Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers: 6 Things We Learned
With the victory, the Galaxy improve to 8-10-2 (26 points) and remain fifth in the MLS Western Conference. As for the Timbers, they drop to 5-9-4 and are dead last in the West.
Braces from the top guns on both teams dominated this match: David Beckham and Robbie Keane for Los Angeles, and Kris Boyd for Portland.
Here are six things we learned from Saturday's high-scoring tilt.
1. A New Manager at Portland
This past Monday, John Spencer was sacked as manager of the Portland Timbers. Owner Merritt Paulson appointed general manager Gavin Wilkinson as the interim manager of the team.
Wilkinson has no intention of being the manager on a full-time basis, meaning that the search for a new manager is underway.
2. Kris Boyd with a Brace to Lead the Timbers
The bright spot for the Timbers in this defeat has been the play of forward Kris Boyd.
Three minutes into the contest, Boyd was able to miss his marker and slide one past Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders. Boyd was also responsible for the last goal of the game, which came off a free kick.
However, the damage had already been done because the Galaxy had two players who also recorded braces, as we shall see.
3. David Beckham with a Brace
After being snubbed out of Team Great Britain, Galaxy midfielder David Beckham put on a sensational game.
Nineteen minutes in, a volley from 35 yards out hit the left-side netting. Then, in the 24th minute, Beckham showed that he can still deliver on set pieces, sending a bending shot inside the bottom-left corner.
Becks had to be subbed out in the 82nd minute as a precaution due to a knock but was fine otherwise. Aside from the early sub, this was his best game of the season in an L.A. Galaxy uniform.
4. Robbie Keane with a Brace
Another of Los Angeles' designated players, Robbie Keane, continued his hot streak on Saturday against Portland with a brace of his own.
In the 28th minute, a pass in transition from Landon Donovan found Keane, who beat goalkeeper Troy Perkins on a one-on-one to make it 4-1.
In the 64th minute, David Beckham and Sean Franklin teamed up to give Keane his brace. He slotted one inside the box, finding the far post.
It was Keane's brace that proved to be all the difference in what has been a barnburner at Jeld-Wen.
5. Business as Usual for Landon Donovan
All three of L.A.'s designated players imposed their will on Portland: David Beckham, Robbie Keane and the captain, Landon Donovan.
Kosuke Kimura conceded a penalty in the 27th minute. Donovan was able to covert straight down the middle to make it 3-1.
Donovan's penalty was part of a stretch of four goals in 10 minutes for Los Angeles.
6. Timbers Dominate the Stats, but Not the Scoreline
The Portland Timbers were dominant in possession (61 percent), passing accuracy (83 percent to 76 percent), open-play crosses (18 to 10) and corners (eight to four).
However, clutch defense late from L.A. combined with the Galaxy's goalscoring storm in the first half proved to be Portland's undoing.