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Portland Timbers Blank Chivas USA 2-0

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The Timbers shut down Chivas despite a second half surge from the visitors.

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers came out strong against Chivas USA today, 0putting the visitors away early thanks to a pair of first half goals.

The Timbers opened the scoring early on, breaking through the patchwork Chivas defense in the 10'. The chance started as many have for the Timbers over the last four years: with Diego Chara breaking up the opposition's possession and winning the ball.

Having reclaimed the ball, Chara looked up the pitch, finding Diego Valeri in space 30 yards from goal and sending a simple pass forward to the Maestro's feet. With room in which to work, Valeri carried the ball forward, giving the rest of the Timbers' attack a chance to catch up and spread the defense with runs into the box. With pressure off him, Valeri touched the ball calmly around a defender and, from twenty-five yards out, sent in a curling ball that swung just out of the reach of Dan Kennedy and into the back of the net.

The Timbers struck again in the first half, breaking Chivas down in the 39' thanks to some strong hold up playin the box. After Chara and Valeri started off the play by again linking up on the right wing, Chara playing Valeri in toward the Chivas corner flag. With defenders closing him down, Valeri slammed on the breaks and played a square ball into the box, finding Adi with his back to goal.

Immediately the Chivas defense collapsed on Adi, who held them off before getting off a toe-poke pass to Rodney Wallace out wide on the left. With the ball bobbling toward him, Wallace fired off a first-time shot toward the near post, beating Kennedy from close range and giving the Timbers a 2-0 lead to finish out he half.

Although the Timbers held a two goal lead after a commanding performance so far, that suddenly looked in peril as the whistle blew for the start of the second half and Chivas came out energized and looking to attack. Where the Timbers had controlled the first half of play, the second was a back and forth that saw the ball pinned back in the Timbers half.

Unlike in too many other matches this year, however, the Timbers defense held strong against the Chivas attack. With Norberto Paparatto and Liam Ridgewell holding down the center of the pitch and winning just about every headed ball in the Timbers box, the Timbers held on to claim the team's second clean sheet of the year.