Portland Timbers Host Chivas USA

Three days after hosting the 2014 MLS All-Star Game, the Portland Timbers welcome back Cubo Torres and Chivas USA. Both clubs come into this match following losses, with Chivas having lost their last three straight. The Goats haven’t beaten the Timbers since 2012, but with All-Star Erick Torres in the running for the Golden Boot, they can’t be underestimated. Chivas, like Montreal, is the quintessential trap game. They’re tied for last in the West and seem to score nearly every match. Portland’s defense has to be on-guard to stop Cubo and his supporting cast. Portland fell last week 3-1 to the LA Galaxy. The lineup news for that match was the same as this week, no Darlington Nagbe and Pa Modou Kah could return. Nagbe could conceivably return, but I don’t think there’s a chance Porter risks him. Much more likely is the return of Pa Modou Kah, something that I can’t wait for. Danny O’Rourke reminds me of Futty. He’s old, reliable, and slow to react. Plus, I really want to see Ridgewell paired with someone a bit better. He hasn’t exactly brought about a new back line order, but he’s far ahead of the rest and has only been here a few weeks. The only other question for Portland is whether or not Gaston Fernandez can go. I think he does. La Gata clearly wanted to continue against the Galaxy and I don’t see him staying off the field for long. With Nagbe gone, he’s someone I want in the 11, especially with the rate at which Cubo Torres tallies goals. Portland might not hold him off, so they’ll need all the scoring threat they can get. Chivas has lost their last three and been held scoreless in their last two. Couple this with Erick Torres playing in the ASG and perhaps being a bit fatigued, and Portland might be in for a bit of a break. Their last meeting with the Timbers ended in a 2-0 win for the PTFC. It might be the homer in me, but I don’t see a win for the soon-to-be-rebranded Chivas USA. Lineups:  Portland Timbers: Donovan Ricketts; Jorge Villafana, Liam Ridgewell, Pa Modou Kah, Michael Harrington; Will Johnson, Diego Chara; Rodney Wallace, Gaston Fernandez, Diego Valeri; Maxi Urruti Chivas USA: Dan Kennedy; Donny Toia, Tony Lochhead, Eriq Zavaleta. Akira Kaji; Leandro Barrera, Agustin Pelletieri, Mauro Rosales, Oswaldo Minda, Marvin Chavez; Erick Torres (image courtesy of mlssoccer.com)