The Los Angeles Galaxy suffered just their third defeat of Major League Soccer season on Wednesday, losing 3-0 at the Portland Timbers.The Western Conference-leading Galaxy arrived at Jeld-Wen Field unbeaten in their last 14 MLS matches, a record stretching back to a 2-1 loss away to Dallas on May 2.
Aiming to tie the franchise record of 15 consecutive matches without defeat, the Galaxy were buoyed by the return of David Beckham from suspension.
By contrast, MLS debutants Portland had managed just one win in their last 10 matches.
They were without captain Jack Jewsbury to a strained hamstring, while centre-forward Eddie Johnson withdrew concussed after being struck in the head with a ball during the warm-up.
But despite the odds seemingly being stacked in the Galaxy’s favour, they could find no answer to a rampant Portland side.
The hosts took a deserved lead 24 minutes into the match through Mike Chabala.
The defender, who only joined from Houston on July 21, exchanged a one-two with Darlington Nagbe, finding space in the box before beating LA goalkeeper Josh Saunders with a crisp strike.
Colombian striker Jorge Perlazza made it 2-0 nine minutes later, sliding in ahead of Galaxy defender AJ DeLaGarza to convert Diego Chara’s cross.
And defender Eric Brunner headed home Salvatore Zizzo’s corner in the 67th minute to secure a memorable 3-0 victory for the Timbers.
Galaxy remain top of the Western Conference, but are only three points ahead of second-placed Dallas, who have a game in hand over the league leaders.
Portland are seventh, one point ahead of San Jose and 10 clear of last-placed Vancouver.
In other matches on Wednesday, the Philadelphia Union were held 1-1 in their match away to the Chicago Fire.
Visitors Union had led at half-time courtesy of Veljko Paunovic’s 34th-minute goal, but had to settle for a point following Pavel Pardo’s equaliser nine minutes into the second half.
Philadelphia, second in the Eastern Conference, are two points behind Columbus Crew, but have played one match fewer than the leaders.
Chicago are down in eighth, level on points with bottom side Toronto.
Finally, first-half goals from Roger Espinoza and Teal Bunbury helped Sporting Kansas City see off Real Salt Lake 2-0.
Kansas held out to record a clean sheet and the win, despite losing goal-scorer Espinoza to a straight red card with 33 minutes still to play.
The defeat leaves Salt Lake fifth in the Western Conference, while Kansas are fourth in the East, four points off the Crew.