The Portland Timbers dropped their first result of the season today, losing 2-1 to the LA Galaxy. Despite a late resurgence, the Timbers were unable to overcome a lackluster first 60 minutes that saw them fall behind by two goals before Sebastian Blanco pulled one back.
The match opened with a flurry of chances from the Galaxy, giving the Timbers no time to get set as they poured on the pressure from the opening whistle. After several close calls and one big save from Jake Gleeson, the Timbers were able to get the ball clear, but the side’s defensive issues were far from sorted.
In the 32nd minute, the Galaxy got the opener. As the Timbers looked to get organized after a Galaxy chance was cleared, the home side were a step ahead and sent a follow-up cross back into the box. New Galaxy full back Rolf Feltscher was there to meet the ball, heading it back across the face of goal and into the path of striker Ola Kamara, who chested the ball forward and into the back of the net.
With the Timbers still reeling, the Galaxy struck again in the 35th minute. A knocked down ball in the box saw Roman Alessandrini fight his way past Liam Ridgewell and get a shot off that ricocheted off the post and back into his path. Collecting the ball while the Timbers defense processed what had just happened, Alessandrini was able to put his rebound away and extend the lead to 2-0.
It would take until the 66th for the Timbers to work their way back into the match and get on the board. When a bouncing ball fell to to the foot of Fanendo Adi, the big man was able to flick the ball forward and into the path of Blanco. Carrying the ball into the box, Blanco slashed a low-angle shot on goal and through the legs of LA keeper David Bingham to bring the Timbers back within one.
The final half hour saw the Timbers pressing forward in search of the equalizer and creating a handful of chances, but the Galaxy held strong and created several chances of their own on the break.
The Timbers continue their season-opening road trip next Saturday against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.