Former Newcastle defender Steven Taylor has rough start for Portland

Former Newcastle defender Steven Taylor had a tough start to life in the United States, enduring a challenging debut for Portland Timbers reserves.

The 30-year-old, who joined the Major League Soccer franchise after his Magpies contract expired in the summer, turned out for the second string on Saturday night in their match against Los Angeles Galaxy II.

But his appearance was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

He diverted the ball past his own goalkeeper after just nine minutes in California, then saw the hosts run in two more goals for a 3-0 half-time lead.

Taylor was substituted after the hour mark and watched on as Portland pulled things round in his absence, sealing a remarkable 4-3 victory in stoppage time.

Speaking last week Taylor, who has joined former Aston Villa, Birmingham and West Brom defender Liam Ridgewell in Oregon, told Portland's website: "It's a new challenge for me, a new chapter in my career.

"It's a new lease of life for me out here now. The excitement's back. I've got my happy feet.''

Taylor is expected to continue building his fitness in the reserves before joining the first-team squad.