CARSON, Calif. – A refreshed LA Galaxy snapped a seven-game winless streak while picking up their first shutout of the season with a 1-0 win against the Portland Timbers at The Home Depot Center on Sunday.
With the result, the Galaxy (4-8-2) overtook the Timbers (3-6-4), climbing out of the Western Conference cellar.
Left back Todd Dunivant accounted for the lone goal, knocking a header off the post and past a diving Troy Perkins in the 61st minute. The Galaxy's defense, which had surrendered leads in each of the past two games, stood firm and did not allow the Timbers back into the match.
GOAL: Dunivant heads in winner
The Galaxy welcomed goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who last played a league match on April 21, back into the lineup. Saunders recently returned from a period of personal leave and played the Galaxy's last two reserve matches.
Meanwhile, Portland welcomed Danny Mwanga, who arrived from Philadelphia in a trade for Jorge Perlaza, into the fold. Mwanga donned No. 10 and started at forward alongside Kris Boyd.
Landon Donovan got things rolling when he nearly put the Galaxy up on the quarter hour, running onto a loose ball from 20 yards out and lining up a shot before firing a rocket that caromed off the post.
In the 26th minute, Kris Boyd took his chances from nearly 35 yards out, but Saunders dove to his right and made a one-handed save.
Dunivant finally broke open the scoring in the 61st minute when Beckham swung a corner kick to the far post. The LA defender ran onto the floating ball and headed it down, off the right post and into the net. The goal was Dunivant's first of the season and first since May 2010 against Seattle.
The Timbers, however, thought that Donovan had obstructed Perkins, who earned a yellow card for dissent following play, giving Dunivant the time and space to score.
Portland made all three of their changes over the following 20 minutes as Sal Zizzo, Mike Fucito and Eric Alexander attempted to breathe some life into the Timbers' attack.
However, the Galaxy’s defense remained stout. David Lopes and AJ DeLaGarza did well throughout the match to match Mwanga and Boyd’s physicality while Dunivant and Sean Franklin held their ground on the flanks.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Landon Donovan||The US star came back from the international break with a chip on his shoulder. Active all night and hit the post.|
|2||Todd Dunivant||Found the space to deposit Beckham's corner kick. Helped the LA defense close down a very important win.|
|3||Josh Saunders||In his first match back, Saunders made two saves in the first half that kept LA in the game.|