MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
(All times Eastern)
Portland (5-9-4) at Chivas USA (5-7-5), 4 p.m.
Carson, CA (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers would like to forget about
last week as quickly as possible and move forward, beginning with a road
contest against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center on Wednesday.
The Timbers fired head coach John Spencer last week and then proceeded to lose
5-3 against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the club's first match under new boss
Portland dropped into a last-place tie with FC Dallas after the defeat, and
now the hope is that the club has regrouped and is ready to snap out of its
The 5-3 defeat was Portland's third in the last four games, and it saw the
Timbers give up five goals in a game for the first time in its MLS existence.
"Organizationally, we should have been a lot better," Wilkinson said of the
defensive breakdowns for Portland. "But I think we've been through a lot this
"I'll take the blame for this one, there's been a lot happening in the last
Wilkinson may be quick to absorb the criticism, but Portland captain Jack
Jewsbury doesn't feel that the changes were the reason for his team's poor
"Not at all," Jewsbury said when asked if the coaching change contributed to
the defeat. "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. I thought we came out and played pretty well and then
the key guys that we talked about before the game, Landon [Donovan] and
[Robbie] Keane and obviously [David] Beckham, when you give them space and
free kicks it's going to be dangerous. And they took advantage of them
Chivas is only one point above the Timbers but has come away with five points
from its last three matches.
Defensively, the Goats have been strong, but coach Robin Fraser's team has yet
to hit its stride offensively, which Fraser feels is down to his side's
"At the end of the day, we have to do things better to win games and certainly
a big part of that is our approach and the urgency," Fraser said. "We have
quality players and, in this league, so many games are won with the way that
we approach a game, and you look at a lot of the teams that have been
successful and it is about confidence and urgency."
Chivas has failed to score in three of its last four games and has already
been held without a goal in six of its 10 home matches this season.
But Fraser knows there is quality in his team, it just needs to become more
"There are a lot of experienced professionals on this team," said Fraser, "and
they know as [well] as any of us, we can talk about it until we're blue in the
face. But certainly, you can do everything that you can to stress it. We have
this quality in our group and we've seen it. Not as often as we'd like to see,
but we've definitely seen it."
Hopefully for Chivas, that quality shows up on Wednesday.
07/17 14:14:55 ET