Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy

57°F

Portland

Mostly Cloudy

Humidity: 96%

Wind: 6 mph

  • 30 Sep 2014

    Partly Cloudy 66°F 51°F

  • 1 Oct 2014

    Partly Cloudy 65°F 48°F


Timbers pound Chivas USA 3-0

The Portland Timbers continued their unbeaten streak Sunday afternoon against Chivas USA at Jeld-Wen Field.

Portland was faster, stronger and more opportunistic all afternoon, running its franchise-best unbeaten streak to nine matches.

The Timbers took a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute on a Rodney Wallace goal, then extended the lead to 2-0 in the 70th minute when Wallace assisted a Diego Valeri goal.

Then, in stoppage time, Will Johnson added another goal.

With the way the Timbers controlled the possession throughout the afternoon — keeping the ball .593

percent of the match and outshooting Chivas USA 19-8 — Portland’s back line was never seriously challenged, and the Timbers walked off with a 3-0 win.

“We got three points, we wanted three points and it’s another positive step in the right direction,” Timbers coach Caleb Porter said. “We continue to be on a good path. It’s nothing more and nothing less.”

The Timbers (4-1-6, 18 points) have not lost since falling to the Montreal Impact 2-1 on March 9. The win over Chivas USA (3-5-2, 11 points) moved Portland into second place in the MLS Western Conference standings behind FC Dallas (7-1-3, 24 points).

“We’re at about a third of the season,” Porter said. “We’ve had a good third. But we have to keep plugging away. We haven’t done anything yet. We’re just scratching the surface of the team we can be.”

As has become their routine, the Timbers began the match dominating possession and putting the Chivas USA back line under pressure. After the first 15 minutes, the Timbers already had sent several dangerous crosses into the box.

The most dangerous cross came in the 13th minute, when Portland midfielder Diego Valeri sent a lob for defender Mamadou “Futty” Danso.

Chivas USA goalkeeper Patrick McLain came out to try to defend the pass, but Danso got to it quicker. Danso kicked the ball over McLain’s head just before

the two collided. The ball bounced into the open net. The cheers that rang out from the announced sellout crowd of 20,438 were cut short, though, when referee Silviu Petrescu whistled the play dead, calling Danso offside.

In the 32nd minute, Valeri nearly scored the first goal of the match when he created space between himself and the Chivas USA defense. Valeri fired a bullet from 34 yards. The shot hit the crossbar, though, and again the Timbers were thwarted.

The Timbers finally went up 1-0 in the 34th minute.

Valeri took the ball around midfield and dished it off to striker Ryan Johnson.

After taking a touch, Johnson sent the ball to Wallace. The ball reached Wallace 40 yards from goal. Wallace headed the ball in front of him, collected it and sent a left-footed shot just over McLain’s head and into the back of the net.

“It came off pressure,” Wallace said. “I took a touch by putting my head on it, hit it and it just went in.”

The Timbers did not rest on their laurels after the goal. Portland continued attacking the Chivas USA goal, nearly scoring on several opportunities and more important, giving Chivas rare opportunity to create a quality offensive possession.

Portland led 12-2 in first-half shots.

As the first half began, Portland continued to create chances.

In the 70th minute, the Timbers struck again.

Wallace had the ball at the top of the 18-yard box. He hesitated just a moment, allowing the Chivas USA defense to crash in on him. Wallace then sent a pass into right side of the box for Valeri, who had managed to slip in behind the defenders.

When he took the pass, Valeri was eight yards from goal, with only McLain to beat. Valeri sent a soft shot to the far post that floated over McLain, and Portland had a 2-0 lead.

“We had a good play with passes,” Valeri said. “I did a run and finished the play.”

In stoppage time, the Timbers added a final goal. Valeri sent a pass to Kalif Alhassan, who found Will Johnson around the top of the box.

Johnson dribbled around the apathetic Chivas USA back line and buried a shot to seal Portland’s 3-0 win.

Johnson was unavailable for comment after the match.

The Timbers will go on the road for their next three matches, facing the Vancouver Whitecaps on May 18, D.C. United on May 25 and the Chicago Fire on

June 6.

Portland defender Michael Harrington said that with three consecutive road matches on the schedule, getting three points out of Sunday afternoon’s

match was critical for the Timbers.

“It was huge,” Harrington said. “You need to win your games at home — especially conference games. It’s crucial to get those three points. We’ve done a good job on the road so far, and we want to keep that going.

"But we want to make this place a fortress, and it was a good start to doing that tonight.”