Eric Brunner (right) reacts after scoring against Chivas in a US Open Cup qualifier in March.

The line on the Timbers so far this season? Perfect at home, shaky on the road.

Until last week, that is: DC United dinged Portland's pristine MLS home record on Sunday and handed the Timbers their first taste of league loss at the House of Pane. Defeat on the homefront was bound to happen sometime, but as much as Portland didn't enjoy spoiling the first half of their hard-earned rep, they'd love to shed the latter today at Chivas USA (7:30 p.m. on ROOT Sports and 750 AM).

The Timbers have yet to win away from the Rose City this year (they've nabbed two draws), but like slipping up at home, a road victory is long overdue for a club that's shown serious growth during the first third of the season. The "Goats," meanwhile, have won just once at home this season and fell to Portland in a U.S. Open Cup qualifier way back in March.

That match on a rainy night at Merlo Field was Portland's first officially official win as an MLS club, and though the weather is sure to be different in Carson today, the Timbers hope the result is the same against the only MLS team with three home losses.

More after the jump, including EXTRA TIME links and coach John Spencer breaking down (and hilariously threatening a reporter with) a "Glasgow Kiss."

EXTRA TIME! Links to really get your goat.
• The Timbers don't mind toeing the line on offside calls, says The Columbian's Paul Danzer, who wonders if Portland will "play with the concentration and composure needed to score a win away from home."
• Portland forwards Kenny Cooper and Jorge Perlaza need to show better movement to get past their recent "sticky patch," says Doug Binder of
• Inconsistent officiating has reared its head recently, and the Timbers have noticed, according to The O's Geoffrey C. Arnold, who notes Portland will need to shore up its recent defensive breakdowns.
• With Chivas coming off a draw on Wednesday, Portland will be the fresher club and "will try to take advantage of potential fatigue," says STATS' Kate Hedlin.
• In a season of firsts, Portland faces a team "they are familiar with" in Chivas, which returns some key players, according to Kevin Hudson of Portland MLS Press.
• Want to watch the match in the sun (the giant glowing orb in the sky)? O-Live blogger Rick Curwen has the deets on Cartlandia's viewing party, along with the club's official event at Macadam's.
• Marcos Mondaini's return will be a "huge boost" for Chivas, says Adam Serrano of, who notes a fast start is a possibility for Portland.
• Note to self: Always turn the celly off before talking to Spencer in order to avoid a broken nose (skip to around 2:50 for the hilarity):