Sometimes it feels like the Portland Timbers are baring MLS to institute relegation just for them. Saturday night felt like one of those times as they knocked the ball around some, but still played pretty unentertaining soccer and when it mattered, forgot how to do the basic things that professional soccer teams do. One of those things was marking on a set piece and it bit them as Danny Califf came flying in with a 68th minute goal to lead Chivas USA to a 1-0 win over the Timbers at JELD-WEN Field on Saturday night.
The lone goal came on a free kick from more than 40 yards. Ben Zemanski hit it well, driving the ball towards the penalty spot where Califf was unmarked. Then, continuing the theme of the Timbers being inept, Troy Perkins came rushing off of his line despite the ball being at least 12 yards from goal and didn't get there in time. Califf won the ball pretty easily and nodded it into the open goal for what would prove to be the only goal of the night.
Saturday night's loss wasn't as bad as the Timbers' previous loss, a 5-0 shellacking at the hands of Dallas, but it wasn't good. Despite the bulk of the possession, their forays forwards often resulted in hopeful, wayward shots and when Chivas did attack, the Portland defense looked out of sorts.
In the end, the Timbers took another loss and remain at the bottom of the MLS table, begging the league to relegate them. Meanwhile, Chivas moved to within seven points of the Galaxy for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and they do have three matches in hand on their rivals.