PORTLAND, Ore. – In their final match of the 2016 Simple Invitational, the Portland Timbers fell 2-0 to the Chicago Fire before 16,134 fans at Providence Park on Saturday night. With their preseason now complete, the Timbers will begin the 2016 MLS regular season by playing host to Columbus Crew SC on Sunday, March 6, at Providence Park.
In the final game of this year’s Simple Invitational – the Timbers’ annual preseason tournament that also featured the Fire, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Minnesota United FC – the Timbers produced 20 shots while creating numerous goal-scoring opportunities in both halves. But Arturo Alvarez opened the scoring for Chicago in the 28th minute, heading Michael Harrington’s cross into the bottom, left corner. The Fire doubled their lead with 10 minutes remaining in the first half when Alvarez’s free kick into the six-yard box found Gilberto, who brought the ball down before slotting it into the back of the net.
With Portland generating 10 shots in each half, Timbers striker Fanendo Adi fired a powerful volley from inside the box that was deflected wide for a corner in the second minute, while Dairon Asprilla and Diego Valeri’s chances in the 16th and 22nd minutes, respectively, further tested Chicago goalkeeper Matt Lampson, who had nine saves in the match.
In the second half, Lucas Melano’s volley narrowly missed the target in the 57th minute, while Valeri’s low, driven strike ricocheted off Lampson in the 65th minute. Ten minutes later, Adi pounced on a bouncing ball in the box, volleying a shot that was pushed over the crossbar by Lampson.
The Timbers regular-season opener against Columbus on March 6 will feature a national television broadcast on ESPN starting at 1:30 p.m. (Pacific) with a local radio broadcast on 750 AM/102.9 FM The Game (KXTG) and in Spanish on La GranD 93.5 FM (KGDD).
Portland Timbers vs. Chicago Fire (MLS Preseason)
Feb. 27, 2016 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Chicago Fire 2 0 2
Portland Timbers 0 0 0
CHI: Alvarez (Harrington), 28
CHI: Gilberto (Alvarez), 35
CHI: Meira (Caution), 4
POR: Valentin (Caution), 20
POR: Taylor (Caution), 34
POR: Chara (Caution), 55
CHI: Polster (Caution), 80
CHI: Igboananike (Caution), 81
Lineups & Stats:
POR: GK Kwarasey, D Powell, D Borchers, D Taylor, D Valentin (McInerney, 74), M Chara, M Valeri ©, M Nagbe, F Asprilla (Grabavoy, 70), F Adi, F Melano
Substitutes Not Used: GK Gleeson, D Peay, D Thoma, M Jewsbury, M Zemanski, M Brett^
TOTAL SHOTS: 20 ; SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 ; FOULS: 17 ; OFFSIDES: 3 ; CORNER KICKS: 16 ; SAVES: 6
CHI: GK Lampson, D Vincent, D Kappelhoff, D Campbell, D Harrington, M Polster ©, M Meira (Cocis, 71), M Igboananike (Fernandez, 87), M Alvarez (Calistri, 71), M Goosens (Stephens, 81), F Gilberto (Ramos, 87)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Johnson, GK McLain, D Volesky, D Doody, M Keller, M Conner, M LaBrocca, M Bryce, M Morrell, F Accam
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 ; SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 ; FOULS: 8 ; OFFSIDES: 4 ; CORNER KICKS: 6 ; SAVES: 9
^ 2016 MLS SuperDraft pick
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 55 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial