In trying to explain what happened to the LA Galaxy in their 3-0 loss to Portland, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said it was actually rather simple.
Portland controlled the match from start to finish, and the result was a lopsided contest that was never really in doubt.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
“We were dominated in the first half and it was the story of the game,” Arena said. “I don't think we made adjustments for the size of the field and the surface, and we were really outplayed in every position on the field. We were dominated, we were beat. I don't think there's anything sophisticated about the analysis of this game. We were beat all over the field."
Portland, who had not won a home game since May 21, came out seemingly determined to notch three points at Jeld-Wen Field. The Galaxy were unable to match their energy, nor the energy that came out of the sold-out stands.
“They looked like a good team. At the end of the day, they looked like a team that was passionate about winning,” Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said. “They want to win in front of their own fans and they did them proud tonight and the fans did the team proud because it's a good atmosphere to play in.”
The Galaxy held off Portland for a bit, but that defensive posture shattered in the 26th minute when Mike Chabala unleashed a rocket that made its way into the back of the net. Six minutes later, Jorge Perlaza doubled their lead after slipping past AJ De La Garza and knocking a ball past Saunders.
The team was essentially lost in the first half.
“The first half is what killed us,’” Beckham said. “We were outworked, outplayed, out-hustled, and for a team as good as us, that should never happen.”
Eric Brunner added a third goal midway through the second half as Portland put an exclamation mark on the performance.
“We made it hard on ourselves,” Beckham said. “We knew they were going to come to play and this would be the biggest game they played all year and we weren't ready for it. If you're not ready to play in this league, you'll get beat.”
It did not help the Galaxy any that Portland were determined to snatch a victory.
“They seem more hungry,” Beckham continued. “I'm sure they always want to win because they're professional players and I'm sure they love playing for this team, but they were hungry tonight. They didn't want to lose this game, especially in front of their own fans, and they did well, so congratulations to them and they deserved the win.”
Perhaps the only surprising part of the match, though, was how poorly the Galaxy performed. And ultimately the outcome was not a shock given that.
“I'm surprised at the way we played, but if you perform like that, you deserve to lose like that,” Beckham explained. “We go home a little bit embarrassed because of the result, but at the end of the day, it's the first game we've lost in three months. We've been on a good run, [but it] had to end somewhere.”