PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers received a penalty-kick goal from defender Futty Danso and defeated top-flight Mexican club Monarcas Morelia 1-0 in a friendly to claim the inaugural Copa Verde on Wednesday night before a spirited crowd of 13,124 at JELD-WEN Field.
Copa Verde is the Timbers’ newly established friendly competition in which the club will play host to a top-flight Mexican side, and Monarcas visited the Rose City as part of a preseason tour to the United States as it prepares for the upcoming Liga MX campaign.
Portland scored the game’s lone goal in the 40th minute. A Monarcas defender was called for a handball just inside the penalty area while trying to defend a shot by Timbers forward Jose Valencia, and referee Ramon Hernandez awarded Portland a penalty kick. Danso converted the attempt, putting a shot off the underside of the cross bar as Monarcas goalkeeper Federico Vilar dove to his right.
A pair of free kicks by midfielder Michael Nanchoff led to threats on goal for the Timbers in the first half. He served in a ball from the right side in the 32nd minute that Vilar, the 2007 Liga MX Goalkeeper of the Year, pulled down just before it reached Danso on the back post.
The second half featured several key defensive plays by the Timbers to ensure the shut-out victory. Goalkeeper Milos Kocic recorded two saves in the second half, including one in the 65th minute in which he batted down a firmly hit ball by Monarcas forward and Ecuador international Jefferson Montero from the top of the area.
Newly acquired Monarcas forward Santiago Trellez came off the bench and recorded a team-high three shots in the second half. He came charging down the left side of the box in the 73rd minute and hit a shot on frame that Kocic got just enough of to steer the ball wide of the target.
The Timbers were able to get several development players from their U-23s and academy sides valuable minutes as subs in the second half against Monarcas, including Timbers Academy players Jesse Garcia, Foster Langsdorf and Anthony Machionne. Timbers U-23s defender Anthony Hobbs started the second half and played 45 minutes.
Just before halftime, Montero was given a caution for diving inside the penalty area while being pressured by Danso. The call sparked a series of bookings by Hernandez, including a straight red to Monarcas midfielder Aldo Leao Ramirez while protesting the call; Vilar was also issued a caution.
The Timbers return to MLS play Sunday as they travel to face the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium at 2 p.m. (Pacific). The match will be televised live on ROOT SPORTS, with live radio broadcasts available on 750 The Game and in Spanish on La Pantera 940 AM.
International Friendly – Copa Verde
Portland Timbers (MLS) vs. Monarcas Morelia (Liga MX)
July 3, 2013 – JELD-WEN Field (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 1 0 0
Monarcas Morelia 0 0 0
POR: Danso (penalty kick), 40
POR: Nanchoff (Caution), 12
MON: Morales (Caution), 36
MON: Montero (Caution), 43
MON: Ramirez (Ejection), 44
MON: Vilar (Caution), 44
POR: Alhassan (Caution), 45+
POR: Valencia (Caution), 61
MON: Arellano (Caution), 78
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Milos Kocic, D Sal Zizzo, D Rauwshan McKenzie, D Futty Danso, D Ryan Miller (Anthony Machionne*, 71), M Steven Evans, M Michael Nanchoff, M Ben Zemanski (Foster Langsdorf*, 45), F Kalif Alhassan (Anthony Hobbs^, 45), F Jose Valencia (Jesse Garcia*, 72), F Sebastian Rincón
Substitutes Not Used: GK David Meves^, D Andrew Jean-Baptiste, M Diego Chara, M Diego Valeri, M Reid Baez*
^ indicates Timbers U-23s; * indicates Timbers Academy
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Danso, Evans, Rincón, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Danso, 2); FOULS: 20 (McKenzie, Nanchoff, Rincón, 3); OFFSIDES: 6; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 2
MON: GK Federico Vilar (Felipe Rodriguez, 71), D Carlos Morales (Santiago Trellez, 45), D Rodrigo Salinas (Victor Martinez, 63), D Enrique Perez (Juan Carlos Arellano, 63), D Luis Fernando Silva (Rodrigo Godinez, 70), M Christian Valdez (Hibert Ruiz, 63), M Edgar Andrade (Luis Gerardo Arroyo, 70), M Jose Maria Cardenas (Jorge Zarate, 85), M Aldo Leao Ramirez, F Hector Mancilla (Jose Antonio Olvero, 45), F Jefferson Montero (Ever Guzman, 80)
Substitutes Not Used: M Cesar Escobedo, F Eduardo Mendoza
TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Trellez, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Montero, Trellez, 1); FOULS: 19 (Montero, 4); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 2 (Vilar, 2)
Referee: Ramon Hernandez
Assistant Referees: Baboucarr Jallow, Carlos Tercero
4th Official: Josh Wilkens
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Sunny, 82 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial