Chivas USA fell 3-0 to the Portland Timbers on Sunday afternoon at JELD-WEN Field with goals by Rodney Wallace, Diego Valeri and Will Johnson. With the loss, the Rojiblancos (3-5-2) could not add to their 11-point total in the Western Conference standings.
Led by Chivas USA goalkeeper Patrick McLain who had his first career start in Major League Soccer, the Rojiblancos’ defense denied Portland’s attack on a number of dangerous looks at goal. The young goalkeeper made his first big stop in the 10th minute when a header attempt forced him to make a last-second save across his body after a cross was sent in from the left side.
McLain came up big again in the 25th minute at point-blank range. Portland’s Jack Jewsbury sent a cross from the right side of the box to a cutting Ryan Johnson who headed the ball from inside the short area. The Red-and-White keeper was stout and denied the threat.
The Rojiblancos generated several chances at goal in the first half, as Giovani Casillas sent a ball into the mixer from the right sideline off a free kick in the 22nd minute. But Mario de Luna’s header was not on frame and sailed out of bounds.
Portland went ahead in the 34th minute on Wallace’s chip shot over McLain from inside the box. After Chivas USA could not convert on a corner kick, Portland ‘keeper Donovan Ricketts served a quick outlet pass to start the fast break for the home side. Midfielder Ryan Johnson worked the ball into the attacking third and chipped his assist over the top of the Red-and-White defense to a finishing Wallace.
Playing a goal down in the second half, Chivas USA continued to push their attack forward in search of the equalizer. In the 68th minute, midfielder Eric Avila and forward Jose Correa – who came on as a sub to start the second half – tried to work a give-and-go near the goal but could not complete the exchange cleanly and the threat was cleared out by Portland’s defense.
Two minutes later the Timbers extended their lead to 2-0 when Valeri tapped in his shot past McLain just outside the short area off a Wallace assist.
Chivas USA midfielder Martin Ponce made his MLS debut when he was subbed on in the 59th minute and nearly knocked in his first goal in the 78th minute. Ponce received a threaded pass from Avila near the right sideline in the attacking third and worked the ball from the right side of the box toward the short area and got off a shot that was on frame inside the near post, but Ricketts was there to get a hand on the shot.
As the match entered stoppage time, the Timbers put the exclamation point on the victory on Will Johnson’s right-footed strike just outside the box. The shot found the inside of the right post past a diving McLain to his left for the final 3-0 marker.