A loss to the Portland Timbers in tonight's match (7:30 p.m at StubHub Center, Carson, CA TV: KDOC/KWHY, MLSLIVE), Radio: (Spanish only) 690 AM) will effectively put Chivas USA's already slim postseason chances to rest.
This week we have a double-shot of enemy coverage: we did a Three Questions with Michael Orr of Stumptown Footy as well a scouting report with Chris Gluck of the Columbian. Thank you for your contributions.
Okay, let's breakdown this match!
Tale of the tape
Chivas USA: 25 points (6-15-7), 9th place, Western Conference (17th place overall); Goal Difference: -21 (27/48); Last six matches: D-L-W-D-L-W
Portland Timbers: 42 points (10-5-12), 5th place, Western Conference (8th place overall); Goal Difference: 13 (43/30); Last six matches: D-W-D-L-L-W
Why Chivas USA will win this match: Chivas has been playing well at home going 3-1-1 in their last five contests at the StubHub Center. We've seen how Erick Torres needs only a fraction of space to be dangerous with the ball. Continued strong performances by Dan Kennedy and Carlos Bocanegra will be required. Bobby Burling signed a two-year extension with Chivas USA forgets last week's game and keeps the dangerous Portland attacking corps at bay.
Why the Timbers will win this match: The Timbers excel at Chivas USA's weaknesses: building up the attack, controlling the ball, spreading the wealth (five players have six or more goals on the season-Torres has scored Chivas USA's last five goals) and scoring in the final ten minutes where Chivas are particularly prone to giving up goals. With a playoff spot on the line and many of Portland's key players returning from injury and International call-ups, the Timbers attack will overwhelm a young Chivas side.
Why the match will end in a draw: In seven contests since Portland was promoted to MLS in 2011 (six regular season games, one U.S. Open Cup qualifier match) the teams have never tied. A determined defensive effort stymies Portland's possession-with-purpose but Chivas isn't able to capitalize on the other end.
Portland is the better team here and this match is much more important to them than it is to Chivas. With so many attacking options, it's hard to see Chivas keeping Portland off the board. It's difficult to see Chivas coming back against a team like Portland who can maintain possession of the ball so well.
What do you think? Fancy Torres keeping his scoring streak alive? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!