TUCSON, Ariz. – Playing their final game of the 2018 preseason, the Portland Timbers scored three second-half goals to defeat Sporting Kansas City 3-2 at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz., securing third place in the 2018 Mobile Mini Sun Cup on Saturday evening. Forward Samuel Armenteros scored a brace in the win, while midfielder Cristhian Paredes recorded the game-winning goal in the second half.
In Saturday’s match, 17 players saw the field for the Timbers, with six players logging 90 minutes as the team inches closer to its season-opening match against the LA Galaxy on Sunday, March 4. The six players to log 90 minutes included goalkeeper Jake Gleeson, defenders Liam Ridgewell and Larrys Mabiala and midfielders David Guzmán, Andy Polo and Diego Valeri.
Armenteros notches a brace, Paredes tallies his debut goal with the Timbers
Entering the match at the start of the second half, Armenteros and Paredes provided all three goals for the Timbers in a 24-minute span, with Armenteros scoring a brace to extend his tally to four goals in three games played in the 2018 Mobile Mini Sun Cup, which ranks as the most goals in the tournament. Scoring the game-winning goal in the 77th minute, Paredes recorded his first preseason goal with the Timbers since joining the club on Feb. 2.
Timbers finish third in 2018 Mobile Mini Sun Cup
Concluding preseason with two straight wins, the Timbers finished in third place in the 2018 Mobile Mini Sun Cup. Prior to Saturday’s 3-2 win against Sporting Kansas City, the Timbers recorded a 4-1 win against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, recording a 7-3 edge in goals scored in their final two preseason matches heading into the 2018 Major League Soccer regular season.
Midway through the first half, Sporting Kansas City took the lead in the 27th minute of play when a through ball into the box slipped midfielder Roger Espinoza in behind, allowing the midfielder to convert from close range.
With four minutes remaining in the first half, the Timbers came close to leveling when midfielder Sebastián Blanco weaved through the box past two defenders, before clipping a cross to forward Fanendo Adi, who headed his effort wide in the 41st minute.
Shortly after a close chance from the Timbers on the attacking end, Sporting KC doubled its lead in in the 52nd minute when Cristian Lobato slipped forward Diego Rubio in behind from deep in the midfield, creating a one-on-one chance for the striker, who converted from inside the area.
One minute later, the Timbers cut into Sporting KC’s lead when Armenteros pounced on a misplaced back pass, drifting past defender Ike Opara before clinically placing the ball into the far corner in the 53rd minute of play.
Five minutes later, the Timbers scored again through Armenteros when the striker leveled the score in the 58th minute. Reacting quickly to Vytas’ pass on the edge of the six-yard box, Armenteros battled with two defenders inside the box, before chipping the ball into the roof of the net to record his fourth goal in three preseason games played.
The Timbers added a third goal with less than 15 minutes remaining in the game when Armenteros’ shot from inside the box was deflected by the defense, with the rebound landing to Paredes near the penalty spot. Hitting the ball with a first-time shot, Paredes powered his effort into the back of the net to record his first goal for the Timbers, giving Portland the lead in the 77th minute.
Next up, the Timbers will open the 2018 regular season when the team travels to face the LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center on Sunday, March 4. Beginning at 7 p.m. (Pacific), the season-opening match against the Galaxy will be broadcast live on FS1.
Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City (MLS Preseason)
Feb. 24, 2018 – Kino Sports Complex (Tucson, Ariz.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 0 3 3
Sporting Kansas City 1 1 2
SKC: Espinoza (Russell), 27
SKC: Rubio (Lobato), 52
POR: Armenteros, 53
POR: Armenteros, 58
POR: Paredes, 77
POR: Mabiala (Caution), 29
POR: Powell (Caution), 31
POR: Ridgewell (Caution), 38
SKC: Rubio (Caution), 45+1
POR: GK Gleeson, D Powell (Valentin, 86), D Mabiala, D Ridgewell, D Vytas (Farfan, 69), M Olum (Paredes, 46), M Guzmán (Flores 90+1), M Polo, M Valeri, M Blanco (Asprilla, 78), F Adi (Armenteros, 46)
SKC: GK Melia, D Zusi (Lindsey, 62), D Opara (Amor, 76), D Besler (Didic, 76), D Lobato (Sinovic, 76), M Gutierrez (Medranda, 62), M Ilie, M Espinoza, F Croizet, F Shelton (Rubio, 11), F Russell (Salloi, 62)