Kawulok’s goal gets Timbers even, 1-1

Portland uses mostly reserves in preseason match

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

PORTLAND — On the day he signed with the Portland Timbers, Ryan Kawulok gave the team a bonus.

Kawulok chopped home a Kalif Alhassan corner kick in the 78th minute, helping the Timbers salvage a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA in a preseason match as a crowd of 15,195 watched at Jeld-Wen Field.

A defender who came on at right back midway through the second half, Kawulok got just enough on Alhassan’s in-swinging corner kick to beat goalkeeper Tim Melia from close range.

That one bit of work salvaged an otherwise disjointed outing from the Timbers, who used more reserves than regulars in their next to last warmup for the Major League Soccer season.

The Timbers now have three wins and three ties in preseason, which wraps up at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Jeld-Wen Field against Sweden’s AIK.

Camas native Brent Richards started in midfield on Thursday, playing the first 66 minutes mostly on the right wing in a 4-4-2 formation. Alhassan replaced Richards for the last 24 minutes.

Chivas USA scored in the 21st minute, turning a Portland give-away into a quick strike as Cesar Romero pounded in a cross from Alan Souza.

The Timbers starting lineup featured eight players who figure to be reserves. Team captain Jack Jewsbury, center back Eric Brunner and right back Lovel Palmer were the only three projected starters in Thursday’s first 11. Diego Chara came on for Jewsbury at halftime, and Palmer gave way to Kawulok after an hour.

The starting forwards were Bright Dike and trialist Sebastian Rincon, with Jorge Perlaza replacing Rincon for the final 15 minutes. Freddie Braun and James Marcelin joined Jewsbury and Richards in midfield. Rookie Andrew Jean-Baptiste and second-year player Chris Taylor started on defense.

At goalkeeper, Jake Gleeson played the first half and recent signee Joe Bendik played the second half.

Earlier on Thursday, the Timbers announced they signed Kawulok, the club’s first-round selection in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft. For two summers, Kawulok was a member of the Timbers U-23s.

Kawulok, 22, was named the West Coast Conference’s defender of the year as a senior at the University of Portland.

Next Game:

Timbers vs. AIK of Sweden, 5 p.m. Sunday at Jeld-Wen Field.

Also: San Jose vs. Chivas, 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Jeld-Wen Field.