Gallery: Portland Timbers 3-1 LA Galaxy – Portland down the Galaxy as Jonathan Dos Santos makes MLS debut

Portland Timbers celebrated their first win at Providence Park in almost two months by beating LA Galaxy 3-1 on Sunday. Goals from Liam Ridgewell, Diego Valeri and Alvas Powell proved too much for a struggling Galaxy side.

Portland hadn’t won at home in three consecutive games before Sunday’s game. But they made sure they remain on track for the playoffs with a comfortable win in the end. The Timbers took the lead inside five minutes, with Ridgewell heading in from close range.

However, their lead lasted less than a minute. LA Galaxy hit them back straight from the restart, with Emmanuel Boateng racing through on goal and slotting past Jake Gleeson.

The Galaxy then looked on top. They piled pressure on Portland’s defence and thought they’d gone ahead when Gyasi Zardes tapped in from close range in the 11th minute. But referee Drew Fischer used the newly-implemented Video Review system to check the goal. After the review, the goal was chalked off and Zardes was booked for a handball in the lead up the goal.

Portland made the most of the decision and then re-took the lead themselves on 31 minutes. Jermaine Jones made a mess of an attempted interception, allowing Valeri a sight of goal. The playmaker still had a lot to from 25 yards, but he rifled a shot into the top corner, sending the hosts in 2-1 up at the break.

The Timbers made it 3-1 just eight minutes after the restart, with Alvas Powell blasting in from close range after a backheel assist from Fanendo Adi. LA couldn’t respond, even after sending new DP signing Jonathan Dos Santos onto the field in the 64th minute.

Dos Santos made his MLS debut for the Galaxy exactly two years after brother Giovani did so for the Galaxy. The two Mexican internationals will now hope to get the Galaxy out of their poor run of form. They are nine points outside the playoffs with 12 games to play. The game finished Portland Timbers 3-1 LA Galaxy.

Check out exclusive photos from Sunday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographer, Denise McCooey.

Portland Timbers 3-1 LA Galaxy – Match Gallery:

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LA Galaxy sign Giovani Dos Santos in huge deal worth around $34m

LA Galaxy confirmed the signing of Mexican international star Giovani Dos Santos from Villarreal yesterday in what is a huge deal for both the club and Major League Soccer.

Dos Santos joins the Galaxy as a third Designated Player alongside Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane, with the new Targeted Allocation Money being used to lower the budget charge of Omar Gonzalez’s contract so he is no longer a DP.

At 26, Giovani is a huge capture for MLS and offers further proof that the league is continuing to grow at an alarming rate, with stars from across Europe all keeping tabs on the development of North American soccer in the hope of a move.

The club did not confirm details of the contract but Giovani is believed to be set to earn around $6 million per year on a four-and-a-half-year deal that will keep him in LA through the 2019 season.

On top of that the club had to pay a transfer fee to Spanish side Villarreal to sign him. That fee was reportedly near the $7 million mark, taking the total cost of the deal up to $34 million ($27 million salary and a $7 million transfer fee).

There will therefore be enormous pressure on Giovani to perform to his best ability and head coach Bruce Arena fills he will only get better in MLS.

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“Giovani is a special player,” Arena said. “He has experience and success competing at the highest level and we believe he will only continue to develop. We are happy to add him to our roster and have confidence he can be an integral part of our success going forward.”

His move to MLS sees Dos Santos leave European football for the first time in his career, having started at FC Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy at the age of just 11.

After making his breakthrough with Barcelona, Giovani went on to play for the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Galatasaray, RCD Mallorca and most recently Villarreal, where he scored 12 times in 58 league appearances over the past two seasons.

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The tricky attacker won’t join up with his new teammates until Mexico’s CONCACAF Gold Cup run is over, so he is expected to make his debut in early August, with the home game against Seattle Sounders on the 9th looking likely to be the first time we see Giovani play for the Galaxy.

Is Giovani Dos Santos a good signing for MLS and LA Galaxy? How important will he be to the team?

Former Spurs and FC Barcelona star wanted by LA Galaxy

Former Tottenham Hotspur and FC Barcelona forward Giovani Dos Santos confirms LA Galaxy are interested in signing him and has praised Major League Soccer ahead of a potential switch stateside.

The Mexican international, currently at Spanish side Villarreal, is interested in a move to Major League Soccer, reported by mlssoccer.com.

“[The Galaxy are] a team that has always been after me and of course all the talks are just rumors and it’s something that’s been talked about for the past two years.

“In soccer you never know where you will end up. Up to this day I have a contract with Villarreal and I am currently 100 percent focused with the national team.”

Dos Santos has played alongside and against some of the best players in world football and is a very skilful individual.

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The 26-year-old Mexican further fuelled speculation of a move to Galaxy as he did little to quash the talk of the MLS Cup holders interest.

“Yes of course, it’s one of the teams that wants me, just like there’s other teams in Europe that also want me.

“And of course I can’t shut the doors to any team and as a soccer player you never know where you will end up tomorrow.”

Dos Santos is impressed with the growth of the league it isn’t surprised it is attracting the superstars who continue to make the move to MLS.

“Like I said, it’s a league that’s growing. The names speak for themselves. It’s players that are stars worldwide and it’s a league that wants to continue to grow. The few MLS games that I’ve been able to watch I think it’s a league that has grown a lot and it’s a league that we need to respect and a league that’s generating attention.”

Dos Santos would more than likely be signing as a Designated Player, assuming Omar Gonzalez would lose his DP role.

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New changes to roster rules have seen Targeted Allocation Money introduced to help sides accommodate top players who won’t necessarily qualify as designated players.

That could see Dos Santos sign on a non-DP deal for now, or Gonzalez’s contract ‘bought down’ immediately.

Would Dos Santos be a good signing for Galaxy?

Former Spurs and Barcelona winger ‘opens talks’ with LA Galaxy – report

Mexican attacker Giovani Dos Santos is the latest big name to be linked with a move to MLS as the Villarreal man has opened talks with LA Galaxy, according to Fox Sports’ Daniel Girones.

Dos Santos has two years left on his contract with Liga BBVA side Villarreal but is looking likely to leave this summer, with a move stateside now a real possibility.

It’s not the first time the former Spurs and Barcelona man has been linked with MLS or LA Galaxy. The 26-year-old was being tipped for a move to Los Angeles two years ago but Bruce Arena laughed off the reports in 2013.

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He might still be laughing as LA already have all three Designated Player slots filled. Omar Gonzalez, Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard are all DP’s and so it’s difficult to see how Giovani would complete a move to the 2014 MLS Cup champions this summer.

There’s sure to be interest from sides across MLS though and the league are actively pursuing both Dos Santos and fellow Mexican Javier Hernandez, according to Taylor Twellman.

Giovani has scored 18 goals with 15 assists in 75 appearances for Villarreal and has represented the Mexican National Team 86 times to date.

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He scored in Mexico’s 2-2 draw with Costa Rica in a friendly at Orlando City’s Citrus Bowl on Saturday and could be plying his trade across stadiums in North America on a permanent basis soon.

Would Giovani dos Santos be a good signing for MLS? Could a move to LA Galaxy go through?