The game in 100 words (or less): Remember when the LA Galaxy were runaway favorites to win the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup this year? Late-August was a simple time for Bruce Arena’s side. Now, the Galaxy are a one-win-in-six side a week and a half before the playoffs begin. Their latest defeat (three in six) came courtesy of a very desperate Portland Timbers side at the StubHub Center on Sunday. Robbie Keane scored the opener, setting the defending champs on their way to a bit of late-season form, but it wasn’t to be as Fanendo Adi bagged a second-half brace to go along with tallies by Diego Chara and Darlington Nagbe. As has been the case for much of the season, the Galaxy defense remains in shambles with the playoffs 10 days away. Both LA and Portland could finish the regular season anywhere from second to sixth in the Western Conference. Hold on to your butts, next Sunday is going to be crazy.
Three moments that mattered
36′ — Keane, on the valley, makes it 1-0 — Lots of questions on this one: 1) Has Liam Ridgewell played soccer (more specifically, central defense) before? 2) Why not close down Juninho (or, even just pretend to)? 3) Why is Keane so good? Add those three queries up, and you’ve got a 1-0 Galaxy lead.
65′ — Adi turns and fires for 1-1 — This is beautiful soccer. From Nagbe’s clever, side-footed ball to free Diego Valeri, to Lucas Melano’s movement out wide, his feed to the big man, Adi’s first touch, Adi’s turn and Adi’s shot, this is how you draw it up.
85′ — Nagbe skins Gonzalez, makes it 4-2 — Omar Gonzalez didn’t have the best night, as was the case for the entire Galaxy defense. Nagbe compounded those struggles when he ripped the USMNT center back, rounded Donovan Ricketts and restored Portland’s two-goal lead 60 seconds after Keane had halved it.
Man of the match: Fanendo Adi
Goalscorers: Keane (36′, 84′), Adi (65′, PK – 68′), Chara (74′), Nagbe (85′), Urruti (90′)