Timbers 1, Chivas USA 0

Eric Brunner scored the lone goal and the Portland Timbers held

on in their push toward a playoff berth to defeat Chivas USA 1-0 on

Wednesday night.

Both the expansion Timbers (9-12-5) and Chivas (7-9-10) are

jockeying with the New York Red Bulls for a postseason bid with

eight games left apiece.

It was Portland’ third straight win at home.

“Job’s not done yet,” said Brunner, who scored his third goal of

the season in the first half.

Chivas, which defeated Portland 1-0 on June 4 in Los Angeles,

was playing its fifth straight road match. The team finished the

trip 1-2-2.

Chivas was coming off a 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids on

Saturday. Newly acquired forward Juan Pablo Angel scored in his

first match for Chivas. Angel was given the night off against

Portland because of Jeld Wen Field’s field turf.

“I think it felt like both teams knew they needed the points,”

Chivas coach Robin Fraser said. “Portland was on the front foot in

the first half and got the goal they needed, I thought we played

better in the second half and were able to drive them back a little

bit but weren’t able to get the goal we needed.”

The Timbers were coming off a 2-1 victory over the Whitecaps on

Saturday night. Defender Futty Danso, who started against Vancouver

after coach John Spencer adjusted his lineup, injured his right

hamstring during the match and wasn’t available against Chivas.

Portland captain Jack Jewsbury had a free kick in the 28th

minute, which sailed too high. A few minutes later, Chivas

goalkeeper Dan Kennedy made a tremendous diving save of defender

David Horst’s header.

Portland made it 1-0 in the 44th minute on defenseman Brunner’s

running header off Mike Chabala’s corner kick. The Timbers have 10

goals off set pieces this season, most in the MLS.

“I didn’t think it went in,” Brunner said. “I kind of did a

double-take on it.”

Known recently for giving up late goals, the Timbers were able

to keep Chivas away from goalkeeper Troy Perkins. Portland had 20

shots while their opponents had 12.

Chivas came close in the 73rd minute when Marcos Mondaini’s

cross went just wide.

The Timbers head east to play D.C. United on Saturday, with the

possibility that Hurricane Irene may bear down on the region.

With the victory, the Timbers pulled even with the Red Bulls in

points for the 10th and final playoff spot, although New York still

holds the advantage because of goal differential.

“We’ve got as good a chance as anybody for the eighth, ninth or

10th (playoff) positions,” Spencer said. “We’re not just holding on

for the 10th.”

Chivas hosts Real Salk Lake on Saturday.

Chivas defender Michael Lahoud was injured early in the match.

He tried to return but couldn’t and he was replaced by Mariano

Trujillo. Fraser said Lahoud injured his ankle.

There was widespread speculation that Chivas was going to

acquire forward Sammy Ochoa, 24, who grew up in the Los Angeles

area.

Major League Soccer confirmed Wednesday that Ochoa had signed

with the league and his team would be determined vial the

allocation rankings. Ochoa played for Estudiantes Tecos last season

and is said to be looking to jump start his career in MLS.

Ochoa played for the U.S. national team in the 2005 under-20

World Cup and the under-23 side before the 2008 Olympics.

The crowd was announced at 18,627, Portland’s 14th straight

sellout.

The Timbers said earlier in the day that it would expand

capacity for two matches this season, against New England on Sept.

16 and the regular-season home finale against Houston on Oct.

14.

Some of the uppermost seats at Jeld-Wen have been tarped over

since the start of the season. The Timbers say if the increased

capacity does not diminish the “overall fan experience” they will

look to making the change permanent next season.