''It's a big one because the run we've been on and the way we've been playing,'' said Beckham, who re-signed with the Galaxy during the offseason. ''Our performance was 100 percent better than we've been playing all season.''
Juninho scored the go-ahead goal in the 83rd minute for the defending champion Galaxy, who struggled in the season's early going.
''It was a game we needed to win,'' Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. ''It's not perfect, but was certainly improved from our previous MLS games this season.''
Kris Boyd scored goal for Portland, which lost its fourth straight. The past three have all come on goals in the final 10 minutes.
''It's an issue we need to address and we need to address it quickly,'' Boyd said.
Juninho broke a deadlock when he won a loose ball outside the box. The Brazilian unleashed a strike from 23 yards out that never got more than a few inches off the ground and nestled into the left corner of the net.
Beckham followed it with his first goal of the season, nearly losing a pass, but running back onto the ball and firing from long range. Once it went in, he went sliding into the corner area to celebrate. It capped a strong performance from the English star, who returned after missing a game due to back spasms.
''I haven't done that for years,'' Beckham said.. ''It was a terrible first touch but it put me in a good position.''
The Galaxy's defense has been a work in progress since losing reigning MLS defender of the year Omar Gonzalez to a torn ACL. Saturday presented another challenge as Tommy Meyer, a rookie, and David Junior Lopes, acquired Tuesday from Chivas USA, started alongside one another.
A turnover led to a quick pass from Eric Alexander to Boyd as he was retreating away from the goal box. The linesman kept his flag down, allowing Boyd to dribble in uncontested and finish a low shot. Arena was left looking befuddled on the sideline at the lack of a whistle.
Donovan leveled the score 1-1 moments before halftime.
A long pass from Todd Dunivant was settled by Robbie Keane. The Irishman dribbled near the goal line and spotted his teammate alone near the top of the box. Keane's pass was gently deflected but not enough to bother Donovan, who scored his first with a hard strike.
Two goals later and the Galaxy finally had a win to build upon.
''We haven't been a good team in the early going,'' Arena said. ''Tonight, we were a good team.''
- David Beckham
- Landon Donovan
- Portland Timbers