LA Galaxy 5, Portland Timbers 0 | MLS Match Recap
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy, offering another fine impression of last year's championship team, made quick work Wednesday night of the visiting Portland Timbers en route to a 5-0 triumph that vaulted them within a point of the Western Conference lead.
Sebastian Lletget scored for the fourth successive game, including last week's US Open Cup triumph, and then drew the penalty kick to give LA (7-5-7) a two-goal advantage before 18 minutes were up, and Robbie Rogers tallied for the first time in more than four years to put the Timbers away after little more than a half-hour.
Robbie Keane connected on the spot kick, delivered a devastating pass for Rogers' strike, then fed Juninho for a late goal as the Galaxy claimed successive MLS victories for just the third time this season while halting Portland's franchise-best MLS winning streak at four games.
Jose Villarreal tallied from an 88th-minute free kick as the Galaxy scored five for the second straight game.
The Timbers (7-6-4), who had conceded just one goal in 455 minutes heading into the match, gave up three in 21 minutes and failed to put a shot on goal until a Diego Chara blast at Jaime Penedo in the 82nd minute.
LA, finally able to put together a veteran, first-choice lineup after an early-season injury crisis, have scored 16 goals in the past eight days, following a 6-1 rout of amateurs PSA Elite in the Open Cup's fourth round with the 5-1 destruction of the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night.
The Galaxy have 28 points, just one less than Seattle (9-6-2), which lost Wednesday at Philadelphia, and second-place Vancouver (9-6-2), which was idle. Portland is fourth.
The hosts were in charge from the start, testing Adam Kwarasey just four minutes in, a Keane blast that the Portland goalkeeper parried over his bar.
Lletget, acquired last month from West Ham United and in his second MLS start, fired LA ahead in the 13th minute, slotting to the left side of the net from a Dan Gargan deflected pass from the right side of the box following a through ball from Stefan Ishizaki.
It was 2-0 just five minutes later, after Maximiliano Urruti brought down Lletget as he streaked into the box. Keane converted, just his third goal of the season.
Rogers, who had last scored while with Columbus in April 2011, finished a superb Keane feed, which left Portland right back Alvas Powell on his backside, in the 33rd minute.
Portland had little trouble getting to the Galaxy's box, but they struggled to work the ball through a thicket of LA defenders. Omar Gonzalez thwarted their best chance, just before halftime, cutting off a Rodney Wallace pass in the goalmouth for Darlington Nagbe.
The Timbers had 16 shots, to 17 for the Galaxy, but put just the one attempt on frame.
Juninho scored in the 72nd minute, after picking off a pass that Jack Jewsbury couldn't corral, quickly feeding Keane above the box, then sprinting into the box for the return pass.
Portland went down to 10 men when defender Liam Ridgewell was red-carded in the 78th minute after kicking Alan Gordon. The LA forward retaliated with a shove to the back, leaving Ridgewell on the ground for two minutes, and was cautioned.
Villarreal added the late goal on a free kick about 26 yards out on the left, curling the ball around the Timbers' wall and inside the near post.
The Galaxy plays Saturday at California Clasico rival San Jose, and the Timbers are home Sunday in a Cascadia Cup showdown with Seattle, their first meeting since Portland's controversial US Open Cup victory a week ago.