By MIKE DONOVAN
In his first MLS start, Fanendo Adi led the way for the visiting Portland Timbers as they beat Chivas USA, 2-0, Wednesday night. Adi had both goals as the Timbers won their second road match in five days in front of a crowd of 3,702 at the Stubhub Center.
Adi, who is on loan from F.C. Copenhagen, opened his account 20 minutes into the second half when Jorge Villafana crossed the ball around the Chivas back line to the foot of Adi. The Nigerian striker calmly struck the ball home as Dan Kennedy dove in the wrong direction.
It only took six minutes for Adi to get his second when a perfectly weighted Diego Valeri pass both beat an attempted offside trap by the Goats and found Adi in stride. The forward then maneuvered around an onrushing Kennedy and put the ball between recovering Chivas defenders for the goal.
The Timbers took the field with just three of the same starters that helped Portland knock off the New York Red Bulls on Saturday. With another match coming on Sunday, Caleb Porter decided to give many regular starters the night off including Jack Jewsbury, Pa Modou Kah, and Maxi Urruti, while Valeri and Darlington Nagbe made substitute appearances.
Using Valeri and Nagbe off the bench paid dividends for the club as both players had an assist in their substitute appearances. The substitutions also swung the game for the Timbers, who controlled possession throughout the match, but had few challenges on goal prior to the second fall substitutions.
Danny O’Rourke, who was signed the day before the match, started at right back and went the full ninety for the Timbers, who notched their first shutout of the season. The shutout victory gave Portland consecutive road victories in MLS regular season play for the first time since joining the league for the 2011 season.
After getting results in their last two matches, Chivas USA rarely threatened the Timbers goal, forcing just one Donovan Ricketts save. To add to the Goats misery, defender Bobby Burling received a straight red card late in the match for knocking Adi over near the touchline. Burling exchanged a few words with members of the Timbers who were on the bench before being shown the red card.
Adi, who is on loan to the Timbers through July, now has two goals and an assist in just 103 minutes of MLS. If the six-foot-four-inch Adi continues to provide goals it might be tough for the Timbers to not pick up his buy option when his short-term loan runs out. His two-goal effort Wednesday matched Urruti’s brace from Saturday and gives the Timbers (3-3-7, 16 points) two in-form strikers heading into their Cascadia Cup match Sunday against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Next up for Chivas USA (2-6-4, 10 points) is a Saturday home match with the Philadelphia Union.