The strange part about the goals: You kind of knew they were coming.
Take this first one. When Beckham takes his touch, you expect Portland’s midfielders to close him down. But they don’t move. And when he hits it at about 75 percent force – choosing placement over power – you know he knows: It’s in.
Imagine how goalkeeper Troy Perkins felt as he saw what was happening. Beckham gets the ball: OK. Nobody’s responding: Not OK. He’s shooting? I have no chance.
Then came the second one. Look at the right side of Portland’s wall:
Or, should we say Los Angeles’s wall. That extra four to five feet the Galaxy players were occupying is too much to give Beckham. It’s pretty basic stuff, stuff coach Gavin Wilkinson will surely be working on going forward. At least he won’t have to face Beckham again this year.
The commonality between the two goals: Beckham knew, as he hit each one, they were going in. And we knew. subconsciously, we knew we were seeing something that’d happened over and over during the last 20 years. But the time the ball hit nylon, we were beyond surprise.
Wilkinson shifted his formation so the Timbers would outnumber the Galaxy in midfield, but when you’re up against a weapon like Beckham’s right foot, you need more than numbers.