Timbers host Chivas in crucial Western Conference tilt
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers defense has been solid at home in the month of August, keeping two of the most prolific goal-scorers in Major League Soccer off the score sheet in their respective visits to Jeld-Wen Field.
Landon Donovan and Eric Hassli sit second and third in the MLS scoring ranks with 11 and 10 goals respectively, but both players came up empty-handed in their visit to Portland, as the Timbers defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-0 on August 3rd and Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-1 on August 20th.
But when Portland hosts Chivas USA on Wednesday, it will face a team that has found goals from many different sources over the course of the season.
Justin Braun and Nick LaBrocca lead Chivas with seven goals apiece this season, followed closely by Alejandro Moreno who has chipped in with five.
In its most recent outing, Chivas earned a 2-2 draw on the road against the Colorado Rapids, the defending MLS Cup champions.
The goals came from two Chivas newcomers, as Juan Pablo Angel and Laurent Courtois opened their scoring accounts for the Goats.
Chivas head coach Robin Fraser spoke very highly of the chemistry between Angel and Moreno, as well as how Courtois excelled in the team.
"I thought, considering it was [Angel and Moreno's] first game that they played together, I thought their relationship was good," Fraser told MLSsoccer.com after Saturday's match. "I thought their awareness of where the other was, was good. And as the game went on I thought that their relationship got even better.
"[Courtois] was extremely dynamic, which is one of the things that we liked about him when we brought him in," Fraser said. "He was dangerous in finding gaps between defenders and running into space behind defenders. He scored the one goal and could have had another."
Only two points separate sixth-place Chivas and seventh-place Portland in the Western Conference standings, so both teams will be desperate for three points to improve their chances of making the postseason.
Chivas is just one point out from Red Bull New York for the final wildcard playoff spot with one game in hand.
Portland's abysmal road record (1-8-3) underlines the importance of picking up maximum points at home against Chivas.
"We all know how big the game is," Timbers head coach John Spencer told MLSsoccer.com. "We know the home games are drying up now. And we haven't proved that we've been good enough consistently on the road. So we know that these home games are vitally important to get three points. And then let's see what we can do on the road."
08/23 17:43:16 ET