TUCSON, Ariz. – Playing their final match of the 2019 preseason, presented by Old Trapper Beef Jerky, the Portland Timbers closed out play in the Mobile Mini Sun Cup on Saturday night, defeating Real Salt Lake 3-0 at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz. Midfielder Andy Polo scored his first goal of the preseason and added two assists, while forward Jeremy Ebobisse and midfielder Sebastián Blanco added goals for Portland. Midfielder Diego Valeri logged two assists for the Timbers, who open the regular season on Saturday, March 2, at Colorado.
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Preseason goal tally
Portland scored 14 goals in six preseason matches, receiving goals from nine different players. The Timbers scored twice in the first half Saturday night, receiving goals from Ebobisse and Blanco, before Polo scored in the second half. With his three goals in Tucson, Ebobisse was awarded the Golden Boot for the 2019 Mobile Mini Sun Cup tournament. On the defensive side Saturday night, goalkeeper Jeff Attinella made eight saves to help the Timbers record their second shutout of the preseason.
The Timbers took an early 1-0 lead in the fifth minute when Blanco played a long ball down the right wing to Polo. Speeding past his defender, Polo delivered a pinpoint cross into the six-yard box to Ebobisse, who finished past goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
In the ninth minute, Blanco’s long-range effort from 30 yards away was fired over the crossbar. Continuing on the attack, Valeri dispossessed defender Brooks Lennon outside the 18-yard box and played a pass into the penalty area to Blanco, but Rimando made a diving save to parry the ball away. Seconds later, Blanco’s low shot from the left edge of the box was fired inches past the far post in the 15th minute.
In the 27th minute, Valeri’s in-swinging corner-kick service found defender Jorge Villafaña just outside the top of the box, but his volleyed attempt missed the target.
Portland doubled its advantage in the 44th minute when Polo played Valeri into space on the right edge of the penalty area. Valeri then played a squared pass into the center of the six-yard box to Blanco, whose sliding finish found the back of the net to make it a 2-0 score line.
Continuing on the attack in the 62nd minute, Valeri’s bicycle attempt near the top of the box was saved by Rimando.
The Timbers added to their lead in the 72nd minute when Valeri released Polo into space down the left flank. Polo dribbled into the penalty box, first beating his defender near the end line before poking the ball through Rimando’s legs at his near post from a tight angle to make it 3-0.
Near the top of the penalty area, forward Foster Langsdorf passed the ball to Valeri near the right edge of the box, before his driven shot at the near post was parried away by Rimando in the 87th minute.
Playing their first match of the 2019 MLS regular-season, the Timbers will travel to face the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday, March 2. Beginning at 3 p.m. (Pacific), the match against Colorado will be broadcast live on ROOT SPORTS with local radio broadcasts on 750 AM/102.9 FM The Game (English) and La GranD 1150 AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).
Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake (MLS Preseason)
Feb. 23, 2019 – Kino Sports Complex (Tucson, Ariz.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 2 1 3
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
POR: Ebobisse (Polo, Blanco), 5
POR: Blanco (Valeri, Polo), 44
POR: Polo (Valeri), 72
POR: Chara (caution), 65
RSL: Beckerman (caution), 68
POR: Valeri (caution), 74
POR: GK Attinella, D Valentin, D Mabiala, D Cascante, D Villafaña, M Guzmán (Zambrano, 86), M Chara, M Blanco, M Polo, M Valeri, M Blanco (Williamson, 81), F Ebobisse (Langsdorf, 81)
RSL: GK Rimando, D Lennon, D Glad, D Silva, D Herrera, M Beckerman, M Luiz, M Savarino, M Kreilach, M Baird, F Rusnak