Timbers defeat Galaxy 4-1 in preseason opener
CARSON, Calif. — With tallies by four different goal-scorers and bolstered by a quick start that staked them an early two-goal lead, the Portland Timbers today defeated the defending MLS Cup-champion LA Galaxy 4-1 at The Home Depot Center in their first game of the 2012 preseason.
Futty Danso, Bright Dike, James Marcelin and Jorge Perlaza each scored for the Timbers, who built a 2-0 lead by the ninth minute and benefitted from a pair of second-half strikes to seal a convincing win to kick off their slate of preseason games.
“It’s always nice when you can score goals so early in the preseason, and hopefully it’s a vein of form we continue to have; finishing is usually the last thing that comes before the start of the season,” said John Spencer, head coach of the Timbers. “We were lucky enough today that we got some good chances, some good looks at the goal, and guys put the ball in the back of the net, which is nice.”
With little exception, both teams featured two distinct teams for each half, with only Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins playing the entire game between the two sides.
Dike and Perlaza scored a minute apart early in the first half, with Dike heading in a corner kick from trialist Franck Songo’o in the eighth minute to start the scoring. Just a minute later, Perlaza got one past former USL Timber Josh Saunders for a quick 2-0 lead.
“I thought we played well in the first half; we passed the ball very well,” Spencer said. “We obviously went up two-nil at halftime, which is a good result for that team.”
The Timbers brought in nine new players to start the second half and eventually added to their margin. Marcelin took a nice through-ball from Kalif Alhassan and was able to beat Galaxy goalkeeper Nick Noble to the ball and deftly lift it over Noble in the 67th to up the Timbers’ advantage to 3-0.
While midfielder Dan Keat was able to pull one back for LA following a Galaxy corner kick at the 80-minute mark, Danso responded for Portland in the 85th minute by stepping up and burying a penalty kick to the upper right corner of the goal following a handball in the box.
“It took a while for the second group to get going,” Spencer said, “but once we started settling down and passing the ball, I thought we actually put in two good halves. I am really pleased with the guys.”
The Timbers return to their regular training schedule Wednesday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, beginning at 10 a.m.
POR: Dike (Songo’o), 8
POR: Perlaza (Songo’o), 9
POR: Marcelin (Alhassan), 67
LA: Keat, 80
POR: Danso (penalty kick), 85
POR: GK Perkins, D Palmer (Purdy, 46), D Brunner (Danso, 46), D Mosquera (Jean-Baptiste, 46), D Wallace (Chabala, 46), M Songo’o (Alhassan, 46), M Jewsbury (Marcelin, 46), M Chara (Braun, 46), M Alexander (Davids, 46), F Dike (Rincon, 75), F Perlaza (Richards, 46)
LA: GK Saunders (Noble, 46), D Jordan (Davies, 46; McCarty, 78), D Meyer (Boyens, 46), D DeLaGarza (Gaul, 46), D Dunivant (Murray, 46), M Franklin (Jimenez, 46), M Beckham (Walker, 46), M Sarvas (Keat, 46), M Stephens (Nakazawa, 46), F Buddle (McBean, 46), F Cardozo (Cristman, 46)
- After the game, quarterback Andrew Luck, the projected No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, caught up with friend and Timbers head coach John Spencer outside the team locker room.
- The Timbers welcomed three new players to camp as the team opened its Southern California training sessions Monday, including Charles Renken, who was acquired by the team last week, and trialists Jose Balcazar and Lance Davids. In total, there are 33 players currently with the team during their Carson camp. Davids played the entire second half at midfield during Tuesday’s win over the Galaxy.
- The Timbers debuted their new black adidas training kits in their preseason opener.
- The match was played under overcast conditions and started with a slight rain that quickly let up.
- Supplemental Draft pick Logan McDaniel, who was scheduled to join Portland’s preseason camp in Carson, will not report as expected due to injury.
- The Timbers, who were undefeated in preseason play last season at 2-0-6, did not score their fourth preseason goal until their sixth game.
- The Timbers next face the Montreal Impact in preseason action. The two clubs play in Carson on Friday at 10:30 a.m. (PT). The Timbers are scheduled to play four preseason games during their stay in Southern California.
Not currently with the team in camp, forward Jose Adolfo Valencia underwent successful surgery in Tigard, Ore., on Monday to repair cartilage damage in his left knee.