Landon Donovan wasn’t sure he was in shape to last more than a half. It turns out he only needed a few minutes to make an impact.
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Donovan scored his first two goals of the season and added an assist to help the Los Angeles Galaxy beat the Portland Timbers 3-0 on Saturday night in Major League Soccer.
Donovan returned to the lineup following a three-game absence because of a knee injury. He said he’s still working himself back to being 100 percent fit.
”The guys did a good job getting me involved early,” Donovan said. ”And then when you score early, it helps everyone’s confidence. It all played out very well tonight.”
Chad Barrett had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles. The Galaxy (4-1-3) have won two straight and are unbeaten in their last five games.
The Galaxy scored twice in the first 8 minutes. Donovan fed Barrett in the fourth minute, then converted a penalty kick moments later to end an 11-game goal drought, dating to last season. Donovan finished a header from close range in the second half before being removed for a substitute in the 67th minute.
”I think Landon should be scoring goals,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. ”It’s good to get him on the board here. And hopefully there is more to come.”
The Timbers (2-3-1) snapped a two-game winning streak and remain winless in four road games.
”We lost the game probably in the first 10 minutes,” Timbers coach John Spencer said. ”I’m obviously disappointed we conceded two quick goals in succession. That’s something that we are going to have to address.”
Galaxy goalie Donovan Ricketts made the early lead hold up for his third shutout of the season. The Timbers only mustered a handful of promising chances, most of which came off set pieces.
David Beckham and Juninho were back in the Galaxy lineup after sitting out the club’s 2-1 win over Chicago on April 17 because of yellow-card accumulation.
Beckham had an assist on the first goal, starting the sequence that led to Barrett’s strike from outside of the box. The ball initially appeared to make contact with Barrett’s upper arm as he made his way forward, but a handball penalty wasn’t called.
”In the last few games those calls have gone against us,” Beckham said. ”If it was a handball penalty, if it wasn’t a penalty, it’s immaterial. I’m happy that we got the call tonight.”
In the eighth minute, Portland’s Rodney Wallace grabbed a hold of Donovan and tossed him down in the box. Wallace earned a yellow card, and Donovan calmly buried the ensuing penalty in the lower-left corner.
Donovan put no stock in snapping his lengthy scoring drought.
”I could care less about scoring. I want to win,” he said. ”I’m not much of a scorer anymore. That part of my game has not been the same as when I was younger.”