The LA Galaxy lost 1-0 to the Portland Timbers on a blustery day, with not much going right offensively despite dominating the pace of the match. The loss combined with not getting all three points against Seattle last time out puts LA a bit on the back foot going into the final month of the season, needing to pick up the pace to get back on track.
The Timbers got their lone goal from Maxi Urruti who karate kicked one past Jaime Penedo who otherwise had an excellent match. Two huge saves by the LA Galaxy goalkeeper kept his team in the match, and was also involved in clearing the ball coming off his line to help out his defenders.
The Galaxy attack became one sided, always going wide through Gyasi Zardes and never through Hector Jimenez or Michael Stephens. Landon Donovan showed some absense rust but managed five key passes. Finding finishers was the difficult part, with Keane allowing a physical defense to take him out of his rhythm.
In looking for a man of the match, the Portland defense used the small size of their field to their advantage keeping Donovan and Keane from getting any pockets of space from which to work in. It's no surprise that once Donovan and Keane had room to breathe they combined for a goal; unfortunately the rules as written don't allow for any leaning into an offside position.
Portland packed the penalty area, especially after they managed their lone goal. Diego Chara's heat map showed the Galaxy essentially played against five defenders, and with six interceptions and four tackles he was certainly involved in limiting the Galaxy attack.
With the Colorado Rapids off this week, LA remains tied with the Colorado Rapids for those fourth and fifth spots. If they season ended today, LA would host the wildcard playoff via the wins tiebreaker. Colorado hosts Seattle next week while LA hosts Chivas, so that could be a good opportunity to get separation again.
Portland has a very difficult stretch coming up with a road trip to Vancouver next week, then hosting Seattle, then hosting Real Salt Lake. LA hosts Chivas, Montreal, and San Jose in that time, so there's still a possibility of LA jumping into third place by playoff time. Today's result didn't make things easier though.