May 25, 2013, 9:25 PM EST
Portland’s 2-0 win Saturday at D.C. United was no fluke. The home team had some chances, but the visiting Timbers never looked particularly stretched, scoring once in each half to comfortably ride out another win.
Portland is unbeaten in 11 straight, now in second place in the West and creeping ever closer to first-place Dallas. But we’ll get back to Caleb Porter’s bunch of high-fliers later. For now, let’s concentrate on why United, a once-proud organization, seems so passively accepting of this ridiculous 10-game winless streak.
That winless streak just equaled an 11-year-old club record by the way.
So, where are the changes? Where is the significant response?
Yes, manager Ben Olsen made some lineup changes Saturday. And to be fair, they were fairly significant. Carlos Ruiz came in at striker for the continually ineffective Lionard Pajoy. Ruiz did perform some reasonable hold-up work and set up a couple of chances … but in the end he was just another starter in a another night of futility for the league’s worst offense.
If five goals in seven home games doesn’t say “futility,” what does?
But Ruiz wasn’t the only change. Dwayne De Rosario, the league MVP just two years ago, was benched. Nick DeLeon played in the attacking midfield role once again, although De Rosario did step in at the 65th-minute mark.
But 10-game winless streaks demand more than lineup adjustments.
So where are the changes?
At some point, a coaching change will be in order. Ben Olsen said weeks ago that his job is surely in danger.
But even if the deciders around RFK Stadium believe in Olsen, they’ll need to do something with the personnel. Where are the reinforcements, the acknowledgment that not nearly enough winter roster fortification was done.
Look at similarly struggling Chicago. Significant roster changes were just made at Toyota Park, where Mike Magee and Bakary Soumare were added over the last few days. Magee is one of the league’s leading goal scorers in 2013. And Soumare was a former MLS Defender of the Year finalist and an MLS All-Star before taking his career overseas.
Meanwhile, United has added … uh …
They can move the starting pieces around, but things will not get better at RFK Stadium until the back line improves, and until some of the strugglers are either replaced or squeezed by newcomers into delivering something more on match day.
Dec 7, 2013, 9:52 AM EST
Newcastle grabbed an historic win at Old Trafford on Saturday, with David Moyes’ United looking utterly devoid of ideas.
Dec 7, 2013, 9:44 AM EST
Chelsea look to keep the heat up on Arsenal, will the Potters stop Mourinho’s men? Watch live, here:
Dec 7, 2013, 9:34 AM EST
Both West Brom and Norwich could really do with all three points — will either succeed in grabbing them?
Dec 7, 2013, 9:26 AM EST
Can the Saints stop the rot after three straight defeats? Will City make it four wins on the spin? Watch live, here:
Dec 7, 2013, 9:22 AM EST
Short on goals and short on wins, both sides will be looking for more than a drab draw out of this one.
Dec 7, 2013, 9:17 AM EST
Liverpool wants another dramatic victory at Anfield, but the struggling West Ham certainly won’t be eager to give it to them.
Dec 7, 2013, 8:20 AM EST
How to watch all the PL games live online or via the app:
Dec 7, 2013, 7:35 AM EST
Manchester United manager David Moyes waits too long to announce his match day squad, says veteran Rio Ferdinand.
Dec 7, 2013, 7:04 AM EST
Manchester United look to bounce back from last week’s defeat, and are hoping that the return of Robin van Persie will help make up for Wayne Rooney’s absence.
Dec 6, 2013, 11:24 PM EST
It appears that Arsene Wenger will remain a Gunner for at least three more years, with a contract extension reportedly near completion.
Dec 6, 2013, 10:39 PM EST
With injuries putting Robin van Persie on more and more of an island at Old Trafford, are troubling times creating a stir in the dressing room?
Dec 6, 2013, 9:58 PM EST
Cameras caught the main man of English soccer laughing and making a throat-slash gesture when England were selected into their devilish group.
Dec 6, 2013, 9:22 PM EST
Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales were all part of the 2009 MLS Cup winning side – and they are still on top of it all:
Dec 6, 2013, 8:46 PM EST
The Germans and Ghanans alike are ready to watch the Boateng brothers square off, and US nemesis Asamoah Gyan has vowed to escape into the knockout phase.
Dec 6, 2013, 8:10 PM EST
Where to watch all the games from Week 15, right here:
MLS Cup preview: Real Salt Lake meets Sporting Kansas City to decide Major League Soccer’s 18th championship
Dec 6, 2013, 7:33 PM EST
Two well-regarded American coaches, two super defenses and record cold temperatures are the dominant sub-plots:
Dec 6, 2013, 7:00 PM EST
Could one very hard-to-read Frenchman be the key to Real Salt Lake’s title chances?
Dec 6, 2013, 6:21 PM EST
Given the crippling equatorial heat in Manaus, England and Italy will lobby FIFA to build drinks breaks into matches. The United States is also set to play a match in the Amazonian city.
Dec 6, 2013, 5:45 PM EST
Two Best XI players and 2012′s Goalkeeper of the Year will be Sporting’s key men on Saturday.
Dec 6, 2013, 5:05 PM EST
The German boss smiled upon FIFA’s placement of his country with the United States. The rest of the country remains confident that the group stage is just the beginning for Germany.
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