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.
Sep 16, 2014, 11:57 PM EDT
Maxi Urruti and Fabian Espindola both snatched braces as MLS sides went atop their groups.
Sep 16, 2014, 10:55 PM EDT
Despite saying in June he would step down after the World Cup, the former Real Madrid manager has made a U-turn.
Sep 16, 2014, 10:13 PM EDT
USMNT captain Clint Dempsey was Seattle’s savior in extra time as he delivered the winner in a 3-1 win and lifted his first-ever club trophy.
Sep 16, 2014, 9:06 PM EDT
President of Toronto’s ownership group, Tim Leiweke had harsh words for the Toronto FC locker room. Michael Bradley disagrees.
Sep 16, 2014, 8:23 PM EDT
Insanely strict new rules proposed by FA chairman Greg Dyke would eliminate non-EU players from the lower leagues completely and slash the amount in the Premier League by around 50%.
Sep 16, 2014, 7:46 PM EDT
We now know why Jonas Gutierrez has barely featured for Newcastle in the last year or so.
Sep 16, 2014, 7:09 PM EDT
The man who can’t stay on the pitch has tweaked a very problematic part of his body.
Sep 16, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT
Benzema bags Real’s fifth goal on Tuesday, which turned out to be their 1000th goal in continental competitions. Wowza.
Sep 16, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT
Gerrard scores last-gasp winner, but Liverpool under-performed again in narrow win.
Sep 16, 2014, 5:27 PM EDT
Arsenal’s captain notes the danger of falling behind at BVB, while Klopp calls his teams performance “nearly perfection.”
Sep 16, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT
Contrasting fortunes for PL sides, as eight games kick off the new UCL season. Find out what happened, right here.
Sep 16, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT
A dominant performance from the 2012-13 finalists made easy work of the visiting Gunners.
Sep 16, 2014, 4:44 PM EDT
Dramatic finale at Anfield as Liverpool leave it late to beat Bulgarian minnows.
Sep 16, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT
Okay, so it’s 66.5 goals but you know the rules of rounding and Diego Costa is your proverbial example of being on fire.
Sep 16, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT
Real fly out of the traps, while Arsenal are caught on their heels. Updates on all eight games, right here.
Sep 16, 2014, 3:08 PM EDT
Remember that time Jose Mourinho told Frank Lampard he was the best player in the world … in the shower? No? Oh, right. That’s because you have to watch this.
Sep 16, 2014, 2:40 PM EDT
Kaka was obvious, but who else is making the move from USL PRO to Major League Soccer next season?
Sep 16, 2014, 1:55 PM EDT
The fairly-even history between Philadelphia and Seattle meets at a momentous crossroads tonight at PPL Park in Chester.
Sep 16, 2014, 1:29 PM EDT
Manchester United, Aston Villa leap up the list after impressive wins on the weekend.
Sep 16, 2014, 12:56 PM EDT
The jacked-up keeper was released by Hoffenheim last season as his body became too muscular to stand between the sticks (at least according to the club).
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