Ola Kamara got his first goal for his new club, Romain Alessandrini also scored before departing with an injury and the LA Galaxy started their season with a 2-1 home victory over the Portland Timbers on Sunday night.
Alessandrini, last season’s team MVP, left the game in the 60th minute after suffering an apparent right hamstring injury. He was later on the bench with ice wrapped around the back of his thigh.
Midfielder Sebastian Lletget made his first appearance in nearly a year for the Galaxy. A severe foot injury halted his 2017 season after three games.
Sebastian Blanco scored in the second half for Portland, as new coach Giovanni Savarese took a loss in his debut.
Alessandrini was a rare bright spot last season for a Galaxy side that finished last in the Western Conference, scoring 13 goals despite playing wide midfield and not striker.
That’s one reason LA traded with Columbus in the offseason for Kamara, a pure centerforward who had 34 goals over his two MLS seasons.
The duo required only one two-minute outburst to give the Galaxy a two-goal lead.
Kamara struck in the 31st minute, when he redirected Rolf Feltscher’s header over the goal line from in close after Jonathan dos Santos’ cross picked out Feltscher at the back post.
Two minutes later, Alessandrini made it 2-0 when he shielded off Liam Ridgewell to reach a loose ball, struck the post with his first effort, then rose in time to side-foot his rebound into the net.
Portland cut it to 2-1 six minutes after Alessandrini’s departure.
Blanco took a pass near midfield, played a give-and-go with Fanendo Adi down the left, dribbled inside the penalty area and drove a low finish from a tight angle through goalkeeper David Bingham’s legs.
Bingham made amends in the 85th minute, pushing away David Guzman’s ferocious, potential game-tying 25-yard free kick.
—Field Level Media