Timbers claim #1 seed in West - KPTV - FOX 12

Timbers claim #1 seed in West

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CARSON, Calif. – The Portland Timbers clinched first place in the Western Conference and the conference's top seed heading into the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs with a comprehensive, 5-0 win against Chivas USA on the road at StubHub Center on Saturday night.

The Timbers finished the regular season on an eight-match unbeaten run and a Western Conference-best 14-5-15 (57pts) record. Portland will enter its first MLS postseason as the No. 1 seed in the conference, and will face the winner of the knockout game between the No. 4 and No 5 seeds in the Western Conference semifinals.

With the win, the Timbers capped their best regular season as an MLS side. In 2013, Portland set new single-season club records in points (57), wins (14), goals (54), goal differential (+21), shutouts (15) and fewest goals allowed (33). Portland finished the regular season with an plus-21 goal differential – one of the best in MLS. The Timbers realized a plus-43 improvement in goal differential, year-to-year from 2012, to set a new MLS record.

The Timbers finished the regular season with five losses, tied for the fewest in MLS history during a 34-game regular season.

Midfielder Diego Valeri factored into all three of Portland's three first-half goals against Chivas USA (6-20-8, 26pts). Valeri scored the first two goals in the 15th and 26th minutes, and set up Rodney Wallace for the club's third goal in the 34th minute as the Timbers went up 3-0. Forward Ryan Johnson and midfielder Will Johnson each scored in the second half to help the Timbers to an important road win.

With five goals against Chivas USA, Timbers recorded the largest margin of victory by a road team in MLS this season. It also set Timbers MLS club records for largest margin of victory, most goals scored in a game and most goals scored in a road game.

Valeri, with 10 goals and 13 assists on the season, became the first Timbers MLS player to record 10 or more goals and assists in a single season, and is now tied for the Timbers MLS career lead in assists. The Timbers also set an MLS record with four different players recording nine or more goals during the regular season.

Portland's defense recorded a fifth shutout in the last six games in the win over Chivas USA, and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made four saves to pick up his league-leading 14th clean sheet of the regular season.

Valeri opened the scoring in the 16th minute. An attempted clearing play by Chivas USA from their own penalty area put the ball at Valeri's feet just inside the area, and the midfielder ripped a shot inside the left post for his ninth goal of the season.

Portland doubled its lead in the 29th minute as Valeri intercepted an errant pass by Chivas USA in their defensive half near midfield. Valeri charged in on goal, cut the ball back to his right foot just outside the box and chipped a shot over Chivas USA goalkeeper Tim Melia well off his line. The goal was Valeri's 10th of the season and became the first Timbers MLS player to record 10 or more goals in a single season.

Valeri then set up Wallace for his seventh goal of the season in the 34th minute. A long pass up field by defender Futty Danso found Valeri down the right flank. Valeri slipped a pass into the box, between the legs of Chivas USA defender Carlos Bocanegra, to find Wallace slashing through the area. Wallace one-timed a shot by Melia to give the Timbers a 3-0 lead and mark the first time in the Timbers' MLS history in which they recorded three goals in the first half of a match.

The Timbers added to their lead in the second half. In the 72nd minute, Wallace drove in from the left side and put a hard shot on frame that Melia was only able to knock down. Ryan Johnson, a second-half sub, was in position to pounce on the free ball and convert his ninth goal of the season for a 4-0 Portland lead.

Four minutes later, it was Will Johnson with a free-kick goal to cap the scoring in the 5-0 victory. From just beyond the edge of the box on the left side, Johnson drilled a curling shot through an opening in the wall and off the fingertips of a diving Melia before the ball bounced into the back of the net for his ninth goal of the season.

Notes:

  • The Timbers clinched first place in the Western Conference and will enter the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference semifinals as the conference's No. 1 seed.
  • The Timbers finished the regular season with a conference-best record of 14-5-15 (57pts), and will finish the regular season with one of the top three records in MLS.
  • Portland's five losses during the regular season were the fewest in the league in 2013 and tied for the fewest in MLS history (with the 2011 LA Galaxy) during a 34-game regular season.
  • The Timbers recorded their first-ever win at StubHub Center, helping the club finish the regular season with a .471 winning percentage on the road, currently ranked tied for second-best in MLS.
  • The club finished the regular season with 25 goals scored away from home, currently second-most in MLS, and with a 1.29 goals-against average on the road, currently tied for third-best in the league.
  • With a 5-0 win over Chivas USA, Portland recorded the largest margin of victory by a road team in MLS this season.
  • The five-goal output also set Timbers MLS club records for largest margin of victory, most goals scored in a game and most goals scored in a road game.
  • The five goals and two assists on the night matched the Timbers MLS record for points in a single game (12), which was achieved twice previously this season on May 12 (3-0 win vs. Chivas USA) and June 23 (3-0 win vs. Colorado).
  • The Timbers finished the regular season on an eight-game unbeaten run, which is tied for the fourth-longest in the league this season. The club has out-scored opponents 15-3 over the last eight games.
  • The Timbers finished the 2013 regular season with two of the longest unbeaten streaks in the league at 15 games (March 16-June 23) – one of the longest in MLS history – and eight games (Sept. 14-Oct. 26).
  • Portland set an MLS record in 2013 with four different players – Will Johnson, Ryan Johnson, Darlington Nagbe and Diego Valeri – recording nine or more goals during the campaign.
  • Portland recorded its 15th shutout of the season in the match against Chivas USA; it was the fifth in the last six games. The club's shutout total is tied for third-most in MLS history for shutouts in a single season with Real Salt Lake in 2010 and Sporting KC in 2012.
  • Four of the club's 15 shutouts this season have come on the road, including two at the StubHub Center (June 19 vs. LA, Oct. 26 vs. Chivas USA).
  • Only twice in their last eight games (since Sept. 7) have the Timbers allowed an opponent more than three shots on goal in a match.
  • Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was credited with his 14th shutout of the season, which leads the league and is a new career high.
  • The Timbers posted a 12-0-6 record during the regular season in games in which they scored the first goal of the match. Portland has scored the opening goal in five of its last six matches; the one match it did not was the scoreless draw vs. Real Salt Lake on Oct. 19.
  • Midfielder Diego Valeri recorded two goals and one assist in the match against Chivas USA – all coming in the first half. He finished the regular season with 10 goals and 13 assists, and became the first Timbers MLS player to record 10 or more goals and assists in a single season.
  • Valeri's 13 assists leads the league and he is now tied with Jack Jewsbury as the Timbers MLS career leader in assists.
  • It was the first multi-goal game for Valeri in his MLS career. His five points (2 goals, 1 assist) set a Timbers MLS record for points by a player in a single game.
  • In total, Valeri recorded four goals and three assists in just 180 minutes (over three games) against Chivas USA this season.
  • Portland scored three or more goals seven times during the regular season. The Timbers scored three goals in the first half for the first time as an MLS club on Saturday against Chivas USA.
  • The Timbers posted a 2-0-1 record in the season series against Chivas USA, out-scoring Chivas USA 9-1 over the three games.
  • Forward Darlington Nagbe became the first Timbers MLS player to start all 34 league matches in a season and just the second to appear in every game of a regular season. Forward Kenny Cooper appeared in all 34 games for the Timbers during the 2011 regular season.
  • The Timbers' 2013 regular-season finale was Nagbe's 48th consecutive league start and his 95th league appearance for the Timbers. He is the club's MLS leader in career games played.
  • Defender Jack Jewsbury made his 230th MLS regular-season start – his 88th with the Timbers – in the match against Chivas USA.
  • Defender Futty Danso made his 50th MLS start for the Timbers and recorded his first MLS assist on the goal scored by Wallace in the first half. Danso is the fifth defensive player on the Timbers roster this season to record either a goal or an assist.

Release from Portland Timbers

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