PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Although the Portland Timbers lost their winning streak, they were happy to come away with a draw against the LA Galaxy.
Diego Valeri scored on a penalty kick early in the second half to lift the Timbers into a 1-all tie on Saturday, which snapped Portland’s franchise-record six-game win streak.
The stretch matched Orlando’s streak for the longest in Major League Soccer this season. It also matched the second-longest winning streak in the league since 2000 – when the league started recording draws. Sporting Kansas City won seven straight in 2012.
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Portland, coming off a victory at Colorado last weekend, was winless in its first five games of the season, earning just two overall points. All of those games were played on the road because of construction at Providence Park. The Timbers (6-3-3) have not lost since April 8 at Orlando.
”Of course we could have done better, but it’s these types of games. Sometimes there are games like this, they are very difficult and choppy. They’re just tough,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said. ”You have to put that extra effort in collectively to get a result.”
The Galaxy (5-7-2) were coming off a 3-2 loss in Dallas on Wednesday night. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored both goals in the loss, the first in the 69th minute and the second in stoppage time.
Ibrahimovic started against Dallas and was a substitute against the Timbers. He did not warm up pregame, joining the bench shortly before game-time. He entered the game in the 72nd minute to the boos of the Portland crowd.
Afterward coach Sigi Schmid said he made the decision to sit Ibrahimovic for the start because of the turf surface at Providence Park and his history with knee injuries.
Ibrahimovic came to the Galaxy in late March from Manchester United, where he played for two seasons. The 36-year-old made 53 appearances with the English club, scoring 29 goals.
In nine appearances for the Galaxy this season, Ibrahimovic has five goals and three assists.
”Obviously we would have wanted to win the game, but once they equalized on the penalty it was important for us to walk away with at least a point from here, so I was pleased we were able to do that,” Schmid said.
The Galaxy took the early lead with a left-footed goal from Chris Pontius in the 20th minute. Still trailing at the half, the Timbers tied it with Diego Valeri’s penalty kick in the 57th minute. It was the reigning league MVP’s team-leading sixth goal of the season.
The Timbers were hurt in the 63rd minute when Diego Chara was handed a yellow card, which means he’ll be suspended for next weekend’s game against Sporting Kansas City because of accumulation.
Chara was making his 215th appearance with the Timbers, a new club record across all eras.
”I think it’s a great feeling to be part of the history,” Chara said. ”Now I have to continue working on my role.”
Valeri was subbed out of the game late because a knot in his calf, Savarese said. Both teams said the heat was a factor with temperatures hovering around 80 degrees.
Portland’s best chance to preserve the winning streak came in the 83rd minute with Bill Tuiloma’s header, but Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham deflected it outside of the post.
The Galaxy were short-handed with forward Ola Kamara (Norway), Giovanni and Jonathan dos Santos (Mexico) all on World Cup duty. The Timbers were missing David Guzman (Costa Rica) and Andy Polo (Peru).