Timbers conclude four-game slate in Carson with a 2-0 victory over Fire
CARSON, Calif. — The Portland Timbers concluded their slate of four preseason games held during their training camp at The Home Depot Center by defeating the Chicago Fire 2-0 Wednesday.
Eric Alexander and Jorge Perlaza both found the back of the net, while Franck Songo’o assisted on both goals for the Timbers, who posted three wins and a draw over the four preseason contests in Carson, Calif.
Six different players contributed goals over the four games, while the Timbers outscored their opponents 8-1 and did not allow a goal over the final three-plus matches during their stay, logging an impressive span of 309 minutes without being scored upon.
“We’ve now played against four decent teams in preseason and conceded one goal,” said John Spencer, head coach of the Timbers. “For us, I’d rather be winning these games because it builds confidence and spreads a good spirit amongst the group.
“The first part of the preseason is over, and I think we’re starting to hit our stride and we’re starting to look fitter and stronger.”
Wednesday’s game was lengthened to 120 minutes to allow both teams to feature a larger number of players for extended minutes, with Spencer fielding two starting groups that went 60 minutes each. While the first Timbers group played the Fire to a scoreless first hour, Songo’o centered a pass through to Alexander in the 64th minute, with Alexander’s calm finish past Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson breaking the scoreless draw.
While the Fire were continually frustrated by missed chances and a number of shots that hit the frame, the Timbers added to their lead in the 113th minute. Songo’o took a feed from Jack Jewsbury and slotted a pass through to Perlaza to set up his second goal of the preseason. The goal came shortly after the Fire had an excellent equalizing opportunity when Kheli Dube hit the crossbar after a perfect cross to the back post from Tony Walls.
The loss was Chicago’s first in five preseason matches.
POR: Alexander (Songo’o), 64
POR: Perlaza (Songo’o), 113
POR: Perkins (Bendik, 61), Kawulok (Purdy, 61), Mosquera (Brunner, 61), Jean-Baptiste (Danso, 61), Chabala (Wallace, 61); Ibarra (Renken, 46; Songo’o, 61), Marcelin (Jewsbury, 61), Braun (Chara, 61), Alhassan (Alexander, 61), Richards (Nagbe, 61; Rincon, 114), Dike (Perlaza, 61)
CHI: Tornaghi (Johnson, 46), Gargan, Anibaba, Gibbs, Segares, Pappa, Pardo, Nyarko, Grazzini, Oduro, Puppo
CHI 60th Minute: Johnson (Nolly, 93), Walls, Berry (Watson-Siriboe, 105), Inigo, Jumper (Guerrero, 105), Robayo, Paladini, Videira (Pantazopoulos, 105), Pineda (Bone, 96); Dube (Barrera, 105), Barouch (Mkosana, 96)
- Midfielder Charles Renken, who joined the Timbers at the start of the Southern California camp, saw his first game action of the preseason, coming on for Miguel Ibarra at the 46-minute mark.
- Portland wore white, black, white for the second time this preseason.
- The game was played under windy conditions and steady rain for much of the contest.
- The meeting between the two clubs marked the first time the Timbers and Fire have met in preseason play.
- The Timbers have not allowed a goal since the 80th minute of their 4-1 win over the LA Galaxy last Tuesday.
- Portland has already tallied more goals in its first four preseason matches (8) than it did over the course of its seven-game preseason slate in 2011 (7).
- Both Jorge Perlaza and James Marcelin scored two goals during the team’s stay in Carson.
- The team will conduct a light session Thursday morning at The Home Depot Center before returning to Portland later that night.
- Forward Jose Adolfo Valencia, who underwent successful surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee on Feb. 6, rejoined the team for the final four days of its training camp in Carson and was on the sidelines for the 2-0 win over Chicago Wednesday.
Timbers Preseason Results:
Tuesday, Feb. 7 – Timbers defeat LA Galaxy 4-1 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. (Dike, Perlaza, Marcelin, Danso)
Friday, Feb. 10 – Timbers draw Montreal Impact 0-0 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Sunday, Feb. 12 – Timbers defeat Houston Dynamo 2-0 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. (Jewsbury, Marcelin)
Wednesday, Feb. 15 – Timbers defeat Chicago Fire 2-0 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. (Alexander, Perlaza)
Monday, Feb. 27 – Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes at JELD-WEN Field (tournament); 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Thursday, March 1 – Timbers vs. Chivas USA at JELD-WEN Field (tournament); 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Sunday, March 4 – Timbers vs. AIK (Sweden) at JELD-WEN Field (tournament); 5 p.m. (Pacific)