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Status Report

Timbers: Inch by inch, draw by draw, Portland’s season is slipping away. Ten matches into the 2014 season and Portland has one win and is last in the nine-team MLS Western Conference at 1-3-6 (9 points).

“Bottom line is we haven’t been good enough,” coach Caleb Porter says.

Porter says the club, which drew at home 1-1 with the Los Angeles Galaxy, is playing with enough urgency.

“The urgency is there,” Porter says. “You can’t question that. They (the players) know how important the games are.”

So what is it? Why is Portland, which was supposed to contend for an MLS Cup this season, struggling to pick up points? Is it the mentality? Do the Timbers have enough talent?

“That’s a good question,” Porter says.

The frustrating thing for the Timbers is that they have been close in most of their matches.

“We’ve only lost three, all on the road - we’ve shown that we’re right there, but we are falling short,” Porter says. “We’re not falling short so much where we’re losing every game and we’re getting blown out of games, you see that around the league with some teams.”

Another frustrating thing for Porter is that his defense continues to give up late goals on silly mental breakdowns, like against the Galaxy, when a miscommunication between goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and defender Mamadou “Futty” Danso led to a Los Angeles goal in stoppage time.

“It’s got to change,” Porter says. “If you look back on the times we’ve been burned and the goals we’ve given up to drop points, it’s been the same story. Start with Seattle, third goal, it gave them life, it was a ball in the box and (Clint) Dempsey’s free - best player on the field. Chivas,(Erik) Torres, best player on their team, cross, wide open. Will Bruin, best striker on their team, goal-scorer, wide open.

“You talk about it, you show video on it, you train it. At this level, I don’t know how it happens. If we want to go anywhere as a team, we’ve got to defend crosses. Simple. Because a lot of goals in this league are scored on crosses. Set-pieces and wide service. It’s a simple thing to do, you pick up your guy, you head the ball out. We’re not picking guys up. We’re letting guys float free. It’s time to change it, otherwise we’re not going to be the team we want to be at the end of the year.”

Thorns: Portland striker Christine Sinclair is one of the best and most dangerous offensive players in the world. The Canadian national team player and former Portland Pilot has fired 17 shots this year, eight on goal, but she has not found the back of the net.

Sinclair also has the ability to create opportunities for her teammates, but she has yet to record an assist.

“I’m a veteran player, I’ve been through it before,” she says of the drought. “I’m not too concerned about it. My concern is when you’re not creating chances. Sooner or later they’ll go in.”

Thorns coach Paul Riley agrees and says that the biggest thing for Sinclair is to just get the first goal.

“The main thing for me is that Sinc has been getting herself in those areas,” Riley says. “It’s only a matter of time before she scores.”

It could happen Wednesday, when the Thorns play at the Houston Dash, 5 p.m. PT.

Portland has only six goals in its 2-1-2 start — three by striker Jessica McDonald, who is starting in the place of Alex Morgan (ankle injury) and three by midfielder Allie Long, two of those on penalty kicks.

“We can cry the woes that we don’t have everybody on the field,” Riley says, “but as long as you’re providing chances the goals will come.”

Women’s football: The Portland Shockwave defeated the Portland Fighting Fillies 36-16 Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium, giving the Shockwave a two-game sweep this season in the inner-city rivalry.

IBL: The Portland Chinooks got 33 points from Jared Cunningham as they beat the Salem Sabres last week in an International Basketball League game at Eastmoreland Courts.

The Chinooks’ next game is 7 p.m. Saturday against the Vancouver Volcanoes at Clark College.

Hockey: Travis Green, former Winterhawks assistant coach, guided the first-year Utica (N.Y.) Comets of the American Hockey League to a 35-32-5-4 season. The Comets, a Vancouver Canucks farm club, missed the playoffs by one game, but went 24-12-3-1 after Jan. 17. They also were 24-22 in one-goal games.

College track and field: Concordia University’s men placed second and women took third in the Cascade Collegiate Conference championships last week at Nampa, Idaho.

College football: Portland State offensive tackle Mitchell Van Dyk, 6-8 and 315 pounds, was picked in the seventh round of the NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams.