PORTLAND, Ore. — A game-winning goal by new forward Kris Boyd in his club debut helped the Portland Timbers close out their preseason tournament with a 1-0 win over top-flight Swedish club AIK on Sunday before 17,357 fans at JELD-WEN Field.
Making his first appearance for the Timbers since his arrival on Feb. 21, Boyd gave the home side the lead in the seventh minute by heading in a cross from forward Jorge Perlaza. Goalkeeper Troy Perkins finished with four saves as Portland’s defense preserved the shut-out victory. With the win, the Timbers concluded their 2012 preseason unbeaten, with a record of 4-0-3.
The Timbers open their second MLS campaign Monday, March 12, when they play host to the Philadelphia Union at JELD-WEN Field on ESPN 2 as part of MLS First Kick; kickoff is 6:30 p.m. (Pacific).
It was a hard-working effort by midfielder Rodney Wallace that led to the game’s lone goal in the early stages of the match. Wallace connected with Perlaza, who from the right side, whipped a cross in on the near post. Boyd worked in to a position to be able drive in a header from close range just seven minutes into the match, scoring on his first shot as a member of the Timbers.
Portland’s defense recorded its fourth shutout of the preseason, holding AIK scoreless for a second straight match during the preseason tournament in the Rose City. Perkins recorded two of his saves on shots by AIK striker Robin Quaison, including one on a well-struck 30 yard free kick placed just under the crossbar at the end of the first half.
Quaison and strike partner Viktor Lundregn combined for six of AIK’s 12 shots in the match. Second-half sub Kwame Amponsah Karikari nearly leveled the score in the 71st minute, but his sharply hit header went wide right. AIK goalkeeper Ivan Turina matched Perkins with four saves.
The Timbers return to the training field Monday as they make their final preparations for the start of the 2012 MLS regular season.
POR: Boyd (Perlaza), 7
POR: GK Perkins, D Chabala, D Brunner, D Mosquera, D Palmer, M Wallace, M Chara (Marcelin, 79), M Jewsbury, M Alhassan, F Boyd (Dike, 75), F Perlaza
AIK: GK Turina, D Backman, D Karlsson (Milosevic, 62), D Danielsson, D Johansson, M Gustavsson, M Tjernstrom, M Ahman Persson (Atakora, 62), M Lorentzson, F Lundberg (Engblom, 88), F Quaison (Karikari, 70)
POR: Jewsbury (Caution), 22
AIK: Johansson (Caution), 66
AIK: Lorentzson (Caution), 85
POR: Chabala (Caution), 90
- In the opening match of Sunday’s tournament doubleheader at JELD-WEN Field, the San Jose Earthquakes defeated Chivas USA, 5-0. Forward Chris Wondolowski led the five-goal charge, scoring the opening strike, his fouth of the preseason, and Ramiro Corrales notched two assists.
- In his first match action for the Timbers, Boyd played 75 minutes against AIK, registering a goal on four shots, three of which were on goal.
- On Boyd’s goal, the Timbers claimed the game’s initial lead for the fifth time in seven preseason matches. Boyd’s strike was the only goal conceded by AIK during the preseason tournament.
- Portland finished the preseason tournament with a record of 1-0-2, tied with San Jose for the best record in the four-team tournament.
- In total, the tournament drew 48,670 fans over three days of matches, with Sunday’s attendance being the largest.
- Portland out-scored opponents 11-3 in preseason.
- Timbers goalkeepers combined for four shutouts and a 0.41 goal-against average in preseason.
- Perlaza finished as the Timbers leading scorer in preseason, recording two goals and an assist in seven matches.
- Nine different Timbers played scored during the 2012 preseason: Boyd, Perlaza, James Marcelin, Kalif Alhassan, Ryan Kawulok, Bright Dike, Jack Jewsbury, Eric Alexander and Futty Danso.
- Alhassan, Perlaza, Dike, Jewsbury and Chara were the only five Timbers to appear in all seven preseason contests.
- Defenders Futty Danso, Steve Purdy and Rodney Wallace were all available for selection Sunday after returning home from international call-ups earlier this week.
- The Timbers are unbeaten through two preseasons as an MLS side, posting an overall record of 6-0-9 in preseason matches from 2011-12.
Timbers Preseason Results:
Tuesday, Feb. 7 – Timbers defeat LA Galaxy 4-1 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. (Dike, Perlaza, Marcelin, Danso)
Friday, Feb. 10 – Timbers draw Montreal Impact 0-0 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Sunday, Feb. 12 – Timbers defeat Houston Dynamo 2-0 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. (Jewsbury, Marcelin)
Wednesday, Feb. 15 – Timbers defeat Chicago Fire 2-0 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. (Alexander, Perlaza)
Monday, Feb. 27 – Timbers draw San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 at JELD-WEN Field (Alhassan)
Thursday, March 1 – Timbers draw Chivas USA 1-1 at JELD-WEN Field (Kawulok)
Sunday, March 4 – Timbers defeat AIK (Sweden) 1-0 at JELD-WEN Field (Boyd)
Preseason quotes: Portland vs. AIK
Timbers Head Coach John Spencer
On facing AIK: "I thought they were a very, very physical team. I thought it was a great test for us, come start of the season next week. I thought they were a big, big powerful team. They got a head to every single first ball. I played against Scandinavian teams myself as a player, and you'd always know what you're getting. They'll batter you all over the field because they're physically strong, they're equipped, they're great athletes, they know the game, they'll tactically aware. So, as I said, great, great, very, very great team to play coming up to our last game before we play Philadelphia next week.
Comparing this team to last year's team entering the season: “I think we're in good shape. I think we had a good preseason last year for an expansion team. I think we've had a good preseason this year considering up until we started to get all our injuries. I'd like to see the guys, I'd like to be standing right now telling you that we've got 25, 26 guys that are fully healthy and ready to go and fight for a spot next week, but we don't. So that's a little bit of a disappointment. But as I've said, we've never made excuses in the past and we're not really starting to come out now. We're in good shape, I'd rather be winning, you know, six or seven games in preseason and conceding not many goals than losing every game in preseason and conceding a lot of goals.”
Timbers forward Kris Boyd
On starting off on the right foot: "Yeah it was a good start, but the most important thing was to get my fitness out of the game, and yeah, to top it off with a goal was good."
On how he feels after playing 75 minutes "I feel good. It's my first game in a long time and maybe it will take a few weeks to get up to full speed, but I felt good tonight."
On heading into the regular season on the right note: "That's the important thing during the preseason. Yeah, you want to get your fitness up, but you want to win games, you want to get off to a good start on the season. We'll give ourselves that chance now with winning tonight. As I said, going all the way through preseason unbeaten. I'm looking forward to the start of the season."
AIK Head Coach Andreas Alm
On AIK’s preseason in Portland: “It’s been great. The festivities, the games, everything has been great, except for the results and tonight’s loss. We are not here for food or anything else, we are here to play games, and that was the highlight. There have been other things, but the games we experienced here was the highlight.”
On the atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field: “It reminds us of our home ground a bit, since we have the biggest crowd in Sweden. We are used to having a home crowd like that, but not in preseason games.”