PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers continued preseason play in the 2015 Simple Invitational with a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire in front of 10,417 fans at Providence Park on Wednesday night.
Wednesday’s match marked the second of three matches for the Timbers in the team’s annual preseason tournament and Portland’s penultimate preseason game before kicking off the MLS regular-season schedule on Saturday, March 7, against Western Conference foe Real Salt Lake at Providence Park.
After Portland (1-1-3 in preseason) saw consecutive attempts saved in the 16th and 17th minutes as midfielder Dairon Asprilla turned a well-struck header on goal and midfielder George Fochive put a long-range shot on target – the Timbers grabbed a 1-0 lead off a free kick from midfielder Michael Nanchoff.
Forward Gastón Fernández set up the free kick by drawing a foul at the right edge of the penalty box in the 22nd minute. Nanchoff stepped up and his left-footed effort glanced off Chicago midfielder Alex before beating goalkeeper Sean Johnson inside the upper left corner.
Eighteen players saw action for the Timbers on Wednesday night as Portland has earned a positive result in four of the team’s five preseason matches in 2015. Defensively, the Timbers have conceded just three goals in five matches.
Chicago (1-0-3 in preseason) knotted the score at 1-1 moments before halftime when Timbers defender Norberto Paparatto redirected a Fire corner kick into Portland’s net for an own goal in the 44th minute. The Fire also deployed 18 different players throughout Wednesday night’s match.
Portland outshot Chicago 12-11 in the match, as the teams finished tied with four shots on goal apiece.
Substitute midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe saw a chance for a stoppage-time winner, but his low shot from the top of the penalty box was smothered by Johnson in the final minute of second-half stoppage time.
Portland concludes preseason play on Saturday, Feb. 28, against Norwegian Tippeligaen side Stabæk at Providence Park in the final match of the 2015 Simple Invitational; kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. (Pacific). The match will be streamed live on www.timbers.com. The Chicago Fire square off against Vancouver in Saturday’s first match; kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. (Pacific).
- Portland head coach Caleb Porter utilized a starting lineup on Wednesday night that featured 10 different players from Sunday’s 2015 Simple Invitational opener against Vancouver.
- Forward Fernández was the only Portland player to start both Sunday and Wednesday night’s matches.
- Paparatto wore the captain’s armband for Portland on Wednesday night against the Fire.
- Nanchoff’s first-half goal marked the team’s 40th preseason goal in its five MLS seasons.
Portland Timbers vs. Chicago Fire (MLS Preseason)
Feb. 25, 2015 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Chicago Fire 1 0 1
Portland Timbers 1 0 1
POR: Nanchoff, 22
CHI: Own Goal (Paparatto), 44
CHI: Amarikwa (Caution), 5
POR: Fochive (Caution), 30
POR: Jeanderson (Caution), 55
CHI: Ritter (Caution), 87
POR: Fochive (Ejection, Second Yellow), 88
Lineups & Stats:
POR: GK Andrew Weber, D Taylor Peay (O’Rourke*, 79), D Norberto Paparatto ©, D Anthony Manning^, D Jeanderson (Thoma^, 61), M Dairon Asprilla (Winchester*, 78), M George Fochive, M Nick Besler^ (Gavin*, 61), M Michael Nanchoff (Tshuma, 28), F Gastón Fernández (Nagbe, 46), F Maximiliano Urruti (Adi, 46)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Luthy*
TOTAL SHOTS: 12; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 23; OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 4
CHI: GK Sean Johnson, D Kinglsey Bryce*, D Eric Gehrig, D Adailton (Larentowicz, 31), D Patrick Doody (S. Winchester*, 63), M Greg Cochrane (Cocis, 63), M Chris Ritter, M Alex (Maloney, 62), M Michael Stephens (Shipp, 75), F Quincy Amarikwa (Jones, 62), F Kennedy Igboananike (Edwards*, 76)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Busch, GK Kann, D Palmer, D Polster, M Watson, F Fernandez, F Prado
TOTAL SHOTS: 11; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 17; OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3
* Trialist/guest player; ^ 2015 MLS SuperDraft pick
Weather: Cloudy, 52 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial