PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers, minus All-Star midfielder and team captain Jack Jewsbury, stunned the LA Galaxy behind two early goals and another in the second half in a 3-0 victory Wednesday night in front of a raucous crowd at JELD-WEN Field.
The victory for Portland, the Western Conference’s eighth-place team, ended Galaxy’s league-high 14-game unbeaten streak and broke up a series of dismal results for the Timbers at home.
Portland hadn’t won a home match since May 21 after charging out of the gate with five-straight wins to christen their new stadium, and had squandered leads in three of their last four home games.
But it was the Timbers who looked like the team running away with the best record in MLS rather than the Galaxy, who came into the game with a league-leading 45 points from 23 games coming off a 4-0 victory Saturday against Vancouver. LA hadn’t lost in MLS play in over three months, last dropping a decision on May 1 to FC Dallas.
Defender Mike Chabala got things going for Portland in the 26th minute, after he and midfielder Darlington Nagbe traded passes. Chabala found himself in space in the box and blasted past LA ‘keeper Josh Saunders, making it 1-0.
It was the first goal for Chabala, who joined the team two weeks ago in a trade with Houston, and the first assist for the rookie Nagbe.
Then in the 33rd minute, a Chabala throw in to forward Kenny Cooper was tapped on to midfielder Diego Chara. He then crossed it to Perlaza, who was able to beat defender AJ DeLaGarza for a sliding shot past Saunders and the 2-0 halftime lead.
It was well-deserved. LA never threatened in the first 45, being outshot 9-0 as Portland neutralized forward Landon Donovan and midfielder David Beckham. For the game Portland out-shot LA 15-8.
The Galaxy’s best chance to climb back into it came early in the second half when Beckham curled a long cross toward sub Adam Cristman in the box. His flicked header skidded just wide of Troy Perkins’ net, and the potential fight-back went with it.
Then Portland added insurance.
A corner by Sal Zizzo found a leaping Eric Brunner on the far side of the goal for the match’s final tally in the 68th minute.
Portland (7-10-4, 25 points) next play San Jose on Saturday in a match that starts a three-game road swing. LA (12-3-9, 45 points) play at home Saturday against Dallas in a clash of Western Conference leaders.
POR -- Mike Chabala 1 (Darlington Nagbe 1) 26
POR -- Jorge Perlaza 5 (Diego Chara 3, Kenny Cooper 2) 33
POR -- Eric Brunner 2 (Sal Zizzo 2) 68
LA Galaxy -- Josh Saunders, A.J. DeLaGarza, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, Chris Birchall, Michael Stephens (Adam Cristman 46), Juninho (Dan Keat 81), David Beckham, Juan Pablo Angel (Miguel Lopez 46), Landon Donovan.
Substitutes Not Used: Gregg Berhalter, Bryan Jordan, Mike Magee, Brian Perk.
Portland Timbers -- Troy Perkins, Lovel Palmer, Eric Brunner, David Horst, Mike Chabala, Sal Zizzo (Kalif Alhassan 89), James Marcelin, Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe (Rodney Wallace 85), Jorge Perlaza (Brian Umony 87), Kenny Cooper.
Substitutes Not Used: Mamadou Danso, Bright Dike, Peter Lowry, Adin Brown.
LA -- Landon Donovan (caution; Reckless Tackle) 64
POR -- Diego Chara (caution; Reckless Tackle) 83
POR -- Sal Zizzo (caution; Reckless Tackle) 89
Referee: Mark Kadlecik
Referee's Assistants: -Paul Scott; Mike Kampmeinert
4th Official: Ricardo Salazar
Time of Game: 1:48