Caleb Porter will win MLS Coach of the Year for the amazing job that he has done turning around the Portland Timbers.
During the past few seasons, Portland was a team that would play you tough at home and not win on the road, having won just three times away from Jeld-Wen Field during their first two seasons. Portland has only won twice on the road this season, but they’ve also earned 10 draws and are living proof of the old soccer saying, “Wins at home and draws on the road earn trophies.”
Portland is led by Donovan Ricketts in the goal; Ricketts is tied for the league lead with 13 shutouts and has made numerous key saves at critical points in matches over the course of the year. Combine that with a balanced scoring attack and the excellent work on defense from Pa Modou Bah and Andrew Jean-Baptiste while Mikael Silvestre recovers from a knee injury, and Portland has found the recipe for a deep run in the postseason.
For Chivas USA, there are a ton of questions and not a lot of answers at this point. What is known is that Chivas needs to find stable ownership and a place to call their own.
Sharing the StubHub Center with the Los Angeles Galaxy is not working out for them; being the secondary tenant in the building causes their schedule to be worked around the Galaxy’s, causing unusual kickoff times and match dates. The evidence of this can be seen in the attendance.
To this point, Chivas has played 16 home matches and has topped 10,000 fans just once; that was when they hosted the team they shared the building with, the Los Angeles Galaxy. Chivas has averaged just 8,200 fans per home match this season; a number like that will not cut it as a professional sports franchise, no matter what sport it is.
Chivas needs a new owner who is committed to re-branding and relocating this team to a stadium of their own. The Chivas name is not selling in the United States, and it will not sell given the struggles of the mother club back in Mexico.
The Portland Timbers travel to the StubHub Center to take on Chivas USA on Saturday Oct. 26 at 10:30 p.m. ET. The match is not available on national TV, but can be seen on MLS Live.
Prediction: Portland Timbers – 3, Chivas USA – 0
Portland is unbeaten in their last seven matches, scoring 10 goals and giving up three, while Chivas has lost their last four matches scoring only twice in the process. If any other result occurs that isn’t a Portland win, the Chivas supporters should throw a parade that rivals a Los Angeles Lakers‘ championship parade.