Shout out to FNTM for the recap title
The Portland Timbers again opened on the road going down a goal and looked listless in the attack. Chivas looked just as bad offensively, except for the ability to exploit the Timbers' LB, but defensively they looked miles ahead of Portland. 1-0 loss.
Gavin Wilkinson trotted out the 4-2-3-1 just like the Galaxy game but this time he had Futty Danso instead of David Horst and Diego Chara in for Lovel Palmer. You could see the effect of Chara as he was able to shut down any midfielders who ventured into the middle of the park. Going forward was a completely different beast. Every ball was either to the feet of Darlington, Nagbe, Kalif Alhassan or Eric Alexander and then they would dribble into 2 or 3 defenders or pass the ball back to the CBs.
Every time Portland got the ball, the sequence would go something like this: square pass, back pass, square pass, square pass, forward pass, dribble and lose possession. Just rinse and repeat for 45 minutes and you have what Portland's offense looked like. No wonder all of us fans have sat through 607 minutes (Just over 10 hours!) of no goals on the road. Portland's last road goal was April 14 at LA Galaxy in the 23rd minute.
Defensively it was just as bad. Chivas has scored all of 12 goals all season -- twelve! Chris Wondolowski has 17 and Kenny Cooper has 11. Portland have given up 3 of those goals and still have to play Chivas one more time. As I write this recap, Toronto is up on Colorado; a Toronto win would make Portland tied for the worst record in the MLS. If they had won today they would have been at 22 points, ahead of about 5 teams.
Anyway, I digress back to how woeful Portland has been.
Steven Smith was repeatedly beaten by Ryan Smith on the left side, and it resulted in the only goal of the game. R. Smith hit a bouncing ball with his knee past S. Smith and then hit a low pass through the box. Troy Perkins did get a hand on it, but he directed it right to Miller Bolanos for the easy goal. There is the highlight of the game for both teams. Seriously, it was a boring game to watch.
By this point, Portland and Chivas had combined for a single shot on goal and it was the goal. The rest of the game both teams combined for 3 shots on target. Most of Chivas chances came by going down the wings and usually it was the left wing. The end result of those forays down the left luckily did not bear fruit. On two separate occasions it should have, but in the end neither team scored.
For Portland there actually was some positives in the second half, and it came with the inclusion of Franck Songo'o and Sal Zizzo. Instead of square and back passes there was a lot more forward passing and even some taking on of people on the wing. Although, the real reason might be the tired legs of Chivas and the fresher legs of those two subs. Either way, Portland again looked listless and out of sync on the road.
So instead of focusing on the negatives of today I am going to find a positive. My wife is due with our third child in February! What is your positive of the day?