Timbers fall to San Jose in preseason action

Santa Clara, Calif. – Forward Quincy Amarikwa scored in the second half as the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer defeated the Portland Timbers 1-0 in a preseason exhibition at Buck Shaw Stadium Saturday night.
The Timbers, who began their preseason training camp on Monday, held off a dangerous San Jose attack for most of the night. But heavy offensive pressure by the Earthquakes for a spell in the second half led to Amarikwa’s header in the 78th minute.
Portland featured several of its new players Saturday, including goalkeeper Steve Cronin, who recorded four saves in his Timbers debut.
The Earthquakes generated 10 of their 15 shots on the night in the opening period, but the Timbers backline was able to keep them off the board heading into the break. San Jose’s Darren Huckerby and Cam Weaver helped create several dangerous chances throughout the night, including a pair of open looks from the top of the box in the first half.
Portland’s defense continue to play well into the second half and threatened to shut out the Earthquakes for the first time in preseason, but the MLS club took advantage of a scrambled play in the box and Amarikwa was able to convert his header inside the left post.
The Timbers took all three of their shots in the second half, including a 20-yard blast by new midfielder Keith Savage from the top of the box, but his shot arched just over the crossbar.
The second week of the Timbers’ preseason begins Monday in Portland at PGE Park.
The Timbers play host to the New York Red Bulls of MLS in preseason action March 20, at the University of Portland’s Clive Charles Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available through the UP and PGE Park box offices, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phoning 1-800-745-3000.
Notes: Prior to Saturday’s match, the Timbers announced the addition of defender Stephen Keel to the team’s 2009 roster … Trialists Takuro Nishimura, Brian Visser, Mutanda Kwesele and Michael Gavin each saw time in Saturday’s match.
POR – GK Cronin (Visser, 78), D Thompson, D Knowles, D Keel, D Nishimura (Poltl, 76), M Nimo (Josten, 42), M McManus (Kwesele, 58), M Savage, M Cameron (Dunn, 42), F Suzuki (Gavin, 82), F McLaughlin
SJ – GK Cannon, D Leitch, D Garcia, D Gray, D Denton, M Huckerby, M Corrales, M Elliot, M Alvarez (Salinas, 65), F Johnson (Amarikwa, 25), F Weaver (Campos, 65)

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