PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers concluded their 2014 preseason schedule with a 1-1 draw against Vancouver Whitecaps FC in front of 13,779 fans in the final match of the Rose City Invitational, presented by Parklane Mattresses, on Saturday at Providence Park.
The Timbers (2-1-4 in preseason), took an early lead as midfielder Will Johnson converted a free kick in the third minute for his team-leading second goal of the preseason. Forward Gastón Fernández set up the opportunity, drawing a foul 23 yards from goal. Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted got his body in front of Johnson's right-footed effort, but could not keep the shot out of the goal.
Whitecaps FC (4-2-1 in preseason) found the equalizer on a game-tying penalty kick from forward Sebastián Fernández in the 79th minute. Defender Jack Jewsbury was called for a foul on Fernández as the forward tried to control the ball near the end line inside the penalty box.
Portland concluded a seven-game preseason schedule on Saturday. Five different players found the back of the net for the Timbers during the preseason while the club registered a 6-4 advantage in goals. On the defensive side, the Timbers conceded just four goals in seven preseason games – none of which were allowed during the run of play – and recorded three consecutive shutouts. The Timbers also logged a streak of 355 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal over a five-game span from Feb. 1-23.
On Saturday, the Timbers had a number of opportunities to double their lead in the second half miss just wide of the goal. Opening the second half, forward Darlington Nagbe dribbled the ball down the middle of the field and fired a low drive from distance that was wide of the left post in the 46th minute.
Minutes later, midfielder Diego Valeri collected a pass inside the penalty box, but his shot was saved by Ousted in the 55th minute. Six minutes later, Fernández dribbled around two defenders 30 yards from goal, but fired a low effort just wide of the left post.
The two Cascadia sides combined for 31 fouls in the final preseason tune-up for both clubs ahead of next weekend’s season-opening matches.
Portland kicks off its 2014 MLS regular-season schedule on Saturday, March 8, against the Philadelphia Union at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) at Providence Park. Saturday’s season-opening match will be carried live on ROOT SPORTS with radio broadcasts on 750 The Game and in Spanish on La Pantera 940 AM.
Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS Preseason)
March 1, 2014 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
POR – Johnson (unassisted), 3
VAN – S. Fernández (penalty kick), 79
VAN – Reo-Coker (Caution), 30
POR – Kah (Caution), 57
POR: GK Donovan Ricketts, D Jack Jewsbury, D Norberto Paparatto, D Pa Modou Kah, D Michael Harrington, M Diego Chara, M Diego Valeri (Kalif Alhassan, 62), M Will Johnson, F Gastón Fernández, F Maximiliano Urruti (Ben Zemanski, 77), F Darlington Nagbe
VAN: GK David Ousted, D Ethen Sampson, D Jay DeMerit, D Andy O'Brien, D Jordan Harvey, M Nigel Reo-Coker, M Gershon Koffie (Matias Laba, 56), M Russell Teibert, M Nicolás Mezquida (Erik Hurtado, 56), F Sebastián Fernández, F Kenny Miller (Kekuta Manneh, 66)