Portland hoping to stay strong defensively vs. ChicagoMay 20, 2012 - 2:52 AM Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers will need to continue their strong defensive play on Sunday if they wish to pick up some much-needed points as the club will look to slow down a surging Chicago Fire side at Jeld- Wen Field.
Portland has conceded just two goals in its last four league games, keeping three clean sheets over that stretch. The Timbers are coming off of back-to- back scoreless draws against the Columbus Crew and at the Houston Dynamo.
"It's a feather in the hat for the guys in the back to keep a clean sheet on the road," said Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins. "But to come here like that and at least walk away with the point and a shutout is a moral victory for the guys in the back."
Perkins has not surrendered a goal since Portland's 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy on April 14.
"We're organized," Perkins said. "Guys are talking a lot. They're understanding the philosophy we're trying to get here. They're putting everything they've got on the line."
The Timbers will need to contain a Chicago team that is unbeaten in its last three games. The Fire are coming off a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City at Toyota Park, a result that knocked the visitors out of first place in the Eastern Conference.
"Obviously, it is a very good feeling that we beat a team like this." said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. "They're first place in the Eastern Conference. It gives a lot of confidence to the players, knowing that the work that you put in during the training and the effort that you put in during games gives results. You get confidence from it, but in the end, you have to stay at an even keel.
"We have to enjoy this moment, but regroup and get ready for the next match in Portland."
Chicago is led by standout striker Dominic Oduro and his four goals this season. If Patrick Nyarko and Sebastian Grazzini can provide Oduro with quality service in behind the Portland defense, the speedy striker may put an end to Perkins' good run of form.
- CHICAGO: 1
May 20 8:58 PM
- Portland Goal - Pause (OG), 52nd minute
Fire 1, Timbers 2 2nd - 54'May 20 8:19 PM
- Chicago Goal - Anibaba 1 (Pappa), 39th minute
Fire 1, Timbers 1 1st - 41'May 20 7:47 PM
- Portland Goal - Brunner 1 (Boyd), 20th minute
Fire 0, Timbers 1 1st - 22'May 20 7:28 PM
- CHICAGO: 0
1st Half - 1'
May 20 7:06 PM
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- Fire welcome Impact to Toyota Park Aug 9
- Portland purchases Valeri's contract Aug 6
- Timbers, Whitecaps share the points at Jeld-Wen Aug 4
- Magee powers Chicago past Philadelphia Aug 3
- Timbers out to bounce back vs. Whitecaps Aug 2
- Union shoot for season sweep of Fire Aug 2
- 10-man 'Quakes hold on to edge Timbers Jul 28
- Dynamo, Fire battle to draw at BBVA Jul 27
- Dynamo aims to continue momentum against Fire Jul 26
- San Jose returns to action with Portland test Jul 26
- Fire sign Ecuadorian striker Anangono Jul 23