The Portland Timbers delivered a dominant performance on Sunday, May 11 when they defeated Chivas USA 3-0 in front of their home fans at Jeld Wen Field.
The Timbers are now unbeaten in their last nine games and have sole possession of second place in the MLS Western Conference with 18 points. Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts recorded his 4th clean sheet of the season. The Timber have not lost a match since the second game of the season, a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Impact on March 9th at Jeld Wen.
The Timbers set the tone early against Chivas as they were constantly on the attack and firing shots at the Chivas goal. Diego Valeri and Ryan Johnson both had dangerous chances before a nifty series of passes led to Valeri banging a shot off the cross bar. In that series, Diego Chara passed up the sideline to Ryan Johnson at midfield who knocked a cheeky backheel pass to Darlington Nagbe in the middle of the field. Nagbe carried the ball forward and found Valeri with a pass, Valeri cut back to the top of the box and rocketed it a shot that had Chivas goalkeeper Patrick McLain beat, but was stymied by the woodwork.
Rodney Wallace opened the scoring for the Timbers in the 34th minute when he collected a pass from Nagbe, neatly nodding the bouncing ball down with his head and beat a charging McLain with a looping chip to the far post. The goal came off a quick counter attack started by an outlet pass from Timber netminder Ricketts.
Valeri scored the second Timbers goal in the 70th minute when Wallace found him behind the Chivas defense and he beat McLain with a low shot.
Will Johnson iced the win with a stoppage time goal as he carried the ball in from the sideline and ripped a curling shot inside the far post.
The Timbers head out on the road for upcoming games against Cascadia Cup rival Vancouver on May 18th, D.C. Untied on May 25th and Chicago on June 8th. The Timbers return home on June 15th and face FC Dallas.
By the Numbers
The Timbers are tied for second in MLS in goals scored with 18. They have given up 12. The Timbers have five players with 3 or more goals after 11 games this season; Ryan Johnson and Will Johnson both lead the team with 4 each while Valeri, Wallace and Nagbe each have 3. Valeri leads the team with 4 assists, Diego Chara and Ryan Johnson each have three.
Man of the Match
Once again we’re picking Rodney Wallace. He started the scoring and recorded the game winner-again- and assisted on Valeri’s insurance goal. He is on fire right now and playing the best soccer of his young career. Unfortunately for the Timbers that will probably mean another call up to the Costa Rican National Team this summer for World Cup qualifying and some missed games.