Galaxy get a lucky 1-1 tie with Portland but lose Robbie Rogers to an injury

Galaxy get a lucky 1-1 tie with Portland but lose Robbie Rogers to an injury
Galaxy midfielder Nigel de Jong (34) heads the ball against Timbers defender Jack Jewsbury during the first half. (Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

The Galaxy have had more players leave games because of injuries than they have score goals this season. And those numbers didn't change for the better Sunday, when the team lost right back Robbie Rogers to a hip contusion, then had to rely on a gift from the Portland Timbers for their only goal in a 1-1 tie with the defending Major League Soccer champions.

"It's painful," Rogers said as he limped out of the locker room. "I'm barely walking out of here. It should be pretty sore for the next few days."


The Galaxy could say the same thing about a season that started with great promise, only to get caught up in a maelstrom of injuries and inconsistent performances.

There is no timeline for Rogers' recovery, but even if he sits out one game that wouldn't be good news for the Galaxy, who have lost five starters for multiple games this year. Add a couple who sat out one game each and the Galaxy had only three starters get this far without getting injured.

And the season is only five weeks old.

"It's all part of the game. It happens every year," Coach Bruce Arena said. "They come quickly, sometimes they're spread out. You're never going to go without injuries. It's a part we don't like, but it's a part of the game."

Arena did get one key player back Sunday, with Gio dos Santos going 63 minutes in his first appearance since the first half of the season opener. But the team will be without captain Robbie Keane and midfielder Steven Gerrard for at least another week and that has left the Galaxy flailing in front of the net.

"Those are just excuses," Arena said. "We can be a little bit better."

Playing in front of 25,667, the Galaxy probably deserved better after outshooting Portland, 13-4, and putting twice as many shots on goal. But after some good buildups, they couldn't finish those chances.

That allowed the Timbers to strike first in the 52nd minute when Fanendo Adi latched onto a pass near the left edge of the 18-yard box, backed Rafael Garcia into the area, then one-hopped a well-placed shot across the goal and in the far corner for this fourth goal in five games.

Garcia, normally a midfielder, was forced onto the back line when Rogers went out.

"It's the one position on the field we actually didn't have cover for," Arena said.

Still the Galaxy had plenty of chances to answer.

In the 66th minute, a Sebastian Lletget try was wide left. That came eight minutes after Mike Magee mishit a shot from the center of the box after teammate Gyasi Zardes appeared to get in his way. And before that a Magee try from outside the box missed to the left.

"We just couldn't put it away," Lletget said.

So it fell to Portland defender Nat Borchers to rescue the Galaxy in the 84th minute, diving in front of a Lletget cross intended for Zardes inside the six-yard box and deflecting it past keeper Adam Kwarasey.


"He hit it in for me. So I'll take it," Zardes said. "To squeeze out of here with a point, that's huge."

For Portland, the price of the mistake was a victory and two points in the standings, leaving it only a point out last place in the Western Conference.

And that left Coach Caleb Porter searching for something positive.

"We didn't give up a goal," he said. "It's a good point on the road even though you feel like you gave up two."

In the 73rd minute, Galaxy midfielder Nigel de Jong stomped on the left ankle of midfielder Darlington Nagbe, earning a yellow card and sending Nagbe to the sidelines. Porter said he didn't know the extent of the injury.