The early struggles of the LA Galaxy didn't exactly lead to much sympathy from the rest of the league. Being the defending MLS Cup champions, filled with stars and with a massive payroll, LA wasn't about to get a helping hand, although they got a bit of one on Saturday. The schedule makers gave them a match against the struggling Portland Timbers and the Galaxy took advantage, getting goals from Landon Donovan, Juninho and David Beckham in a 3-1 comeback win at the Home Depot Center.
Portland went in front after 23 minutes when the Galaxy defense, which is shaky even when the injured A.J. DeLaGarza is playing, broke down. Eric Alexander and Darlington Nagbe combined to put the LA defense on its heels before feeding Kris Boyd. In all alone on goal, Boyd had no problem slotting the ball past Josh Saunders, and the visitors were in front.
Just a few minutes later, Portland should have been up by two, but the linesman disallowed a brilliant goal. Boyd was played in with a ball that was behind him, but he flicked it back to himself before scoring with a great bit of skill. The problem is that the flag was up, which replays proved to be a bad decision by the linesman.
Lucky to be down just one goal, LA got even just before the halftime whistle. Robbie Keane gathered the ball wide on the left, turned and undressed Eric Brunner, who slipped. The Irishman took the ball at goal before dragging it back for Donovan, who knocked the ball into the net for the equalizer.
An end-to-end sequence in the second half almost saw both teams grab leads. First, Junior Lopes got free on a corner kick and beat Troy Perkins with his header, but Franck Songo'o was on the post and cleared it off the line. The Timbers came right back down the other way and Eric Alexander hit a peach of a shot, but it went off the crossbar and the match stayed 1-1.
It would only be tied until Juninho got involved in the 83rd minute. The Brazilian was given a bit of space from 20 yards and he hit a low, hard shot that got through traffic and beat Perkins to the near post for the go-ahead goal.
The drama was taken out of the match in the 91st minute when Beckham unleashed one of his trademark strikes. Given time from 25 yards, Beckham stepped into a shot that was right in the upper corner and left Perkins no chance. The confetti fell as the Englishman celebrated in the corner, partly because of his fantastic goal, and partly because LA had finally gotten back on the smiling side of the scoreboard after weeks of struggles.