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Dec 15, 2012 7:46pm
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CARSON, Calif. Robert Griffin III Elite Jersey . —
Goalkeeper Josh Saunders made a triumphant return to the starting lineup making
four saves and earning a shutout following a seven-game absence to help the Los
Angeles Galaxy beat the Portland Timbers 1-0 on Sunday night. The victory
snapped a seven-game winless streak for the Galaxy in MLS play. In what was his
first league match since April after returning from the leagues substance abuse
and behaviour health program, Saunders made a number of key saves—including
one with his face—to give Los Angeles its first shutout of the season. But
even though the 31-year-old goalkeeper admitted that the game was “special” he
approached the match like any other. “It felt great, we battled through the
game,” said Saunders “We just kept believing that were going to start winning
some games, we battled, we had some struggles early on and we were able to pull
through it and I cant say enough about what the guys did on the field.” The
match was a back and forth affair from the start as both teams traded chances in
the first 10 minutes. The first came in the second minute when a Marcelo Sarvas
header was stopped by the face of Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins before
Saunders made a stop of his own with his face to prevent a Kris Boyd shot from
going into the back of the net. Saunders defining moment came in the 26th minute
when the goalkeeper was called into action, making a diving stop on Boyds rocket
shot from 35-yards out. With Saunders holding the shutout, the Galaxy were able
to find the winning goal in the 61st minute when a David Beckham corner kick
found Todd Dunivant far post. The defender then calmly nodded a header past
Perkins for the games only goal. “David obviously serves in an incredible set
piece. He put the ball in the back post. We kind of had talked about it
halftime. Wed had a few to the front post and I said to try the back post. I
found a little space back there and was able to nod it home.” However, while the
Galaxy were pleased with their performance against Portland, Timbers head coach
John Spencer was infuriated with his sides inability to finish their chances as
they slid into the bottom of the Western Conference standings. “We need to start
picking up points; we know that, we aint dumb. We lost too many games, clicking
by and saying, we should of or could of done this or could have gotten a
decision,” said Spencer. “Im sick and tired of hearing the word potential; to be
honest with you if I hear it once more then Im probably going to throw up. “For
me, potential gets you your contract, it gets you on the field then youve got to
produce. Weve got too many guys right now, not playing and not producing to the
best of their abilities.” While Portland is struggling heading into their
Cascadia Cup match-up against the Seattle Sounders next Sunday, the Galaxy hope
the victory over the Timbers will provide a lift as they face Real Salt Lake on
Wednesday. “We just have to build on it, simple as that,” said Beckham. “Last
season we played a lot of games like this where we won 1-nil and we kept the
other teams in shutouts. We need more performances like this and were capable of
it, so hopefully this will be our springboard.” Robert
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. – The Portland Trail Blazers have
appointed AEG Sports executive Chris McGowan as the teams n