PTFC @ LA Galaxy

Timbers visit LA with a 2nd week chance to get off the mark on the road for the first time in awhile.  PTFC didn’t win on the road during the 2016 season.  Timbers with a new CB and the promising youngster Marco Farfan at LB.   LA is a bit different with some younger faces this season.

1st Half

0-10′ LA with the early possession and the first real chance with a FK from the left touchline.  Poor service and Timbers hack it clear.  LA doing more work on the right early but a great switch and Powell concedes an early CK.  Short CK only as far as Chara.  Nagbe hauled down as he tries to start the counter.   Farfan with a spirited run down the left but just leaves it for Nagbe and nothing develops.

LA nearly open up Timbers thru the middle and shot from distance dangerously deflects out for a CK.  Better delivery this time but Timbers knock it out.  LA get a CK somehow after their players bundles it over the endline.  No matter.   GOAL!  Timbers run the perfect counterattack off the CK.  Blanco collects on the left and arrows a ball over the top to Chara who deftly heads into Valeri’s path who returns the favor and slides a pass across the 6 for Chara to tap-in.  That was the soccer equivalent of rewarding the big man for running the floor.  Chara sprints from 6-to-6 to get the goal.

10′-20′ Portland sitting back and letting LA try to unlock the Timbers defense.  So far Farfan holding up well.  Olum with a lazy backwards header and Gleeson saves the CB some indignity by racing off his line to knock it away.  Timbers for the first time with a little possession and Blanco floats a cross to Adi but LA defender gets there to disrupt the chance.  LA defender comes away worse for the effort.  Timbers with a FK from the right hash.  Too much bend and it doesn’t get to anyone. No matter. Offside anyways.  Looked like Valeri was sending in a ball to the top of the 18 with everyone in green racing towards goal.   Gleeson sort of punches away a cross but he didn’t have his feet right and only musters a weak tap.

20-30′ Guzman? wins the ball in the defensive 1/3 and carelessly sprays a ball out of danger.  That’s fine protecting a lead in stoppage time. Less useful at this stage of the match.  LA still dominating possession.  LA goes to ground easily trying to get a PK.  Instead ref gives a CK.  Short service clever near post run and flick but nobody made the run for LA.  Nagbe gets the ball and an LA player goes flying.  Somehow that’s a foul on Nagbe. And a yellow.  That’s terrible officiating.  He does nothing wrong there.  Brad Friedel is a terrible commentator and has no idea what he’s looking at.  Showing your studs is not a foul.  Contact probably should be involved. Farfan hacked down in a nasty fashion on the left flank.  That is at least a yellow.  And no foul called. Adi nice turn in the box but stayed up and LA with a strong legal bump to prevent a good cross.  Nagbe gets stripped in his own 1/3 trying to dribble out of danger.  Then Valeri gets a soft call against LA.  Timbers distribution out of the back beyond the brilliant counter have been careless to dangerous.  Powell throws shoulder and a bit of arm into the challenge knocking LA player to the ground for a goal kick.  I really hope he knows what he’s doing. So far he’s 2/2 but he is right on that line in every sense.

30-45′ Chara with a horrendous flop and it gets a yellow to LA.  We’ll take it I guess.

Nagbe finally gets free on the left and wins a CK.  Blanco on the CK and overshoots everyone.  Guzman with some dancing on the right and he gets called for the foul. That was a bad call.  I mean the AR is standing a yard away and saw nothing in it.   DOUBLE YELLOW for LA Van Damme and he sees RED.  Timbers up 11-10 the rest of the way.  Guzman stays down.  On neither of those yellows does it look like Van Damme made any contact.  But credit to Freidel here, he notes you can’t be that reckless with your challenges.  Word is his first yellow for dissent, so no complaint there.  But he has to show some restraint.

Zemanski on for Guzman who apparently hurt himself on the dive.   Timbers taking some air out of the ball knocking it around at the back.  Cross sent in and Gleeson again shaky as he palms away for a CK on a ball he should have known to let go or gather as there was no LA player lurking.  LA really bothered by the Timbers simulation.  Another Timber turnover at the back but LA can’t generate anything with it.  Chara pass stolen from the top of the 18 but again don’t accept the gift.  Timbers midfield invisible as the 10-man Galaxy keep pushing fwd and Timbers just sit deep hoping to get in the way.

HALFTIME  Timbers 1  Galaxy 0

45-55′ Early shot for Timbers but deflected out and ends in a goal kick.  LA sending in some hopeful crosses but nothing doing thus far.  Gleeson rooted to his line this time as his lack of confidence leaves him adrift on those.  Thats something to work on buddy.  LA could be down to 9 on a rash challenge on LA.

Blanco leaves for Valeri but way to slow from the Timbers and shot is blocked.  LA has no trouble breaking through token Timbers pressure at the back.  Nagbe and Adi trying a little combination break but frankly Adi 40 yards from goal trying to orchestrate things is not likely to work.  Valeri breaks in and earns a CK.  Blanco serves in CK and cleared only as far as Nagbe but he doesn’t wrap his foot around it and a comfortable save in the end.  LA turnovers leading to Portland counter.  Nagbe on the ball  and he cuts inside towards the defense and his right footed blast is well wide.  He picked the wrong move there.  Better off staying wide and stretching the LA defense.  Instead he cuts back into the teeth of the defense and tries a low percentage shot.

55-65′ Nice job by Powell escorting LA out of touch for a GK.  LA showing some pressure on the Timbers backline and probably only just burns some energy.  Blanco goes jumping into LA player and avoids a yellow.  Nagbe now getting some space but seems entirely unsure what to do with it. diagonal passes backwards to Ben Zemanski wouldn’t be where I would have gone with it Darlington.  Blanco CK sees precious few green shirts in the area and LA gets it clear.  Powell does earn a FK for Portland on the right flank.  Again, the Timbers aren’t pressing fwd and outnumbered in the area.  LA with a heroic fall as Nagbe races fwd and plays to an overlapping Blanco.  Blanco tries an audacious chip but didn’t get enough lift on it and easily handled by the GK.  Chara races into the area and goes to ground easily as the ball is played toward him.  GK.  Farfan wins the ball as 3 Timbers gang up on LA player.

65-75′  Timbers with a lazy approach here to just pack numbers behind the ball and look for a moment to counter.  Powell gets his arm to high in defending on the wing and catches an LA player who makes the most of it.  FK for the Galaxy.  Lletget serves it an again Gleeson badly misjudges it.  He completely whiffs.  Out for a CK.  Powell misses it but LA can’t take advantage.  Timbers finally getting a little possession.  But again just playing keep away and not really pressing the issue or the man advantage.

Timbers nearly put it away.  Farfan down the left cuts it back to Valeri and GK at full stretch to block it and clear the rebound.  Valeri gets that a little more to the corner like Harry Kane would and it’s 2-0 Portland.  Funky deflection off an LA FK and first time volley near post parried away by Gleeson.  Nice job there from the Timbers backstop.  Off the LA pressure Portland counters, defender slips and Adi is racing free from the halfway line.  He just doesn’t have Nagbe’s pace on the ball.  Adi too selfish as Valeri with a lung busting run down the right. Adi could have played it laterally as Valeri was well onside and the Argentine has a tap-in.  Instead Adi picks the wrong run and tremendous hustle from LA D denies the Portland #9.  Adi plays that ball to Valeri and Timbers are home-and-dry.  Instead LA still hanging around.

Now things opening up a bit.  Valeri cross nearly gets to Adi.  Powell makes a great run as Valeri plays him in but LA GK quick off his line (Hi Jake Gleeson!) to dive on it.  He then picks up a dumb yellow knocking it out of the GK’s hands.

75-90′  Nagbe had Valeri with acres of space in front of him but overhits it and out for a throw.  Blanco on the right finds Valeri but pass just behind him and he can’t get much on it.  LA with its final sub.  Nagbe on the left again cuts into the heart of the defense AGAIN instead of staying wide and passing the ball.  He then takes a shot with an LA defender in his face and guess what, it was blocked.  Timbers seriously have 3 guys in the area on CK so not posing much of a threat there.  Chara called for a foul, good call as he clattered over LA player who got himself between Chara and the ball.   FK for LA not sure if that’s shooting range.  Yes? but also no because he just slams it into the wall.   Timbers have everyone behind the ball.   Another cross and another misread by Gleeson.  Dude is going to be playing CB in Green Bay soon.  Gleeson misses on the punch off the CK.  Blanco called for a foul about 25-yards from goal.  I don’t think Gleeson has gotten a single cross right.  Shot bent around the wall but the wrong sign of the post.  Gleeson takes a false step left but the ball flies wide of the mark.

Timbers bring in Mattocks for Valeri.  Surprised Porter has waited so long.  Would think you’d want some fresher legs earlier to take advantage of the extra man.

LA still pouring on some pressure but precious few quality chances.   Nagbe flicks it out to Blanco but instead of the counter, Timbers slow it down in no hurry to attack.  LA CK bounces over everyone but LA keep it in.  Nagbe defensive header conceds a CK.   Asprilla on for Blanco.  Mattocks and Nagbe working well together but Chara’s shot only drilled right at the GK.  Gleeson and Miller for the Timbers down after a collision as Gleeson comes out for a long ball.  Adi with strong move to post up and get it Asprilla to chew some clock in the corner.  But Asprilla knocks it out in an unforced error and instead of Timbers using time on a throw/CK LA comes the other way.  LA GK again off his line well to bust up Chara’s attempt.  He was in if GK again isn’t sharp off his line.  Hopeful cross in and flicked header at the 6 but Gleeson with a fantastic reaction save to save 2 points for the time being.

We’re 5′ into the 3′ of stoppage time.  Still we play on.  Adi dragged down at the edge of the area.  Not Brad Friedl commentator notes the DOOGSO but ref doesn’t bother.  No idea why Timbers wouldn’t play it short.  No matter, shot deflected out for a CK and the final whistle finally comes.

FULLTIME  Timbers 1  LA 0

Not always pretty as Timbers failed to take advantage of the man advantage.  Nagbe fun to watch but his decision making in the final 1/3 is atrocious.  Gleeson terrible on crosses but makes the massive save to preserve the win.  Credit LA GK for being quick off his line on multiple occassion or this thing could have been over a lot earlier.  Adi puts in his typical physical work but that 72′ break away was poor.  If Gleeson doesn’t make that quick reaction save his decision to not find an open Valeri for the easy goal would have him in goat horns.  I’m just glad the Timbers got 3 points and we don’t have to talk about “winless on the road in 2016” again as the Timbers are 1/1 on the road in 2017.


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