Timbers win preseason opener

By

Published:

 

Diego Valeri and Jose Valencia, each in his first match with the Portland Timbers, scored goals on Tuesday as the Timbers opened preseason play with a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids in Tucson, Ariz.

Valeri, the new designated player from Argentina, opened the scoring in the 28th minute on a perfectly placed direct free kick. From just outside the penalty area on the left wing, Valeri curled a shot inside the right post.

Midfielder Kalif Alhassan made it 2-0 in the 64th minute, scoring from the left side of the penalty area at the end of a passing exchange with Valencia.

In the 80th minute, Valencia scored from near the top of the 18-yard box to make it 3-0. The 21-year-old Colombian missed all of last season with a knee injury.

Timbers coach Caleb Porter said he saw things to like, and plenty to correct, in the first preseason match.

"We wanted to see that there was a positive performance based on our good preparation leading into the game, and I thought, overall, we saw that," Porter said.

Portland and Colorado both played a separate lineup in each 45-minute half.

Portland started a lineup of goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, defenders Ryan Miller, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, David Horst and Michael Harrington, midfielders Diego Chara, Jack Jewsbury, Valeri, and Will Johnson, and forwards Darlington Nagbe and Ryan Johnson. Jewsbury left in the fifth minute with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Eric Alexander.

In the second half, Porter switched to a lineup with three midfielders and three forwards. Playing the second half were goalkeeper Milos Kocic, defenders Ryan Kawulok, Futty Danso, Mikael Silvestre, and Chris Taylor, midfielders Michael Nanchoff, Alhassan, Danny Mwanga, and forward Sal Zizzo, Bright Dike and Valencia. Silvestre and Nanchoff are with the Timbers on a trial basis.

The Timbers are training through Feb. 8 in Tucson. Their next match is at 5 p.m. Friday against Sporting Kansas City and will be streamed live at http://www.portlandtimbers.com.