TUCSON, Ariz. – Playing their second preseason match of the 2018 campaign, the Portland Timbers fell 2-1 to Seattle Sounders FC in both teams’ opening match in the 2018 Mobile Mini Sun Cup at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz. Midfielder Diego Valeri scored the lone goal for Portland, recording the team’s first goal of the 2018 preseason in the first half.
After battling the San Jose Earthquakes to a 0-0 draw in three, 30-minute periods on Wednesday, the Timbers and Sounders FC played in two 45-minute halves as both teams began play in the 2018 Mobile Mini Sun Cup. After playing 30 minutes together as a group on Wednesday, the Timbers’ starting group from Wednesday’s game played the full 45 minutes in the first half, while the second half featured a younger lineup for Portland, as the team continues to progress toward the start of the 2018 MLS regular season.
Timbers preseason debuts
Midfielders Cristhian Paredes and Andy Polo featured with the club for the first time in Saturday’s match, with both players making their preseason debuts in the second half. Signed on Friday, Paredes played the full 45 minutes in the second half, while Polo, who joined the team in Tucson on Thursday afternoon, played the last 20 minutes of the game on the right wing.
Sounders FC took a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute of play after a quick combination play on the edge of the box created a close-range chance for midfielder Harry Shipp. Reacting quickly, Portland goalkeeper Jeff Attinella made a strong save on Shipp’s effort, but midfielder Cristian Roldan was able to tap in the rebound from inside the six-yard box.
Ten minutes later, the Timbers responded with a chance to level the score when midfielder David Guzmán’s curling corner kick found defender Larrys Mabiala for a strong header on the edge of the six-yard box, forcing a strong save from goalkeeper Stefan Frei in the 18th minute of play.
After starting to create more opportunities in the attacking third, Portland equalized when midfielder Sebastián Blanco found space on the left wing and curled a well-placed cross into the box for midfielder Diego Valeri, who converted a header to bring the Timbers level in the 24th minute of play.
Seattle regained the lead after a giveaway just outside the box yielded a chance for midfielder Handwalla Bwana, who managed to score from inside the box to give Seattle the game-winning goal in the 68th minute.
Mobile Mini Sun Cup
Saturday’s match marked the Timbers’ second of six scheduled preseason matches in 2018, and their first of three matches in the 2018 Mobile Mini Sun Cup. Following a week of training in Portland, the Timbers will return to Tucson, Ariz., to resume preseason training, with the club also set to face FC Dallas (Feb. 17) and a TBD opponent (Feb. 24) in the 2018 Mobile Mini Sun Cup. Each of the Timbers Mobile Mini Sun Cup matches will be streamed live on www.timbers.com.
Following a week of training in Portland, the Timbers will return to Tucson, Ariz., to face the Houston Dynamo in an exhibition match on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at the Kino Sports Complex.
Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC (MLS Preseason)
Feb. 3, 2018 – Kino Sports Complex (Tucson, Ariz.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 1 0 1
Seattle Sounders FC 1 1 2
SEA: Roldan, 8
POR: Valeri (Blanco), 24
SEA: Bwana (Mathers), 68
POR: Adi (Caution), 20
POR: Guzmán (Caution), 22
SEA: Delem (Caution), 32
SEA: Mathers (Caution), 73
POR: GK Attinella, D Powell (Valentin, 40), D Mabiala, D Ridgewell, D Vytas, M Olum, Guzmán, M Asprilla, M Valeri, M Blanco, F Adi
POR: GK McIntosh, D Valentin, D Cascante, D Tuiloma, D Farfan, M Flores, M Paredes, M Arboleda (Williamson, 84), M Zambrano+ (Polo, 70), M Barmby (Corea*, 88), F Ebobisse
SEA: GK Frei (Brown, 62); D Leerdam (Ulysse, 62), D Marshall (McGlothan, 62), D Alfaro (Ele, 62), D Francis (Brisco, 62), D Delem (Saari, 62), M Shipp (Serrano, 62), M Roldan (Teves, 62), M Lodeiro (Mathers, 62); F Morris (Adekoya, 62), F Bruin (Bwana, 62)
* Indicates Timbers guest player/trialist; ^ indicates SuperDraft pick, + indicates T2