CARSON, Calif – Marcos Mondaini made his return to action after a four-game suspension and had an immediate impact, scoring the lone goal in Chivas USA’s 1-0 win over Portland. It was the Rojiblancos’ second home victory of the year.
The goal sequence was started by Chivas USA forward Chris Cortez, who played the ball into space for midfielder Paulo Nagamura. Nagamura streaked down the sideline and played the ball across the goal mouth to a waiting Mondaini, who tapped it past Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
The goal was Mondaini’s second goal of the season and the first assist for the recently healthy Nagamura.
Mondaini had been suspended since May 7th for a reckless foul on Javier Morales.
The Timbers nearly leveled the match just moments after the goal when Timbers captain Jack Jewsbury nearly scored off a good combination with rookie Darlington Nagbe. It forced a save from Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, who had yet another solid performance in net for the Goats.
Portland was able to dominate the late stretches of the match following the goal, but continued their poor road form. With their defeat to Chivas USA, the Timbers remain the only team in MLS that has yet to register a victory away from home.
Perkins’ six saves was a season-high, midfielder Jewsbury attempted a team-high three shots and forward Kenny Cooper provided two shots for the Timbers.
The Rojiblancos controlled wide stretches of the first half with energetic play more reminiscent of their good form of a month ago than their struggles of recent weeks.
In the first half, Perkins made two key saves in the opening 15 minutes to keep Chivas USA off the board. Moments after derailing a charging run by forward Braun, Perkins got his right hand to a shot by midfielder Jorge Flores from the top of the box to deny an early shot in the 8th minute. Perkins made another diving save in the 12th minute, stopping an effort by Mondaini from the right side.
Chivas USA nearly broke through just moments before half when Jorge Flores found Justin Braun, who headed a chance that went just wide of the Timbers net.
Perkins made three second-half saves, including one just before the hour mark. Chivas USA midfielder Ben Zemanski played in Nick LaBrocca for a shot from inside 10 yards, but Perkins was quick to the ground to stop LaBrocca’s effort at the top of his six yard box and defender David Horst cleared the rebound.
With Chivas USA controlling most of the possession, the Timbers were resigned to the counter attack play, but nearly came up big just before the half themselves. Jewsbury fired a shot from 25 yards that forced Kennedy to palm it away.
Chivas USA finishes 1-0-1 on their recent two game homestand improving their home record to 2-3-2. The Rojiblancos (4-4-5 overall) will now prepare to go on the road to Robertson Stadium next week to face the Houston Dynamo, while the Timbers (5-5-2 overall) return to JELD-WEN field to host the defending MLS Cup Champion Colorado Rapids.
CHV -- Marcos Mondaini 2 (Paulo Nagamura 1, Chris Cortez 1) 70
Portland Timbers -- Troy Perkins, Jeremy Hall, Mamadou Danso, David Horst, Rodney Wallace, Sal Zizzo (James Marcelin 80), Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Kalif Alhassan (Darlington Nagbe 71), Kenny Cooper (Eddie Johnson 75), Jorge Perlaza.
Chivas USA -- Dan Kennedy, Michael Lahoud, Michael Umana, Heath Pearce, Zarek Valentin, Ben Zemanski, Nick LaBrocca, Paulo Nagamura (Simon Elliott 82), Jorge Flores, Justin Braun (Chris Cortez 68), Marcos Mondaini (Blair Gavin 87).
Substitutes Not Used: Victor Estupinan, Ante Jazic, Mariano Trujillo, Zach Thornton.
CHV -- Zarek Valentin (caution; Reckless Tackle) 18
CHV -- Nick LaBrocca (caution; Reckless Tackle) 28
POR -- Jeremy Hall (caution; Reckless Tackle) 32
CHV -- Justin Braun (caution; Reckless Tackle) 35
CHV -- Paulo Nagamura (caution; Tactical Foul) 66
Referee: Chris Penso
Referee's Assistants: -Adam Wienckowski; Adam Garner
4th Official: Kevin Stott
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-64-degrees