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Monday, 29 August 2011

MLS Weekly Review - Midweek Round 24 – Of Hope Returned.

    The lone match of in the midweek fixture list saw Chivas USA travel north to JELD-WEN Field home of the Portland Timbers. Unbeaten in three matches Chivas arrived for their final match of a five-game road swing without their new striker Juan Pablo Ángel who was rested, possibly to avoid the additional wear of an artificial pitch.

     The Timbers dominated early play; were it not for some stellar saves from Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy it would not have taken them until the forty-fourth minute to open the scoring. Mike Chabala delivered a corner kick to the near post; Eric Brunner leapt highest and directed the delivery across the goalmouth in at the far post. 

    Portland keeper Troy Perkins was forced into some important saves of his own, in particular a Simon Elliott free kick at the end of the first half that he just managed to tip over the bar. French wide attacker Laurent Courtois – off of scoring his first goal last match - had an excellent chance to level the result in the final moments but he screwed his shot wide of the net.

    Chivas return back to Los Angeles to host Real Salt Lake on Saturday night, while Portland have some time off – see cancelled fixtures explained below – and find themselves tied with New York for the final wildcard playoff spot though behind on goal difference.
   
The Fine Print

All five MLS clubs involved in the CONCACAF Champions League took to the field midweek. Tuesday night saw Seattle travel down to Mexico to beat CF Monterrey 0-1. While Colorado could only muster a 1-1 draw in Honduras giving up a late goal to Real CD España. Wednesday night saw FC Dallas’ trip to Toronto cancelled due to a lightning storm; the match was replayed the following morning, Dallas won 0-1. Los Angeles played host to Costa Rican side LD Alajuelense and emerged victorious 2-0.

The matches on the East Coast were cancelled due to Hurricane Irene impending landfall. Saturday night’s fixture between DC United was meant to host Portland was initially moved forward, and then postponed. Both Sunday fixtures with New York and Philadelphia welcoming Los Angeles and New England respectively were rescheduled.


Portland v Chivas 1-0.

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