Was it as dominant as Seattle? No, but LA Galaxy still see big things in their future after comeback win
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy on Saturday couldn't quite match their performance from earlier this week, but they gave it a game try – and they weren't all that far off.
Another dominant showing, in a 3-1 victory over visiting Portland that wasn't nearly as close as the score suggests, might be enough for the rest of Major League Soccer to give pause.
"We're certainly in a good position at the moment, the way we're playing, the way we're passing, the way we're moving," captain Robbie Keane said after scoring two goals and picking up an assist on Gyasi Zardes' header to pull LA even just before halftime. "We're very clinical in front of the goal. Everything is starting to click, certainly."
The Galaxy had most of the possession and nearly all of the chances for the second time in six days, and if they weren't as impressive as in Monday's romp in Seattle, they were sure close.
They conceded on a 14th-minute Diego Valeri free kick, Portland's only shot on frame, but were nearly perfect the rest of the way, emphasizing width to spread the Timbers' defense thin, then moving the ball quickly to repeatedly create scoring opportunities.
"We've played them three times already, so we know them well," said Landon Donovan, who played a role in Zardes' strike and Keane's 73rd-minute game-winner. "They have a lot of good attacking players, but their attacking players don't defend. And that's why we've been so successful lately, is everybody on the field is defending. And we knew if we got the ball wide, their wide guys weren't going to track back much, and we were going to get a lot of space.
"We got a lot of room wide, created a lot of chances from the wide positions, and scored a couple great goals."
It was the first time LA have rallied from a deficit to win this season, and that, Keane said, "just shows the character that we have [and] the belief at this moment in time that we have in the players."
"We're certainly looking strong, we're looking very domineering in the way that we're playing," he said. "It's important now that we continue that until the end of the season."
The Galaxy are looking much more like they did in 2011, when they were clearly MLS's best team from start to finish, and down the stretch in 2012, when they won a second successive MLS Cup title, than they resemble last year's model.
"I think we can be a better team that we were last year," Donovan said. "I think we're a lot more experienced in a lot of different positions. I think we're a lot better position-for-position when we're on the field. We struggled getting results early on, but now the results are coming and if we keep doing this, we're going to keep moving up the table.
"And who knows how far we can go? We're just going to keep going week by week, and if we keep putting points on the board, you never know where we'll end up."