By Carlos Hernandez, Sports Writer
The LA Galaxy faced off against the Portland Timbers on Sunday April 10 in the StubHub Center. The match was well dictated by the LA Galaxy who was not successful in going through a well compact and positioned Portland Timbers defense. Much of the attack from the LA Galaxy came from the flanks, specifically from 23 year old midfielder Sebastian Lletget. Throughout the match, he would take on defenders dribbling and occupying the space from the flanks which led him to deliver short or long diagonal passes to the LA Galaxy offense who were well prevented from scoring by the Timbers defense. Gyasi Zardes also stepped creating offensive damage, such as in one play where he dribbled the ball rapidly to the penalty box but was then tackled down just outside of the penalty box awarding the LA Galaxy a free kick that was not capitalized but defended well by the Portland Timbers.
Giovani Dio Santos made his return to the LA Galaxy starting eleven where beforehand went through an injury that kept him away from playing time. After a time consuming recovery process he got the start and did have moments where he controlled the ball well and worked his way through the Timbers defense, and delivered a pass to Gyasi Zardes who was unable to shoot the ball into the back of the net. Giovani Dio Santos also took a shot at goal that just went wide of the goal net, as to Mike Magee who had an active game in regards to distributing passes from the center of the field.
There was no damage done in the first half but that all changed in the second half due to the Portland Timbers scoring the opening goal and taking the lead off a counterattack. Fernando Adi, in front of four LA Galaxy defenders scored in the 51st minute in which became his fourth goal of the 2016 MLS season so far. The LA Galaxy than began to constantly attack in search of the equalizer, Sebastian Lletget kept up his performance from attacking off the flanks and delivering low diagonal passes as in one opportunity to Mike Magee who did not receive the pass well nor shot the ball well. Still the LA Galaxy kept pushing offensively and got the equalizing goal but not as how they expected. Off a run from the right flank and a long ball service by none other than Sebastian Lletget, Nat Borchers a Portland Timbers defender scored an own goal of a diving header in favor of the LA Galaxy which tied the match. There was one last opportunity that the LA Galaxy took in their hope of winning the match in stoppage time, Bradford Jamison IV who replaced Giovani Dio Santos in the second half, gave a low diagonal pass to Gyasi Zardes who saw his shot get deflected resulting in the final corner kick of the match which was cleared out by the Portland Timbers which then saw the end of the play as to the match ending in a one to one draw.
The LA Galaxy had more control of the ball yet was not aggressive enough in moving the ball through a Portland Timbers team who for the most part sat back well defensively and pursued scoring off the counterattack in which they successfully did so. As for the Portland Timbers they must generate more possession in their favor so they can create opportunities which can then give them goals and winning results. The LA Galaxy will have their next match on Friday in Houston, Texas as they will face off against the Houston Dynamo who will enter the match day with five points and in eight place in the western conference standings, on the contrary the LA Galaxy will find themselves in fourth place with eight points.