Much is made of the atmosphere in Portland, somewhat less is made of the turf and its effects. Today against the Portland Timbers the Galaxy had do with that, pouring rain, and temperatures not seen in Los Angeles outside of the month of January. Top that off with the fact that the Timbers are pretty good at soccer, and you've got the situation LA walked into today.
It still felt like LA may have done enough to get at least a draw up in Oregon. With the pitch playing as fast as it did, both teams did well and taking the ball from their opponent. The flip side of that was both offenses constantly losing possession, and for the Galaxy that was often in the form of poor shots. The Timbers didn't give LA much space to work in; Landon Donovan had five key passes but only one of them came inside the penalty area. That shot inside the penalty area was blocked.
"We didn't create any great chances," said Landon Donovan, "but I thought overall we played well. We were a little at fault for not shooting and putting the ball on frame a little bit more, but we certainly had better chances in the game than they did."
Donovan's got a point there, as only two shots came inside the frame of the goal for LA out of six. Worse, the only shot taken inside the penalty area was that aforementioned blocked shot. The Timbers were packed inside the final third and the Galaxy did not find a way to break them down (outside of the offside equalizer in stoppage time).
Portland was able to play both sides of the field (LA was terribly left-sided) and get the majority of their shots inside the goal frame taken from inside the penalty area. Whereas LA was so left sided that they didn't take one shot from the right side, Portland took a shot from the left, center, and right of the penalty area.
"But we can be better and we know when we play at home we're better than that. Tonight, I thought we did enough to at least get a point, but unfortunately we let ourselves down."
Yes LA have gotten better results at home (as has every MLS team) but there are still serious issues that came out in Portland. Not being able to trust your right side midfielder in the offense is an issue. Having a left side midfielder without a key pass, when the offense is flowing exclusively through him, is an issue.
LA played Portland to a relative deadlock at home too, a few months ago. There's a high probability that LA will see one of Portland or Seattle in the playoffs, and they'll see them on the road. The glaring issues need fixing, and yes, Robbie Rogers being out with injury has a great deal to do with LA having midfield issues.
Right now, without changes, this isn't a club that's going to make it through a playoff run.