TUCSON, Ariz. – The Portland Timbers saw their first competitive action of the young preseason Sunday at the Kino Sports Complex, utilizing two separate groups and 24 total players against FC Tucson in the first of four preseason contests to take place over their two-week training camp in Tucson.
Now a week into their preseason, the Timbers opened their Tucson camp on Saturday and will face their first MLS competition of the preseason when they take on the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at the Kino Sports Complex at 5 p.m. Portland also will face Seattle (Feb 6) and Real Salt Lake (Feb. 11) during their Arizona stay before returning to Portland for the Simple Invitational later in the month as the team continues to build up to its regular-season opener at Providence Park against Columbus Crew SC on Sunday, March 6.
On Sunday the Timbers featured different lineups in each half, with a first-half group including Adam Kwarasey, Alvas Powell, Nat Borchers, Jermaine Taylor, Zarek Valentin, Diego Chara, Diego Valeri, Ned Grabavoy, Dairon Asprilla, Fanendo Adi and Lucas Melano. Portland controlled the possession and created several scoring chances in the opening 45 minutes, while not allowing a shot on goal. Asprilla and Adi forced saves on a pair of attempts in the opening 30 minutes. In the last 15 minutes of the first half, Borchers and Taylor both had close-range headers off corner kicks miss just wide of the post as the first group played to a 0-0 draw.
Portland’s second-half group included Jake Gleeson, Eric Avila, Anthony Manning, Taylor Peay, Andy Thoma, Nick Besler, George Fochive, Ben Zemanski, Neco Brett, Jack McInerney and Ben Polk. A total of 13 different players made an appearance in the second half for the Timbers, with Kharlton Belmar and Michael Seaton entering as substitutes later in the half, but FC Tucson was able to find a goal in the opening minutes to edge the second group, 1-0.
Next up, the Timbers will face Houston on Wednesday at the Kino Sports Complex in a preseason match that will feature a live stream at www.timbers.com. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. (Pacific).