CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Diego Chara scored in the eighth minute for his seventh career goal in seven MLS seasons and the Portland Timbers beat the undermanned L.A. Galaxy 1-0 on Sunday.
Portland (2-0-0), which went winless on the road last season, won for the first time away from home since beating the Galaxy on Oct. 8, 2015. The Galaxy (0-2-0) have lost three of their last four regular-season home games after a 15-match home unbeaten stretch.
“It feels great. You always start off and get a win. You know we’re 2-0. But obviously it feels good and considering last year where we didn’t get the first one. It feels good and all the guys worked hard and we put in a good fight,” Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe said.
It’s the first time since 2001 that the Galaxy have started a season with two losses.
Portland headed away a Galaxy corner kick in the eighth minute, leading to a counter attack. Chara headed a long pass to Diego Valeri on a two-on-one break and Valeri rolled it across goal to an open Chara for an easy tap in.
The Galaxy, already without several key players, were reduced to 10-men in the 34th minute after Jelle Van Damme received two yellow cards within a three-minute span.
“I haven’t seen the plays. I haven’t been able to see the replays. I was told that the players dove, so that’s unfortunate. But he did get a yellow card for dissent and we can prevent that. We dug ourselves a hole, regardless of if the referee made a bad judgment or not,” Galaxy coach Curt Onalfo said. “We can’t put ourselves in that situation. We’re at home. We need points. And there in the 34th minute, we’re playing with ten men.”
The Galaxy were without Gyasi Zardes, Ashley Cole and Robbie Rogers because of injuries, while Jermaine Jones and Dave Romney were on suspension.
Jake Gleeson had a great reaction save in second-half stoppage time.
“You need to grind, you need to stick together and you need guys to come up with big plays like Jake did at the end of the game, making that save,” coach Caleb Porter said. “Obviously there are things to improve on like every game – win, lose or draw. We’re going to look at that. Obviously, we should’ve put the game to bed a lot sooner and then it would’ve been, more pretty.”