Timbers defeat Sounders in preseason game

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

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Mikael Silvestre is fighting for a place on the Timbers 2013 roster. On Tuesday, the veteran defender earned a place in the hearts of Timbers supporters in Tucson, Ariz., by scoring the only goal in a Portland win over Seattle.

The goal in the 61st minute came during a goal-mouth scramble that followed a corner kick.

As has been his practice, first-year Timbers coach Caleb Porter used 22 players in the match. The starters came out after the Timbers goal. Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson, midfielder Mobi Fehr and Dylan Tucker-Gangnes played their first minutes of the preseason as second-half substitues.

"I don't know how much this tells us in comparison to (Seattle). But what it tells me is that my group is making progress," Porter said. "And they're translating the training into the games."

The Timbers (2-1-0) wrap up their 12 days in Tucson on Friday with a match against FC Tucson.

Seattle, playing its first preseason match, was short-handed because of illness, injury and international duty. Portland also was without goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and forward Ryan Johnson.