May 25, 2013, 9:25 PM EDT
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.
Aug 1, 2014, 10:44 PM EDT
Goalkeeping starred in the first half before one a-piece settled the score.
Aug 1, 2014, 10:09 PM EDT
Geoff Cameron may no longer fit at Stoke City, and could get a CB role elsewhere.
Aug 1, 2014, 9:04 PM EDT
Another Sounders keeper went up in the air, although he couldn’t remain awake for the whole flight.
Aug 1, 2014, 7:56 PM EDT
Two Eastern Conference teams on unbeaten streaks meet at Sporting Park in Kansas City.
Aug 1, 2014, 7:39 PM EDT
The Arsenal captain saw his games drop significantly last season, and would be a fantastic grab for Manchester United.
Aug 1, 2014, 6:51 PM EDT
After a very disappointing debut season with Norwich City, the Dutch striker is off to France.
Aug 1, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT
A head-scratching moment by the New York defender cost him two games, while the ensuing melee dug into the wallets of others.
Aug 1, 2014, 5:16 PM EDT
With helpful videos, NBC is getting you ready for the upcoming Premier League season just days away!
Aug 1, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT
Despite reports to the contrary a month ago, it appears the newly-added Crimean clubs will indeed play in the Russian leagues next season.
Aug 1, 2014, 3:52 PM EDT
After 13 years at Chelsea, there’s a good chance Frank Lampard could play at Stamford Bridge again…in a lighter shade of blue.
Aug 1, 2014, 3:18 PM EDT
Arsenal, Newcastle and West Ham are among the teams who’ve loaded up on talent.
Aug 1, 2014, 2:34 PM EDT
Myers and actor Daniel Craig were among the luminaries on hand to watch Liverpool take on Manchester City at Yankee Stadium.
Aug 1, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT
Silly season has reached an absurd level, with even sports books creating rumors out of club links.
Aug 1, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Birmigham City defender Will Packwood and Southampton goalkeeper Cody Cropper are on the list of U-23 stars preparing for the Bahamas.
Aug 1, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT
Serbia and the Ivory Coast also tab new bosses as the race for continental and world glory continues.
Aug 1, 2014, 11:25 AM EDT
Fans of Detroit City FC helped raise money for slain Michigan referee John Bieniewicz via a “swear jar”, then saluting him with silent red card salute.
Aug 1, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT
A great save followed up by an awful rebound, as Hull draws Trencin 0-0 in its Europa League debut.
Aug 1, 2014, 9:59 AM EDT
West Ham, Crystal Palace and Newcastle have all added players for 2014/15, according to reports.
Aug 1, 2014, 9:23 AM EDT
Would City’s best prospects playing in MLS be a boon for the league, or lend the league a minor league image it’s trying to escape?
Aug 1, 2014, 8:36 AM EDT
Alberto Moreno of Sevilla is the key cog of the pair, appearing 40-plus times for Sevilla in its run across La Liga and the Europa League.
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