LaBrocca's goal gives Chivas win over Timbers
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Chivas USA was able to shake off a slow start on the road with a couple of well-placed crosses by sub Ryan Smith.
Alejandro Moreno and Nick LaBrocca each scored off of Smith's feeds in the second half for a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the Portland Timbers on Saturday night.
"Smith was brilliant," coach Robin Fraser said. "He came in the second half and, right from the outset, he put his stamp on the game."
After falling behind 1-0 to the Timbers in the first half, Moreno scored in the 48th minute to tie it and LaBrocca had the game-winner in the 82nd. Each time, Smith's crosses were met with little resistance.
The Timbers were stunned by their third straight loss. Coach John Spencer said the team played as poorly as he'd ever seen at home.
"It's got to get better going forward, and I think everyone knows that," Portland captain Jack Jewsbury said.
Chivas (2-3-0), which had come into the game with only one goal this season, has won two straight on the road.
The Timbers (1-3-1) failed to hold on to a lead for the second straight game. Portland allowed Western Conference-leading Real Salt Lake to score twice in the final minutes for a 3-2 victory last Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field.
Scottish striker Kris Boyd got his second goal of the season in the 16th minute, when Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy and defender James Riley collided in front of the goal. Boyd calmly took advantage with a boot into the net, putting the Timbers up 1-0.
Boyd later called the goal irrelevant.
"We need to come together and get ourselves out of the rut we're in," Boyd said.
Cesar Romero, making his first start of the season for Chivas, had a header that went just wide in the 32nd minute. The Goats' second half would prove much more productive against Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
"We made a few tactical adjustments and were able to spark the right reaction. In the second half, the group was fantastic," Fraser said. "They played well together and I was really happy with how disciplined they played. Guys got the ball in key spots and made very important plays."
Chivas was still without forward Juan Pablo Angel, who has returned to training but did not travel to Portland because of post-concussion symptoms. Rookie Casey Townsend, who had started in his place, had the Goats' only other goal this season.
Chivas has dropped 1-0 decisions to Houston, Vancouver and Sporting KC. The team's lone victory before Saturday was a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake.
Portland defender Lovel Palmer, who had trouble with Smith, appeared to hurt his right wrist and went to the sidelines in the 77th minute but returned to the match.
Chivas midfielder Oswaldo Minda earned a yellow card with a tackle on Diego Chara in the 26th minute. Riley got one in the 89th minute, while Smith was yellow carded for a foul in stoppage time.
Portland was coming off a disappointing 3-2 loss at home last weekend to RSL, which scored the equalizer in the 89th minute before Kyle Beckerman's game-winner in stoppage time.
The Timbers have allowed eight goals this season.
"I think a few guys need to take a look at themselves and ask themselves if they're doing enough, on and off the field," said Spencer, clearly disappointed with his team.
The Timbers saw the return of midfielder Kalif Alhassan, who missed a game with a left groin strain. Alhassan scored his first MLS goal in Portland's season-opening victory over Philadelphia.
Midfielder Franck Songo'o of Cameroon, acquired by Portland in February, made his first start of the season.
The teams split their series last season with each winning at home.