PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers kept the pressure on a reeling Chivas USA defense with a dominating 3-0 win Sunday afternoon at JELD-WEN Field.
But it was the resurgent Wallace who was especially impressive for Portland. The Timbers forward added an assist on Valeri’s strike to go along with his third goal of the season, which equaled a career high.
Portland extended their franchise-best unbeaten streak to nine games and move into second place in the Western Conference standings with 18 points from 11 games.
Chivas’ once promising season now appears to be in a tailspin with their winless streak now at five games, including two straight losses by a combined score of 7-0. The Goats now sit in last place in the West with 11 points from 10 games.
Chivas’ three-man backline of Joaquín Velázquez, Carlos Borja and former Timbers player Steve Purdy were visibly outmatched by the Timbers’ relentless attack and have now allowed nine goals in the last three games. Portland’s pressure was most pronounced in the first half, where they amassed 12 shots and a 67-percent possession advantage, while Chivas managed just two shots.
With Portland pressing forward from the outset, it seemed only a matter of time before the Timbers hit pay dirt. And in the 34th minute, on a counter off a corner kick, Wallace broke free down the left wing on a perfectly-timed feed from Ryan Johnson. Wallace beat his defender and finished inside the far post with a nifty left-footed lob.
Chivas’ two first-half shots were both on goal and both on headers off corner kicks, but Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts easily gobbled up the two attempts.
The Timbers put the game away in the 70th minute when Wallace and Darlington Nagbe teamed up to unlock the Chivas defense with a series of passes at the top of the area. Wallace fed Valeri on a perfectly timed through ball, and the Argentinean midfielder easily beat Chivas goalkeeper Patrick McLain, who started in place of the suspended Dan Kennedy, for the goal.
Will Johnson added on in stoppage time with a beautifully struck, right-footed shot from the left corner that curled inside the far post past the outstretched arms of McLain.
The Timbers next face Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place on Saturday, while Chivas returns home to face Real Salt Lake on Sunday evening.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Rodney Wallace||There are few, if any, players who are playing with as much confidence as the Costa Rican, who made trouble for Chivas all day and picked up a goal and an assist|
|2||Diego Valeri||Kept things moving in the midfield, got his goal, two assists and saw a screamer rattle the crossbar in the first half|
|3||Mamadou 'Futty' Danso||The Timbers' backline is perilously thin, but they should be in good shape if Danso continues to hold up. Had another great defensive game and was a major threat on attacking set pieces|