Brazilians Lopes and Juninho spark Galaxy win

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Brazilians Lopes and Juninho spark Galaxy win

CARSON, CA (BDCi) – – It seems like the only score allowed the Galaxy in MLS games on their home field is 3-1. Fortunate for them and their 22,000 plus faithful at the Home Depot Center, L.A. came out on top by that score against the Portland Timbers Saturday night.

The Galaxy came into the game in last place and with their worst start after 4 games since the 1999 season when they also had only 4 points after 4 games.

After a Timbers goal by forward Kris Boyd in the 23rd minute, it looked like a new worst start was brewing for the blue, white and gold.

But team captain Landon Donovan wasn’t ready to set any such records, taking a pass from Robbie Keane deep into Timber country in the 44th minute and lasering in the equalizer past the keeper Troy Perkins.

The score remained tied 1-1 for most of the second half, but Los Angeles seemed to be wearing down Portland toward the end of the half. Then in the 83rd minute, Brazilian Juninho was the lucky recipient of a Timber defender header just outside the box. He spun around to clear himself and drilled home a worm burner to the right of Perkins to give the Galaxy the lead 2-1.

 

And then to seal the perfect night for the fans, Landon Donovan found an inexplicably wide open David Beckham just below the arc who dribbled in to about 30 yards out and absolutely sailed a bullet past Perkins in the top right side of the goal in stoppage time.

While it was the offense which got most of the attention Saturday for Los Angeles, perhaps it couldn’t have happened without the battered defense who got an injection of “spunk” in the form of Brazilian David Junior Lopes. Lopes was acquired in a trade with L.A. Chivas for Paulo Cardoso earlier this week. With center back A. J. DeLaGarza nursing a sore adductor, it was Lopes who got the call to replace him, and boy did he make a difference. Not only was his defense active and containing, but he actually got two great looks at goals.


With Leonardo about to re-enter the fold from a year long knee injury, the Galaxy’s defensive prospects are much brighter now with the thought of having DeLaGarza back there with the two Brazilians Lopes and Leonardo.
By defeating the Timbers – who now move into the cellar of the Western Conference – the Galaxy leave behind “worst starts” and “last place” and look forward to the climb ahead. By the way, in 1999, when the Galaxy got off to such a bad start – – they won the Western Conference and made the MLS Cup.
By Don Weinstein
Images: Roberta Ernandes, Janete Farias Weinstein
15 April 2012
1:03a.m. P.D.T.

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