PORTLAND, Oregon — Rather than be disappointed with two ties to start the season, Timbers coach Caleb Porter suggested his team take a while to let the latest — a 2-2 draw Sunday with the defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy — sink in.
"We're not playing weak opponents, we've played two of the best teams in the league," Porter said. "We don't look overmatched, we don't look intimidated."
Alan Gordon scored the equalizer for Los Angeles in stoppage time to take some of the shine off Fanendo Adi's two-goal performance for the Timbers, who also played to a 0-0 tie at home against Real Salt Lake last weekend.
"Is it a slow start, not getting beaten by Salt Lake and L.A?" Porter asked. "I don't know."
In addition to Gordon's header to tie it at the end, the Galaxy also got a goal from Gyasi Zardes that evened it at 1 in the 65th minute. The players fought driving wind and heavy rain during the match, as well as a few bursts of sunshine.
"It was tough conditions, the wind and stuff like that. It wasn't the best conditions to play in," Robbie Keane said. "It was kind of difficult to run with the ball. We certainly didn't deserve to lose the game, there's no question. We showed a lot of character."
The Galaxy were coming off a 2-0 victory at home over the Chicago Fire in the MLS opener.
Portland saw the return of Diego Chara, who missed the opener because of a calf contusion sustained in the preseason.
But the Timbers' start this season has been marked by injuries. Captain Will Johnson broke his leg last season but should return in the next three or four games. Diego Valeri, who led the team last season with 11 goals and 14 assists, tore his ACL in the final match and will remain sidelined for at least another month. Midfielder Ben Zemanski is expected to miss at least five month after surgery on his right knee.
A.J. DeLaGarza was listed a reserve for the Galaxy as he continues to deal with a leg injury that limited him to seven minutes in the opener. Goalkeeper Jamie Penedo was a late scratch after also being held out of the opener last weekend because of nagging injuries.
Adi scored first in the 31st minute, taking a pass from Rodney Wallace off a back-heel flick from Darlington Nagbe. On the run, Adi curved a blast past Galaxy goalkeeper Brain Rowe, making his second start in goal.
The Timbers had a close call in the 52nd minute, when Gyasi Zardes picked a long ball that he shot over the bar. But Zardes would find success in the 65th off a cross from Jose Villareal that Portland goalkeeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey couldn't stop.
Villareal has been filling the wide midfielder role that has been held in the past by Landon Donovan, who retired after last season.
Even Kwarasey joined in on the celebration of Adi's second goal in the 90th minute, but it was short-lived when Gordon's header tied it.
"It was exciting at the end," Gordon said. "Really disappointing to go down so late, after I thought we really came into the game and took control there in the second half. But to come back and get a point, steal a point, is huge for us, for our momentum, going back to L.A."
Veteran center back Nat Borchers, acquired by the Timbers in the offseason, cautioned that the season is still very young.
"The more games we have together, the more success we're going to have," Borchers said. "The results are going to come."
All content copyright ©2015 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.