At JELD-WEN Field on Saturday night defense was optional, but fun was guaranteed. The Portland Timbers and LA Galaxy played an absolutely thrilling match and combined for eight goals, sometimes with the help of poor defense, in front of a vocal and enthusiastic Timbers crowd. That crowd didn't leave happy, though. That is due in large part to the Designated Player trio of David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, who played exceptionally and led the Galaxy to a 5-3 win in hostile territory.
The Timbers were actually the ones who got off to a dream start. Kalif Alhassan was given far too much time on the right to cross and he found Kris Boyd at the near post. The Scot finished coolly and just three minutes into the match the home team was in front.
But LA stormed back in a big way with four goals in nine minutes. First, Beckham lined up a shot from 30 yards and hit an absolute rocket into the upper corner for a stunning equalizer. He followed that up with a brilliant free kick from 20 yards that got over the wall and just squeezed inside the post for his second great goal and the Galaxy lead.
The Galaxy still weren't done. Kosuke Kimura got caught napping and ended up behind Michael Stephens. Kimura then ran through Stephens, giving away the penalty that Donovan would convert to make it 3-1. Keane then ended the Galaxy's furious rally after Donovan raced down the right and delivered a perfect cross that the Irishman just had to tap in for the three-goal lead.
Amazingly, all of that craziness came before 30 minutes had even passed. Kimura did his best to make up for giving away the penalty when he was able to knock home a rebound given away by Josh Saunders, who couldn't hold a Boyd free kick. The Timbers were still down 4-2, but that didn't look insurmountable at halftime.
The Timbers' hopes of getting back in the match were wiped out just after the break, though, and Beckham and Keane were involved yet again. Beckham started the play with a gorgeous one-touch ball over the top right into the path of Sean Franklin, who had a great match. Franklin ran free down the right before spotting Keane in the middle. A simple low cross found Keane, who knocked it home with one touch and with a 5-2 lead it was over.
One more by Boyd made the scoreline look better, but Portland was simply outgunned by LA's big guns on Saturday night. Not even a raucous big crowd could bring them back, as the Galaxy put four points between them and the Rapids for the final playoff spot in one heck of an entertaining match.