Timbers drop season opener
The Los Angeles Galaxy scored twice within three first-half minutes and beat the visiting Portland Timbers 2-1 on Sunday in the MLS opener for both teams.
Sebastian Blanco scored for Portland in the 66th minute to highlight a second-half push from Portland.
Ola Kamara scored in the 32nd minute for the Galaxy, and Romain Alessandrini scored in the 34th for the home team.
Badly outplayed in the first half, the Timbers showed more life in the second half.
Blanco's goal came at the end of a quick counterattack. Fanendo Adi was able to win a second ball and punch a pass wide for Blanco, who dribbled into the penalty area from the left wing and put a shot between the legs of Galaxy goalkeeper David Bigham.
Portland pushed for the equalizer, creating some chances. Bigham, who finished with six saves, stopped a well-struck 22-yard free kick by David Guzman in the 85th minute.
The Timbers were fortunate not to fall behind by more. Emmanuel Boateng mis-hit a pair of great chances, and Giovani dos Santos mis-hit another. Portland also was fortunate that referee Jair Marrufo did not call two fouls that would have been penalty kicks for L.A.
Andy Polo, who started on the wing, had a chance to put Portland ahead in the 21st minute saved by Bigham. The high press forced a giveaway, but Polo couldn't beat the keeper.
The Timbers out-shot the Galaxy, 15-14 (7-3 on goal). Portland goalkeeper Jake Gleeson made his only save in the first minute of the match, diving to deny a shot from distance by dos Santos.
Adi started up front. Blanco and Polo were on the wings, flanking Diego Valeri. The holding midfield was Guzman and 19-year-old Cristhian Paredes. The defenders were Alvas Powell, Larrys Mabiala, Liam Ridgewell and Marco Farfan.
Zarek Valentin played the last half hour at right back, Samuel Armenteros played 18 minutes as an attacking midfielder and Andres Flores played six minutes in midfield.
Giovanni Savarese, after his first game as Timbers coach, said his team moved the ball quicker in the second half, which allowed the Timbers to have better possession and to play more in the attacking half.
The Timbers play four more road games before their home opener. Next is a trip east to face the New York Red Bulls at 4 p.m. Saturday.