Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers will put their MLS club
record eight-match unbeaten run to the test on Sunday when it welcomes Chivas
USA to Jeld-Wen Field.
Portland continued its fine start to the season by earning a 1-1 draw at FC
Dallas on Wednesday, a result that helped the club maintain its distinction of
being the only MLS club without a road loss so far. While the Timbers were
unlucky not to come away with all three points, a road point against the best
team in the league should not be taken lightly.
The club's road form indicates a change in culture compared to last season,
and the catalyst for such appears to be its new head coach, Caleb Porter.
"The key thing for me is this team always just fights and works and presses,"
said Porter. "They're an honest group. They have a ton of belief. They're a
tight team. Those things are going to carry us through.
"So we'll just keep plugging away. And in the end, a point here on the road
against the best team in the league is nothing to hang our heads about."
Perhaps the only criticism that can be sent Portland's way is its inability to
turn draws into wins. Sixty percent of the club's matches have ended in tie,
and while the Timbers occupy third place in the Western Conference on 15
points, a victory for Chivas on Sunday would see just one point separate the
two sides with the Goats holding a game in hand.
Chivas has blown hot and cold through its first nine matches of the season and
it arrives at Jeld-Wen on a cold streak. The Goats had their winless run
extended to four games last Sunday following a resounding 4-0 loss at Sporting
"We didn't advance from this game. We have stopped and we still have a lot to
do," said Chivas head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola. "We need to deal with
teams like Sporting KC and we don't know how. ... I don't really know how many
teams like this one we may find in the league, but we simply don't have what
it takes to compete."
Sanchez Sola's sentiments do not bode well for Chivas USA's chances of
claiming a positive result at Jeld-Wen after the Timbers picked up a 3-2
victory at Sporting Park just two weeks ago. Transitive logic would say that
the Goats do not stand a chance.
But Sanchez Sola loves his side to attack, and the Goats are 3-0-2 when they
have produced a goal and 0-4-0 when they have been shut out.
"My idea is to attack," said the Chivas boss. "When two teams attack, the
strongest and most powerful wins. I don't understand soccer in any other way
that is not attacking."
The Sports Network