Portland, Oregon. Tonight saw Chivas USA travel north to Portland in order to try to remedy their losing streak. However, tonight saw the Goats lose 2-0 to the Timbers.
This match's opening score saw the Timbers' All-Star Diego Valeri receive a pass from Diego Chara to net the opening strike for Portland from about 25 yards out in the 10th minute. Then thirty minutes later, Rodney Wallace, returning from injury, netted the second goal off a Valeri cross that ricocheted off of Fanendo Adi to secure the lead.
Here's what we learned from tonight's match:
Change the mindset. It seems banal, but something needs to click within the Chivas players. Zero shots on target and only one attempt on goal throughout the entire first half is indefensible. Almost the entire half was played within the Rojiblancos' territory. Such a discrepancy rarely results in a positive outcome.
Chivas USA need to determine what their game plan is. In other words, a course of action or game plan that's adhered to would substantially improve the probability of success. Please keep in mind that success is measurable by points either through a draw or win. At this point, Chivas is on task for neither in the foreseeable future.
Attack. Without any play in their opponent's half, the Goats produced zero opportunities or probabilities for scoring. Even with Erick Torres, Chivas was completely incapable of mounting any formidable attacking option. Chivas possess absolutely no secondary scoring option(s) and are therefore completely tied to Cubo's success on the pitch. A one-player dominance is never good for either the squad or the entire organization.
Needless to say, the Goats need additional scoring options to minimize the pressure that Cubo regularly encounters. A club whose second leading scorer Marvin Chavez has only two goals compared to Torres' 14 is rarely successful. A more balanced attack with multiple options would certainly help the Rojiblancos.
It is what it is. The Portland Timbers have struggled this year. Caleb Porter has been tinkering with his lineup and attempting to "right this ship." Well, when he plays the Goats, he most certainly has. From early on, the Timbers took the lead and subsequently dominated the match through both possession time and chances to score. There was little for Wilmer Cabrera to counter with against Porter's game plan and early two-goal lead.
Play Ryan Finley. I am sorry, but biases occur. As a Notre Dame Soccer fan, I've seen that Finley has capabilities and goal-scoring skills. Chivas was very fortunate to get Finley from the Columbus Crew, but they've rarely utilized his immense abilities. It's very difficult to come into a match late and make an immediate impact (please ask former Goat and solid Chicago Fire player Matthew Fondy that question). Therefore, a simple lineup amendment could potentially make a world of difference in a match's outcome.
Added time is never adequate if you don't secure a point or three. Hopefully, next Saturday's match against the Vancouver Whitecaps will result in another opportunity to get either a draw or preferably victory. If anything, it provides more time for injured Goats Carlos Bocanegra and Bobby Burling to mend even more.
Tonight saw our Goats remain in last place in the Western Conference with little hope to succeed in the immediate future. Chivas needs to recognize and utilize both the talent and direction that was present throughout their relatively recent four-game winning streak. Getting back on track will need to occur rather quickly, as well as be sustainable, in order to salvage the season.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!