland continued to create goal-scoring opportunities, producing 14 overall shots and six shots on target throughout the match.
Opening up the second half, the Timbers worked the ball to the right wing, with Blanco cutting inside on his left foot before firing a strong effort that was deflected away from danger in the 47th minute. Seven minutes later, midfielder Darlington Nagbe broke free on the counter on the left wing, cutting in toward the right side of the box, before hitting a driven strike just wide of the target.
With 20 minutes remaining in the game, Portland created two clear-cut chances to extend its lead, with Valeri and forward Fanendo Adi each coming close to finding the back of the net. In the 70th minute, Nagbe’s pass released defender Marco Farfan, who became the youngest player to feature for Portland in an MLS match by starting and playing 90 minutes against the Galaxy, with the defender finding Valeri for a well-struck attempt that forced a strong save from LA goalkeeper Clement Diop.
One minute later, Adi picked up the ball inside the center circle in Portland’s half, before powering his way into the Galaxy’s 18-yard box. Taking a touch past Diop, Adi managed to cut past midfielder Sebastian Lletget, but a last-ditch tackle from defender Rafael Garcia prevented the scoring opportunity.
With the Portland defense limiting the Galaxy to just two shots on target throughout 90 minutes, Portland goalkeeper Jake Gleeson was only forced to make two saves in the contest, including a strong right-handed parry deep in stoppage time. With the Galaxy pushing numbers forward late in the game, Gleeson reacted quickly to push midfielder Jose Villareal’s close-range header away from danger in the 94th minute of play, preserving Portland’s first shutout of the season.
Next up, the Timbers will return to Providence Park to play host to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, March 18. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific), the March 18 match will be broadcast live on ROOT SPORTS with local radio broadcasts on 750 AM/102.9 FM The Game (English) and La GranD 1150 AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).
Portland Timbers (2-0-0, 6pts) vs. LA Galaxy (0-2-0, 0pts)
March 12, 2017 – StubHub Center (Carson, Calif.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 1 0 1
LA Galaxy 0 0 0
POR: Chara (Valeri), 8
POR: Nagbe (Caution), 24
LA: Van Damme (Ejection, second yellow), 34
LA: Garcia (Caution), 52
POR: Powell (Caution), 75
Lineups & Stats:
POR: GK Gleeson, D Powell, D Olum, D Miller, D Farfan, M Guzmán (Zemanski, 38), M Chara, M Blanco (Asprilla, 88), M Valeri © (Mattocks, 84), M Nagbe, F Adi
Substitutes Not Used: GK Attinella, D Myers, D Okugo, M Barmby
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Three players tied, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Chara, 2); FOULS: 15 (Powell, Adi, 3); OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 2
LA: GK Diop, D Garcia, D Steres, D Van Damme, D Smith, M Lletget, M Joao Pedro, M Husidic (Diallo, 35), M Alessandrini, F McBean (Villareal, 78), F dos Santos (Boateng, 45)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Rowe, D Arellano, M Villareal, F Lassiter
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Alessandrini, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Villareal, Alessandrini, 1); FOULS: 16 (Van Damme, McBean, 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 12; SAVES: 4
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Eduardo Mariscal
4th Official: Ricardo Salazar
Weather: Sunny, 66 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial