By James Morgan
The Timbers continued their habit of poor play on the road in a 1-0 loss to Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center in Carson California on Saturday evening. Chivas forward Marcos Mondaini scored the game-winning goal in the 70th minute off of a cross from midfielder Paulo Nagamura. Despite a good opportunity only moments later, the Timbers were unable to equalize and went home pointless.
At the start of play, the Timbers looked strong and aggressive, but by the 10th minute, for reasons that were not obvious, they began to slow down and for the remainder of the first half The Goats dominated play and possession, outshooting the Timbers 12 to 4 and basically dictating the pace of the match.
In the second half, after a bracing locker-room “talk” from head coach John Spencer, the Timbers looked a better team and were able to create some close scoring opportunities while regaining the initiative, but it was too little too late and Mondaini’s 70th minute goal went unanswered.
The loss, the second in a row for The Boys in Green, underscores the growing pains of a young expansion team that has always struggled on the road. It was the Timbers fourth loss in six away matches whereas they have won five of their six home games. They will look to regain form next week back at Jeld-Wen Field in a second meeting against reigning MLS champs, the Colorado Rapids.
As for Chivas USA, after a rocky start, their season looks to be improving. Saturday’s win was the second in five home games and with another solid performance by goalkeeper Dan Kennedy and Mondaini back from a four-week suspension for a hard tackle against fellow Argentine Javier Morales, the Rojiblancos are definitely stepping it up.