SANTA MONICA- The LA Galaxy lost their second home game of the season to the Portland Timbers on Sunday, 0-1.
It was a game wrought with mishaps for the Galaxy. The game started on a bleak note when Diego Chara scored an early goal for Portland. The play went from bad to worse as the Galaxy struggled to find their groove.
Defender Jelle van Damme was dealt two yellow cards and kicked off the field forcing the Galaxy to play one man down for over half the game. Referee Baldomero Toledo very controversially carded van Damme for dissent and stopping a promising attack, however, van Damme did not make contact with Portland players on either of the plays.
With an already compromised defense, the Galaxy needed to put even more pressure on offensively. However, forward Giovani dos Santos, who was having hamstring issues since the beginning of the game, was substituted off the field due to continuing injuries at the end of the first half. It is still unclear how serious his injuries are.
Playing without dos Santos and one-man down had an obvious negative effect on the team. With an ever-growing list of injured players, and a team filled with a lot of new names, this game has further instilled a lack of team unity and is only making it more difficult for the new players to adjust and step up.
While this game marks a negative start for the LA Galaxy, it is quite the opposite for the Portland Timbers. They took away 3 points in their first game, and another 3 in their defeat of the Galaxy on Sunday, making this as their strongest start to an MLS season.
It is not clear when Dos Santos will be back on the pitch. On Saturday, the Galaxy play against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake.
Photos by ISI.