Portland, OR – The Portland Timbers have had a week to forget about last week's crushing home defeat to Real Salt Lake, and will attempt to take out some frustration Saturday against Chivas USA.
Darlington Nagbe scored twice in the second half as Portland led into the last few minutes at Jeld-Wen Field, but goals in the 89th minute and stoppage time for RSL dealt the Timbers their first home loss of the season.
Portland (1-2-1) coach John Spencer believed the club should remain confident, despite the late collapse, when it hosts Chivas (1-3-0) this weekend.
"I think if we would've gotten blown out and never looked capable playing against them and we're short in every department, then I think that would be guys being down on their confidence," Spencer said.
"In think you've seen us attacking ... they struggled to cope with us for most of the game. So I don't think confidence is going to be a huge problem.
"I felt we dominated the game most of the [second] half, but when you play against good teams, you got to close the game out. It's a cruel game sometimes and tonight is one of those games."
Although Chivas has downed Real this season, the Utah club has won their other four matches. And Chivas was lucky to escape Rio Tinto Stadium with a win over the first-place club in the Western Conference.
Portland striker Kris Boyd admitted it would not be easy to move on after the loss to RSL, but a win over Chivas would be a quick remedy to the loss.
"It's easy to point the finger at them and look at it from that point of view, but we're 2-1 up in 88 minutes, and at worst we should draw the game," Boyd said. "It's a hard one to swallow."
Chivas has been shutout in its three losses this season, all 1-0 against the Houston Dynamo, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and Sporting Kansas City. But the win at RSL shows the club can beat anyone on any given day.
Chivas has played well with just three goals allowed, but it has also scored a single goal this season.
Coach Robin Fraser was disappointed after the 1-0 loss to unbeaten and untied Sporting last week, but also felt the club did some things to build on.
"Disappointing for us, because certainly I felt like there were moments in the game that we could have been a little bit more aggressive, a little bit more decisive, and turned some of those moments into better opportunities," Fraser said.
"Having said that, we were pretty solid for most of the game, obviously didn't create enough chances for our liking. In the second half we had a couple of decent moments but in the end, in the decisive moments, where things needed to happen we weren't probably quite as positive as we needed to be."
Chivas will play its next two matches against Eastern Conference sides Toronto FC and Philadelphia but a loss against Portland would leave the club with four losses from five games, and in a big hole after just five weeks.