You've probably noticed that the Portland Timbers are pretty tough to beat. They're one of only two teams in the league with just a single loss, and it's not because they're bunkering.
On the contrary, they'll holding the ball higher up the pitch, and defending from the front better than anyone in the leauge:
|Team||Passing Accuracy in Opp Half: 2013||Passing Accuracy in Opp Half: 2012|
|Sporting Kansas City||71.7||69.81|
|Real Salt Lake||70.92||73.21|
|New York Red Bulls||70.74||72.21|
|Seattle Sounders FC||70.35||69.28|
|New England Revolution||63.26||67.6|
|San Jose Earthquakes||62.64||69.92|
That's what coach Caleb Porter has instilled from Day 1: Defend the ball, not the goal. And his team has taken to it with aplomb thus far.
If you want to understand what "Porterball" really is, that's where you need to start.
P.S. We'll get to that outrageous 2012 number for Chivas USA at a later date. Statistics, remember, can often be damned, dirty lies.