Timbers, Galaxy draw, 1-1
The Timbers came up short of matching the MLS record for win streaks.
On another toasty afternoon at Providence Park, Portland and the Los Angeles Galaxy played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday, a result that ended a six-game win streak for the Timbers.
Diego Valeri converted a penalty kick for the Timbers' goal, tying the match 12 minutes after halftime.
The PK came after Andres Flores was plowed over in the box by defender Jorgen Skjelvik. Valeri ripped his shot into the left-side netting.
The Timbers (6-3-3, 21 points) are now fifth in the Western Conference. Portland came up one shy of the MLS record of seven consecutive victories held by several teams, not including the league's early years when there were no ties.
"The most important part is we were able to come back and get a point," Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said. "Even though it wasn't a fluid match, they were able to get into it and get an important point."
The Galaxy (5-7-2, 17) played with the lead after a nifty finish from Chris Pontius in the 20th minute. Emmanuel Boateng sent a pass Pontius flicked with his right foot before he placed a perfect left-footed shot off the inside of the right goal post.
"He got a weird touch. It was almost like he didn't mean to touch it there," Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella said. "I watched the replay, and when he came across he tucked it right in there off the side of the post. It's a goal you don't want to give up, but that stuff happens."
The Timbers paid for missed chances in the first half. This was only the fourth time in 12 matches that Portland surrendered the first goal.
After a first half with chances at both ends, the quality and pace of play stagnated in the second half as hot conditions took hold.
LA goalkeeper David Bingham made one-on-one stops to deny Andres Flores in the fourth minute and Diego Chara after a give-and-go with Flores in the 22nd minute.
In the 42nd minute, a ball from Sebastian Blanco created an opportunity for Valeri, but Samuel Armenteros also got to the bouncing ball and sent his shot right at Bingham. Moments later, a 20-yard effort from Blanco went right at the Galaxy goalkeeper.
Bingham made nine saves. Most of those were on shots right at him. Other than the one-on-one saves in the first half, his most difficult stop probably came on a Bill Tuiloma header in the 83rd minute.
Flores drew the penalty dribbling out of midfield and getting a step on the defense before Skjelvik came clattering into him.
Moments before that play, Chara made the kind of hustle play that has defined his 215 matches for the Timbers, sprinting back to deny speedy Boateng a scoring chance.
Chara said he is proud to become the club's leader in games played. He passed Darlington Nagbe with his 215th MLS regular-season appearance. Unfortunately for the Timbers, the hard-working midfielder won't be available next Saturday when Western Conference leading Sporting Kansas City visits Portland because the yellow card Chara picked up against the Galaxy (for persistent infraction) means he is suspended for the next MLS match because of caution accumulation.
There was a scare for the Timbers when Valeri came off in the 75th minute after taking a knock to the back of his right leg. He had trouble running, but should be fine, according to Savarese.
Fanendo Adi came on for Valeri, meaning he was teamed with Armenteros up top for about 10 minutes before Marco Farfan came on for Armenteros and lined up on the left side of the Timbers' midfield.
Three field players who have featured for Timbers 2 this season were among the available substitutes for Savarese: forward Foster Langsdorf, midfielder Eryk Williamson and defender Modou Jadama.
"Those were the 18 that had the best week of training," Savarese said.
Next for the Timbers is a home U.S. Open Cup match on Wednesday against San Jose. That will be followed by Saturday's visit from Sporting Kansas City — a match that thankfully will start at 7:30 p.m. instead of in the heat of the afternoon when the artificial surface tends to slow down the game.