TUCSON, Ariz. – The Portland Timbers concluded a successful two-week training camp in Tucson, Ariz. with their fourth preseason match at the Kino Sports Complex on Thursday morning. Forward Lucas Melano tallied the only goal just 30 seconds into the match in a 1-0 win against Real Salt Lake.
Utilizing 22 different players again in Thursday’s match, the Timbers first group included midfielder Darlington Nagbe, who made his first appearance with Portland in the preseason after joining the club following January training camp with the U.S. Men’s National Team. Coming out aggressive off the opening kickoff in a sharp first half that resulted in several chances created, forward Dairon Asprilla drove down the right wing and played a dangerous ball into the box for Melano, who finished from close range near the back post to give Portland a 1-0 lead in the first minute.
Thursday’s game featured another solid defensive effort from the Timbers, who limited Real Salt Lake’s chances to post a clean sheet in their final competition in Tucson before returning to Portland.
Squaring off against three MLS opponents in the Houston Dynamo, Seattle Sounders FC and Real Salt Lake, and host FC Tucson during their two-week training camp, the Timbers did not allow a first-half goal in any of the four matches and a total of 29 players made an appearance in a preseason game during the Timbers’ trip to Tucson.
Portland returns to the Rose City on Friday and will resume training next week ahead of the 2016 Simple Invitational, set to open on Sunday, Feb. 21, at Providence Park. The three-day tournament features Minnesota United FC, the Chicago Fire and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, with doubleheaders on Feb. 21, Feb. 24 and Feb. 27 as the team continues preparations for its 2016 MLS season opener against Columbus Crew SC on March 6.
Next up, the Timbers play host to Minnesota United FC on Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. (Pacific) in one of the opening matches of the Simple Invitational at Providence Park. Tickets for all three days of the preseason event are available for purchase online or at the Providence Park box office.
- Utilizing two different lineups during the match, 22 different players saw action Thursday for Portland against Real Salt Lake.
- The Timbers and Real Salt Lake squared off in the preseason for the first time on Thursday. The Timbers have now played every MLS Western Conference team at least once in a preseason match.
- Forward Lucas Melano tallied his first goal of the preseason on Thursday and is the third different player to score a goal in game for Portland during the preseason.
- Midfielder Darlington Nagbe, who arrived in Tucson earlier this week, appeared in his first preseason match for the Timbers in 2016.
- Portland held its opponent scoreless in the first half for a fourth consecutive match on Thursday.
Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake (MLS Preseason)
Feb. 11, 2016 – Kino Sports Complex (Tucson, Ariz.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
Portland Timbers 1 0 1
POR: Melano (Asprilla), 1
RSL: Beckerman (Caution), 22
POR: Taylor (Caution), 28
POR: GK Gleeson (Hamilton^, 60), D Powell (Peay, 60), D Borchers (Morley^, 46), D Taylor (Manning, 46), D Thoma (Valentin, 60), M Chara (Zemanski, 60), M Nagbe (Avila*, 60), M Valeri (Jewsbury, 46), F Asprilla (Brett, 46), F McInerney (Polk^, 32), F Melano (Trialist*, 60)
RSL: GK Rimando, D Beltran (Wingert, 62), D Olave (Glad, 62), D Maund (Trialist, 62), D Phillips (Lachowecki, 62), M Beckerman (Stertzer, 62), M Obayan (Mulholland, 62), M Morales (Amankona, 62), F Plata (Garcia, 62), F Movsisyan (Sandoval, 38), F Martinez (Welshman, 62)
* Trialist/guest player; ^ 2016 MLS SuperDraft pick