Matchday Preview: Chivas, Portland to tangle in Western showdown
CHIVAS USA vs PORTLAND TIMBERS
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif.
July 18, 2012 (WEEK 20, MLS Game #183)
1 p.m. PT (ROOT-NW)
A pair of teams looking for points to quickly move into the Western Conference race meet Wednesday at The Home Depot Center when Chivas USA and the Portland Timbers tangle. Chivas return to action after another weekend off, their last match a scoreless draw at home with Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Timbers kicked off the Gavin Wilkinson era in MLS last weekend with a 5-3 loss at home to the LA Galaxy.
The Portland Timbers began the Gavin Wilkinson era with a wild defeat, falling 5-3 to the LA Galaxy on Saturday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. The Timbers are in a tie for eighth place in the Western Conference with 19 points from 18 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: POR 3, LA 5
- The Timbers had the lead after just the third minute. Midfielder Kalif Alhassan found Kris Boyd cutting to the near post on a perfectly placed cross, and he cut in front of defender David Junior Lopes and finished over goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
- But David Beckham struck two vintage, curling strikes from distance to put LA ahead. In the 19th minute, Beckham found himself with the ball in space and, from 35 yards out, beat goalkeeper Troy Perkins with an arching wonder strike. Then five minutes later, on a free kick from 22 yards, he unleashed his patented bending shot that cleared the wall and sailed inside the near post.
- LA made it 3-1 in the 27th minute when Landon Donovan converted a penalty that was awarded after right back Kosuke Kimura brought down midfielder Michael Stephens in the box. Then a minute later Robbie Keane tapped home a Donovan cross following a clean run down the right wing.
- Portland pulled a goal back in the 34th minute when Kimura pounced after Saunders mishandled a Boyd free kick and deposited the ball in the back of the net. But the Galaxy made it 4-2 on Keane's second in the 64th minute off a cross from Sean Franklin.
- Boyd completed a two-goal night of his own with a bouncing free kick from 30 yards that beat a diving Saunders in the 70th minute.
- Timbers interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson made three changes to the side that suffered a 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Hanyer Mosquera came into the back four for Mamadou Danso, Kalif Alhassan came into for the suspended Diego Chara in midfield, and Kris Boyd started up top for Danny Mwanga.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Kosuke Kimura, Hanyer Mosquera, David Horst, Steven Smith - Jack Jewsbury, Lovel Palmer (Brent Richards 46) - Kalif Alhassan (Danny Mwanga 69), Darlington Nagbe (Sal Zizzo 90), Eric Alexander - Kris Boyd
WATCH: Portland ready for Chivas USA
The loss came in Wilkinson’s first match in charge after the dismissal of John Spencer. Wilkinson was head coach of the second-division Timbers from 2007-10.
“Organizationally, we should have been a lot better,” Wilkinson said. “I’ll take the blame for this one. But I think we’ve been through a lot this week. I think at times we kept the ball well, I think we moved the ball well, I think we had individuals that had amazing games. But key lapses cost us the game.”
The five goals were the most the Timbers have conceded since their entrance into MLS last season.
“There’s no way we should be walking out of here having given up five goals at home,” Wilkinson said. “It’s just not right. I think we had some key players not play as well as they could. In individual areas we got stretched. The lines between the back line and the midfield allowed Donovan and Keane to drop off and pick up the ball and cause us tremendous problems.”
Kris Boyd scored a pair of goals in the loss, his first two-goal game since coming to MLS in the offseason.
“It’s been a hard week to deal with, but as I said at the beginning of the week we have to move on, we had to be professional about the job at hand tonight,” said Boyd. “And I thought the first stages we went about it correctly. And I’ll go back to it again, we scored three goals at home, and I don’t think we should be losing the game.”
Making his second start since coming to the Timbers from Colorado, fullback Kosuke Kimura scored his first goal for the club. Kimura has scored five goals for his MLS career.
“It was really crazy, crazy last week," Kimura said. "I got here, and the next day I’m in Salt Lake and playing with the boys, and I didn’t know some of my teammate’s names, even. And then we came back, and John Spencer got let go, and everything happened so quick. But at the same time, it’s a professional business. It happens. You have to know that it could happen to anyone.”
Beckham’s goal was the first conceded by the Timbers from a free kick since Gabriel Gómez scored for Philadelphia in the season opener. Portland has conceded once from a corner kick this year.
“The reality is the majority of the guys in this locker room have been through changes before. Obviously it’s difficult the first two days, but then you get on with it,” said Jack Jewsbury. “I thought we came out and played pretty well and then the key guys that we talked about before the game, Landon and Keane and obviously Beckham, when you give them space and free kicks it’s going to be dangerous. And they took advantage of them tonight.
Chivas USA return to league action after another weekend off, their last match a second consecutive scoreless draw on July 7 with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at The Home Depot Center. Chivas USA are in seventh place in the Western Conference with 20 points from 17 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: CHV 0, VAN 0
- Joe Cannon was credited with three saves in recording his league-leading eighth clean sheet of the year, making a pair of stops in short order in a late flurry by Chivas USA to preserve the result.
- Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was credited with one save on the evening.
- Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made five changes to the team that played to a scoreless draw with FC Dallas in Frisco. Jorge Villafana came in at left back for Ante Jazic, Nick LaBrocca and Laurent Courtois came into the midfield for Oswaldo Minda and Alejandro Moreno, and Jose Correa and Juan Pablo Angel started up top for Juan Agudelo and Cesar Romero.
- CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, Rauwshan McKenzie, Danny Califf, Jorge Villafana - Ben Zemanski, Nick LaBrocca, Paolo Cardozo, Laurent Courtois (Ryan Smith 46) - Jose Correa, Juan Pablo Angel.
- The draw was the third time in the last four games, the eighth time overall this season and the sixth time in 10 home games that Chivas USA were held without a goal.
- “We’re right there, we got a bunch of good looks and ones that we worked for, but we’re right there and as frustrating as it is today, we need to keep going and those will come for us,” LaBrocca said. “We need to keep possession and work our way in and maybe that will open up chances for us later on.”
- Chivas USA will come into the game having played just one league game in the last 25 days – the scoreless draw with Vancouver.
- “The difference in our team when we play with urgency versus when we play with less urgency, it’s a stark difference,” said Chivas head coach Robin Fraser. “At the end of the day we have to do things better to win games, certainly a big part of that for us is just our approach and again, our urgency. I think we have quality players and in this league so many games are won really based on how urgently you approach a game.”
- On the flip side, Chivas have recorded back-to-back defensive shutouts for the first time this season.
WATCH: Chivas USA preview Portland
- “Certainly we’ve seen this group grow defensively. I think Danny Califf has been very instrumental in solidifying how we defend,” said Fraser. “Having said that, as you look at the second half, I think the entire team defending was very good and as a result we are certainly happy to have shutouts but we need to win games.”
- Said midfielder Ryan Smith: “The guys have been doing great defensively. We’ve had one loss in the last eight games, we’ve done really well recently and we can just keep on trying. If this is the way it’s going to go, then so be it, I’ll take it.”
- After a two-match absence, Smith was able to come on as a halftime substitution for Laurent Courtois, that changed the Chivas scheme to three central midfielders.
- “When we adjusted the formation, it was gave us better chances to put more pressure on the field and it showed in the second half,” forward Juan Pablo Ángel said. “We didn’t create much, but for the first time this season – and this is my own view – we outplayed a team at home and we felt that we had the majority of the possession.”
- On July 11, Chivas USA were knocked out of the US Open Cup after a 4-1 loss to defending champion Seattle Sounders FC at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash. The lone Chivas goal came from Cesar Romero.
- Here’s the Chivas team: Dan Kennedy, James Riley, Danny Califf, Rauwshan McKenzie, Jorge Villafana, Oswaldo Minda, Ben Zemanski (Ryan Smith 85), Blair Gavin (Cesar Romero 64), Alejandro Moreno, Paolo Cardozo, Juan Pablo Angel (Jose Correa 69).
“We’re not content or happy going out in the semifinals, but to be in the top four, we should be proud of that,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy said. “But going forward our expectation as a club needs to be more that the semifinals is not good enough anymore. We want to play for championships and in order to do that, you got to win games like today.”
REFEREE: Armando Villarreal. SAR (bench): Frank Anderson; JAR (opposite): Ian Anderson; 4th: Baldomero Toledo
MLS Career: 3 games; FC/gm: 22.7; Y/gm: 2.3; R: 1; pens: 0
- CHIVAS USA -- OUT: MF Marvin Iraheta (L knee ACL); MF Oswaldo Minda (L shoulder); DOUBTFUL: FW Juan Agudelo (L knee)
- PORTLAND TIMBERS -- OUT: DF Eric Brunner (concussion); DF Chris Taylor (R hip surgery); DF Rodney Wallace (R ankle sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: POR: Jake Gleeson (New Zealand; Olympic Games)
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: POR: Lovel Palmer
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Kris Boyd, Diego Chara, Jack Jewsbury, Steven Smith
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Chivas USA 2 wins, 3 goals … Timbers 1 win, 2 goals … Ties 0
AT CHIVAS USA (1 meeting): Chivas USA 1 win, 1 goal … Timbers 0 wins, 0 goals … Ties 0
FUTURE MATCH: 7/28: Portland Timbers vs. Chivas USA, 8 p.m. PT
• The teams are meeting for the second time this season. A late goal from Nick LaBrocca gave Chivas USA a 2-1 win April 7 at JELD-WEN Field.
• The teams split 1-0 decisions, each winning at home, in Portland’s inaugural season in MLS. Portland also won a US 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
4/7: POR 1, CHV 2 (Boyd 16 – Moreno 48, LaBrocca 82)
• The Timbers took advantage to score the opening goal in the 16th minute. Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy collided with defender James Riley while trying to clear a ball played into the box. With the two lying defenseless, Kris Boyd collected the ball and coolly slotted a shot into the open net.
• But after the break, the visitors grabbed control of the match. Three minutes after the break, halftime substitution Ryan Smith sent in a beautifully placed cross that Alejandro Moreno headed home inside the near corner.
• Chivas USA continued to press and found the game-winner off another perfect cross, this time from near the sideline by Smith in the 82nd minute. Nick LaBrocca was there to head it in and secure a second win in two road games for Chivas.
• PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-4-2): Troy Perkins - Lovel Palmer, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Eric Brunner, Rodney Wallace (Mike Chabala 46) - Franck Songo'o (Kalif Alhassan 62), Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Eric Alexander (Jorge Perlaza 76) - Darlington Nagbe, Kris Boyd.
• CHIVAS USA (4-5-1): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, Heath Pearce, Rauwshan McKenzie, Ante Jazic - Ben Zemanski, Oswaldo Minda, Alejandro Moreno, Nick LaBrocca, Blair Gavin (Ryan Smith 46 / Scott Gordon 93+) - Cesar Romero (Laurent Courtois 73).