The Los Angeles Galaxy fell 6-3 to the Portland Timbers in a shoot-out to mark the Galaxy’s fifth-straight loss.
Portland’s Felipe Mora and Jeremy Ebobisse each scored two goals to lead their team to its fourth-straight victory and highest-scoring game this season. The match also marked L.A.'s highest-scoring game and most goals allowed this season.
The Galaxy started the match on their heels after the Timbers took an early 2-0 lead off of goals from Mora and Ebobisse. Before the end of the half, Galaxy midfielder Julian Araujo brought the Timbers lead down to one after a deep shot that narrowly passed Timbers keeper Steve Clark to the back of the net.
The second half brought even more firepower as Portland’s Valeri bounced the ball into the Galaxy goal in the first two minutes. The Galaxy’s Ethan Zubak answered with a header in the 55th minute from a Cristian Pavón assist that brought the match score to 3-2 in favor of the Timbers. Pavón had a goal of his own from the top left of the penalty box later in the half, but that was not enough to stop the Timbers from scoring three goals in a span of 17 minutes.
The Galaxy’s defense showed a lack of defensive urgency to prevent crosses within the penalty box. Three of Portland’s six goals came off of passes that went uncontested into the center of the box. The Galaxy’s offense held its own against the Timbers, but the defense had too many holes to complement the offense’s success.
Wednesday night’s match was already stacked against the Galaxy. Starting Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos and starting defender Rolf Feltscher departed before the match to play international soccer for their respective countries, while Portland only lost one player to international play. The Timbers were also without MLS is Back Tournament MVP Sebastian Blanco, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury on Sept. 6.
The match also came in the wake of players Pavón and Javier Hernandez receiving fines for their participation in a skirmish against the San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 3. Fines like these are part of Major League Soccer’s mass confrontation policy that is supposed to reduce the chances of COVID-19 transmission during matches.
Despite the lopsided score, the Galaxy had more shots than the Timbers with a comparison of 17-10. The shots on goal were very similar as well with the slight edge favoring Portland at 7-5. The Galaxy had five corner kicks to the Timbers' one, although the Timbers were able to salvage a goal off their lone corner kick opportunity.
The loss kept the Galaxy in a tie with the Vancouver White Caps for last place in the Western Conference standings at 15 points. As of Wednesday night, the Galaxy sits four points out of the last spot in the playoff standings.
L.A. plays Colorado on Oct. 10.