Preview: Chivas USA will fight for three points @ Portland
PORTLAND TIMBERS vs CHIVAS USA
JELD-WEN FIELD, Portland, Ore.
April 7, 2012 (WEEK 5, MLS Game #44)
7:30 p.m. PT (KPTV-FOX 12; KDOC)
Two teams trying to reverse losing skids meet at Jeld-Wen Field when the Portland Timbers face Chivas USA. The Timbers are coming off back-to-back losses, returning home last weekend for a late 3-2 loss to Real Salt Lake. Chivas USA lost for the third time on their home ground last weekend, a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City.
REFEREE: Chris Penso. SAR (bench): Corey Rockwell; JAR (opposite): Jeff Hosking; 4th: Paul Ward
MLS Career: 15 games; FC/gm: 23.6; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 5; pens: 10
- PORTLAND TIMBERS -- OUT: DF Futty Danso (L foot fracture); FW Eddie Johnson (concussion); MF James Marcelin (L hamstring strain); DF Hanyer Mosquera (concussion); DOUBTFUL: DF David Horst (R hip surgery); QUESTIONABLE: MF Sal Zizzo (L ACL surgery); MF Kalif Alhassan (L groin strain)
- CHIVAS USA -- OUT: MF Marvin Iraheta (L knee ACL); DOUBTFUL: DF Michael Lahoud (R hamstring strain); FW Juan Pablo Angel (concussion symptoms); QUESTIONABLE: MF Pete Vagenas (rib contusion)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- ALL-TIME (2 meetings): Timbers 1 win, 1 goal ... Chivas USA 1 win, 1 goal ... Ties 0
- AT PORTLAND (1 meeting): Timbers 1 win, 1 goal ... Chivas USA 0 wins, 0 goals ... Ties 0
- RETURN MATCHES: 7/18: Chivas USA vs. Portland Timbers, 1 p.m. PT; 7/28: Portland Timbers vs. Chivas USA, 8 p.m. PT
LAST YEAR (MLS):
6/4: CHV 1, POR 0 (Mondaini 70)
8/24: POR 1, CHV 0 (Brunner 44)
- The teams split 1-0 decisions, each winning at home, in Portland’s inaugural season in MLS. Portland also won a U.S. Open Cup play-in match between the teams.
- Coaches record: John Spencer vs. CHV: P2 W1 L1 D0 ... Robin Fraser vs. POR: P2 W1 L1 D0
The Portland Timbers went down to defeat for a second consecutive match in cruel fashion, allowing the tying and winning goals late in a 3-2 loss to Real Salt Lake at Jeld-Wen Field on Saturday evening. The Timbers are tied for sixth place in the Western Conference with 4 points from 4 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: POR 2, RSL 3
- RSL took the lead late in the first half. Portland’s Rodney Wallace was whistled for a handball in the area by referee Jorge Gonzalez made the call, and Alvaro Saborío beat goalkeeper Troy Perkins with the resulting penalty.
- Nagbe then pulled Portland level three minutes after the halftime break. Just inside the area, he received a perfectly placed pass from Eric Alexander, sidestepped RSL's Kyle Beckerman and looped a low shot past RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
- Then in the 66th minute, Alexander found Nagbe again, this time at the top of the area on the left side. The second-year player juggled once and volleyed a dipping strike between two defenders and past the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Nick Rimando, under the crossbar.
- But Real silenced the sell-out crowd in the 89th minute, when Jonny Steele skipped his way through a host of Timbers defenders in the area and placed a left-footed shot past Perkins.
- And then, three minutes into stoppage time, Beckerman completed the comeback. Fabián Espíndola found room on the left side and stabbed a cross to the top of the box. Beckerman struck a full volley from the top of the box straight into the bottom left corner of the net for the shocking game-winner.
- Timbers head coach John Spencer made two changes to the team that conceded an early goal in a 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Andrew Jean-Baptiste came back into central defense for Hanyer Mosquera, and Jorge Perlaza returned to the team in place of Kalif Alhassan.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-4-2): Troy Perkins - Lovel Palmer, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Eric Brunner, Rodney Wallace - Darlington Nagbe, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara (James Marcelin 76), Eric Alexander - Jorge Perlaza (Franck Songo'o 64), Kris Boyd.
WATCH: Power 5 - Darlington Nagbe
- The Timbers once again conceded the opening goal, as they’ve done in all four MLS games this season. They rebounded to take the lead for the first time since the season-opening win vs. Philadelphia.
- “Guys were kind of upbeat in the locker room at halftime, felt that we had a good performance, very unfortunate to be down a goal,” Portland head coach John Spencer said. “We came out and played with energy again. I felt we dominated the game most of the [second] half.”
- Twice in their inaugural season the Timbers allowed two late goals to see results reversed at home: in a 3-2 loss to D.C. United on May 29 (goals in the 75th and 85th minutes), and a 3-3 draw with New York (goals in the 73rd and 90th minutes).
- "It's a loss at home against one of the best teams in the country for the last three, four years,” Spencer said. “I think if we would've gotten blown out and never looked capable playing against them and we're short in every department, then I think that would be guys being down on their confidence. I think you've seen us attacking ... they struggled to cope with us for most of the game. So I don't think confidence is going to be a huge problem."
- Darlington Nagbe recorded the first two-goal game of his MLS career ñ and the second in the club’s MLS history. The first came in Portland’s first-ever home game, when Jorge Perlaza scored twice in the 4-2 win vs. Chicago last April 14.
- “You always want to win when you score goals,” Nagbe said. “Unfortunately we didn’t win, so hopefully we can win the next game.” Said Spencer: “I thought it was two wonderful goals. It gives us two good chances, puts us 2-1 up.”
- Nagbe was starting his second game of the season, his first as a wide midfielder after partnering Kris Boyd in attack in New England the week before. Then early in the match, he was moved into the center of midfield, trading places with Diego Chara.
- “After the switch it opened things up more,” Nagbe said. “I was able to get on the ball a little bit more and drive at guys a little bit easier.”
- Nagbe started in place of Kalif Alhassan, who missed the RSL match with a groin strain. Alhassan, along with midfielder Sal Zizzo, who has not played a minute while recovering from a knee injury, both returned to training during the week.
- “If we have them fit and healthy, he probably would have played up front from the start,” Spencer said of the missing midfield trio of Alhassan, Zizzo and Franck Songo’o. “For me, he does prefer to play in the middle whether it be as a second forward, whether it be partnering Kris Boyd outright, or just at the point of the diamond. He’s very, very adaptable, and that’s what good players do, they adapt to different situations at different positions. And anywhere in the attacking third he’s going to cause you problems.”
- Midfielder Eric Alexander recorded the first multiple-assist performance of his professional career and the Timbers second multiple-assist game of the season. Midfielder Jack Jewsbury was the first, notching two assists in the 3-1 win against Philadelphia on March 12.
Chivas USA returned home and lost for the third time on the season, going down to a 1-0 defeat to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday evening at The Home Depot Center. Chivas USA sit in a tie for eighth place in the Western Conference with 3 points from 4 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: CHV 0, SKC 1
- The game's lone goal came in the 47th minute. SKC's Graham Zusi fired a shot that bounced off the crossbar. The deflection fell back to the midfielder, and Zusi headed it across the goalmouth to a waiting C.J. Sapong, who nodded home his third goal of the season.
- Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made one change to the team that came away with a 1-0 victory against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Alejandro Moreno came into the team, in place of Peter Vagenas.
- CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, Heath Pearce, Rauwshan McKenzie, Ante Jazic (Cesar Romero 80) - Ryan Smith, Oswaldo Minda, Nick LaBrocca, Laurent Courtois - Alejandro Moreno (Miller Bolanos 72), Casey Townsend.
- Chivas USA are now 0-3 at home and still have yet to score a goal at The Home Depot Center.
- “We definitely have to put a focus on getting three points at home, we need to make this a fortress and a hard place for when teams come here,” said defender Rauwshan McKenzie. “We’ve got to take our chances when we get them, we have to work hard team defensively, we’ve got to be tough and kick people every now and then, not dirty, but to let them know that they’re in for a tough game.”
- The rojiblancos have lost four games in a row at home, dating back to the end of the 2011 season ñ it matches the longest home losing streak in club history, the first coming in the club’s inaugural season of 2005.
- “I don’t know, I just know that teams that win their home games go to the playoffs,” defender Heath Pearce sid. “It's pretty simple. There's no magic sauce, no magic juice that you have to drink or eat to do it. It's an attitude and teams that win their home game, generally make the playoffs.”
- Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser started a pair of strikers for the first time this season as Alejandro Moreno made his first league appearance of the season, partnering rookie Casey Townsend.
- Chivas USA did not have a single goal attempt on target and just six for the match ñ all coming in the second half.
- “We’re not creating enough chances and the ones that we do create, we’re not taking advantage of,” Moreno said. “It’s difficult to win games when you’re not as dynamic as we’d like to be going forward. There are times when there are spaces to be exploited, and we’re just not taking advantage of them. It’s disappointing for us, because our thoughts were to validate the things that we did last week against Salt Lake.”
- Despite the three losses, Chivas have not allowed a single goal in any game. “The group has defended pretty solidly,” Fraser said. “[Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy] has done a good job, the defenders have done a good job for the most part so far, but to win games, we have to create more chances. There is no question.”
- Chivas were without striker Juan Pablo ¡ngel for a third consecutive week as he recovers from a concussion.
- “I think that you have to look at [¡ngel's absence] as significant,” Fraser said. “Obviously, he’s scored a number of goals on every team that he’s been on over a long period of time. So you have to believe he's the type of player who finds goal scoring opportunities, for sure.”