The LA Galaxy and Portland Timbers put on a show for the ages on Saturday night scoring a combined eight goals, but it was the three Galaxy designated players that made the difference as LA held off the pesky home squad to earn a 5-3 road victory. The win was the fifth in the last seven for the Galaxy who appear to be surging after a dreadful start to the 2012 season.
The start of the match was all too familiar for the Galaxy this season as the Timbers opened the scoring in the third minute as Kris Boyd put the ball past Josh Saunders igniting green smoke bombs and sending the sell-out crowd at JELD-WEN into a frenzy. Instead of letting the early lapse set the tone, LA began to take control thanks to the scintillating magic of David Beckham.
Beckham, fresh off of a two game suspension for the well documented late game tirade in San Jose, took the ball from 35 yards out and curled it into the net scoring one of the prettiest goals we will see this year. Beckham raised his hands in triumph as his goal in the 19th minute equalized the score. Just five minutes later Beckham hovered over a free kick from 22 yards out and added another highlight bending free kick beating Troy Perkins on the left side of the goal.
Three minutes later Michael Stephens was taken down in the box and Landon Donovan converted the PK to put LA up 3-1. Donovan crossed to Robbie Keane who tapped home a goal from point blank range to give LA their fourth goal in nine minutes. The Galaxy explosion was a solid reminder of the potential to dominate that this star studded team possesses.
Instead of folding the Timbers gave it their all in a fruitless comeback attempt. Kosuke Kimura scored in the 34th minute to cut the LA lead to 4-2 giving the Timbers hope. The Timbers would score again with Boyd's second in the 70th but not before Robbie Keane scored his second in the 64th.
The win gives the fifth place Galaxy 26 points, four behind Seattle and Vancouver.
MY THREE TAKEAWAYS
1. Beckham was the superstar tonight. His two spectacular goals ignited a superb display by the Galaxy. When he scores it is always a site to see. He won't be around forever so get down to the Home Depot Center and see him live if you haven't yet.
2. Keane is a finisher and his goals were what we had come to expect last year. If this is a sign of things to come we will be seeing a lot of his cart wheel celebrations in the second half of the season.
3. You have to feel for Timbers fans. The Timbers Army is incredible and those fans deserve a winner. MLS is a better league thanks to the atmosphere in Portland. For the league's sake I hope the on-field product improves in the Rose City.