Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy played to a scoreless draw with Caleb Porter’s Portland Timbers at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. With the Galaxy improving to 6-6-3 (21 points), they are finding the noose tightening on them. Meanwhile, Portland’s defensive showcase has resulted in their ninth draw of the season.
Here are six things we learned from Wednesday’s scoreless draw in Carson.
1. Donovan Ricketts: the man of the match
Los Angeles can be a goalkeeper’s paradise, and the best goalkeepers are able to make a lot of stops on the Galaxy’s attack. The Big Cat from Montego Bay was expected to have a solid game, and he delivered, making four massive saves and also making a few Save of the Week-quality stops. Ricketts’s ability in the clutch frustrated the home team and exposed the attacking deficiencies that have plagued them all season.
2. Also with a big game, Carlo Cudicini
But it wasn’t just Ricketts that had a solid day. Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini earned another shutout, making four saves on the night. This is a player with experience that is keeping his eyes on the prize.
3. Galaxy hog the shots, Portland control the ball
At the end of the night, the stats were even, which reflected the final score. While the Galaxy peppered the net and tested Ricketts, their possession for stretches of time also created chances for them. Ultimately, this night belonged to the goalkeepers.
|LA Galaxy||Portland Timbers|
|13||Attempts on Goal||9|
|4||Shots on Target||4|
|6||Shots off Target||4|
|15||Open Play Crosses||6|
|1||First Yellow Cards||1|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|50%||Duels Won %||49%|
|75%||Passing Accuracy %||80%|
4. Pa-Modou Kah: the X-factor for Portland
As for Portland, the one defender that Los Angeles failed to account for was Pa-Modou Kah. He earned a yellow for his physical play, but aside from that, he neutralized Landon Donovan and the rest of the Galaxy atttack. Gambia is turning out to be a pipeline to MLS, and Kah fits the mould. Watch out for this name for at least the remainder of the season.
5. Robbie Rogers still needs to find his groove
Robbie Rogers earned his first MLS start since 2011, but he could not generate much in the midfield. Still, players on the rebound need to start out somewhere.
“It felt good to have a proper start to get back out there and be out there from the beginning,” Rogers told the press. “So, I think I have a long ways to go, but there were flashes where I felt I was getting my legs back and I thought I was moving quite well at times. That’s good to see, you know, after putting in a lot hard work that things are slowly coming back.
“I think I probably need two more games. You know to just be flying around and not being worrying about my fitness. I actually felt quite well in the second half, I felt pretty good in the second half. I actually thought I could have played a little longer, which surprised me. Just because, for the longest I have played minus that reserve match was for 67 minutes.”
Rogers played for 67 minutes before being subbed out for Colin Clark.
6. The winless streak for LA continues
With the result, the Galaxy end their losing streak, but their winless streak is now up to four games. Up next is a team that they have not beated this year: Chivas USA, and they were unfortunate to let Carlos Alvarez score late for the Goats. Both teams meet on Sunday.
“Chivas is going to be a tough game, they always are,” said defender Todd Dunivant. “They’re at home and they always try and make it as difficult as possible on us. The games are always heated and they’ve got a new coach they are trying to impress. It’s definitely going to be a tough game.”