Timbers hold Galaxy in scoreless draw to push unbeaten streak to 14

DonovanRickettsTimbers (GettyImages)

By IVES GALARCEP

The Los Angeles Galaxy created a few chances on Wednesday night against the Portland Timbers, but every time they did, they saw a familiar face thwart their attempts to find the net.

Former Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts turned in a strong performance in goal to keep the Galaxy at bay and help his Timbers earn a road point in a 0-0 draw on Wednesday night at the newly-named StubHub Center.

The draw kept the Timbers unbeaten on the road, while pushing their league-best unbeaten streak to 14 matches, the longest ever streak for a team led by a first-year head coach and sixth-longest streak in league history (the MLS record is 19 by the Columbus Crew in 2004/2005).

Timbers coach Caleb Porter watched the centerback tandem of Andrew Jean-Baptiste and Pa-Modou Kah stifle the Galaxy’s dangerous tandem of Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, who never could quite getting going against the towering duo.

When the Galaxy could find space in the final third, Ricketts stepped up to the challenge, delivering four saves for the shutout, the Timbers’ seventh of the season and third shutout in four matches.

The draw pushed the Galaxy’s winless streak to three matches, and record in their past eight matches to 2-5-1.

Here are the match highlights:

What did you think of the match? Impressed with the Timbers success on the road? Starting to worry about the Galaxy, or think they’ll turn it around when Omar Gonzalez returns?

Share your thoughts below.

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19 Responses to Timbers hold Galaxy in scoreless draw to push unbeaten streak to 14

  1. burnsbabe says:

    As a Timbers fan, I’m continually frustrated by the draws. I mean, I’m always happy to get a point on the road, but I’d really like to pick up a few more Ws. I think until that happens most of the league will be on the fence about how good the Timbers really are.

    • skyman says:

      That’s understanding. However, think about this: They are undefeated on the road, have come back numerous times (on the road). . . . that’s what makes champions, assuming they win at home, which they’re starting to do. Furthermore, if you look at the games they lost, they should have at least tied (wasn’t it Montreal and NYRB, first couple of games): there were obvious penalties NOT called, and assuming they put those in, they’re undefeated.

    • Charles says:

      You gotta be kidding me ?

      Last year’s record was 8-16-10….you wouldn’t have wanted 1 loss and a 8-1-25 ?

  2. Rick says:

    Great performance by Ricketts and his teammates.

  3. Sean says:

    The Galaxy are obviously a different team with Robbie Keane back. The Timbers have been hurt eary in past matches by the Galaxy. Once the Timbers settled into their game the outcome seemed to always be 0-0. Great game for the three at the back, Ricketts Jean Baptist and Kah.

  4. SanFran415 says:

    Don’t want this to turn into an argument, but is anyone actually watching how… average Donovan is playing at the moment and thinking he is actually better than Zusi?

    • Josh D says:

      There’s no argument: Donovan is playing at 50% his capacity. But that’s to be expected. You don’t miss your entire preseason and the start of the season, playing pick-up soccer in Cambodia, then expect to step on the field and immediately be the star you were and get into the national set-up.

      Everyone here who complained about his exclusion these past qualifiers aren’t complaining now. If you took Donovan’s past away from him, and he was a no-name MLS US player, no one here would be asking for him to be on the national team as he’s playing now. And this illusion that once he dons the US jersey he’ll get his powers back is maddening.

      This Gold Cup is make or break for him coming into 2014. Yes, I firmly believe that. Klinsi has a strong 18 squad he relies on, which leaves 5 spots open. Donovan is on the outside looking in. Until he finds his third, fourth, fifth gear, Zusi is packing his bags, and, sadly, Johnson will too. Donovan is better than Johnson, but Donovan isn’t producing while Johnson is. Klinsi is not a coach who cares what happened four years ago. Who ever is producing come 2014 will be on the plane.

      I think it’ll come down to Gomez v. Donovan.

      • SanFran415 says:

        I was having that discussion with someone yesterday after work–that US fans needed to start prepping themselves for the possibility that Donovan might not be heading to Brazil unless he pulls some magic rabbits out of the hat at this Gold Cup.

        He doesn’t seem to be getting better. Oddly enough he actually seems to be getting worse in some games.

      • bottlcaps says:

        Donovan will be fine. He’s had some up’s and down’s, but his playing has improved significantly. His fitness levels have improved greatly, his football vision is still the best, and when he regains his touch, which I think is his last hurdle, he will be back to “normal” which is to say, one of the best footballers in the league.

        The Galaxy have has a lot of personnel changes and losing Mike Magee was a bigger blow than I think the team and Bruce Arena expected. With Gonzo, Keane and Magee gone and the Galaxy having to depend on a lot of rookies and 2nd year players, the Galaxy could be in a lot worse shape. Getting a draw against Portland at home may seem like a disappointing result, but they kept the hottest team in the MLS scoreless WITHOUT Gonzo. That is a real positive.

        Like lat year, it seems it might take the whole season to get the Galaxy running on all cylinders. If LA does not suffer a catastrophic injury to one of it’s key players and make the playoffs, they will be the team to beat, despite all of the great play by other teams so far this season.

        Then there is the matter of the third DP slot…………….

      • beachbum says:

        there’s no argument? that’s just a silly statement. LD was pretty good last night, running down long passes, delivering thru balls, bodying others off the ball after long runs to win them.

        Portland plays for the tie on the road and give them credit. I do. Ricketts was awesome

  5. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Frankly, I think Donovan’s biggest problemright now is that he is playing with Villareal and Zardes, two suprememly talented young players who have no idea how to play yet. I have watched time after time Donovan making a run or moving into space, only to see them hold the ball too long and try to dribble past three defenders, or Donovan bring the ball up only to see them simply not know where to be.

    It’s not that Keane is great – although he clearly is – it is that he knows what the hell he’s doing. It’s why Donovan is able to shred defenses with Keane as his partner…and not so much witht he kid.s (This is not a criticism of the kids – it’s just that they are, in fact, kids. And this is a pattern over the last few games, not just one night.) It’s why I think that Donovan will have a very good Gold Cup.

    • Gnarls says:

      Good points. Hopefully that’s the issue. It’s great having depth at forward, but three of our five starting forwards are under the age of 21. Playing with Keane is the best education for Zardes, McBean and Villarreal. They’re only going to get better.

  6. Soncho says:

    Magee trade looking kinda dumb

    • Gnarls says:

      There no “kinda” about it. Worst trade in LA history.

      • Eric B says:

        While this one has the potential, the forced “trading” of Clint Mathis, Roy Myers and Joe Franchino for the rights to Luis Hernandez still holds that distinction.

  7. beachbum says:

    Donovan was fine yesterday…good grief. Ricketts was tremendous!

    • Cappiello says:

      Agreed. Galaxy and Donovan are quality and will show it. I was waiting for that ‘headscratcher’ moment Ricketts usually seems to have after about 3 amazing saves.

  8. barkdog says:

    That over-the-shoulder “save” that Ricketts made after the ball came off the post was unreal. Great awareness. (The cut-back dribble against Keane’s pressure is something I could do without, however.)

  9. JoKr says:

    Was at the game last night. Couple of thoughts: 1) The team was a lot more fun to watch when it was coached by Beckham 2) Donovan actually had better movement and more “burst” than I’ve seen from him in quite a while – the interplay between him and Keane was the only thing worth watching on a night where I left early (and I alnmost never leave a soccer match early!) 3) Magee is, indeed, a bigger loss (given the limitations of MLS rosters) than I would have imagined 2-3 years ago – stupid trade that even cast in its most optimistic light was a push in terms of on field impact.