Timbers battle back for 1-1 draw with Chivas USA
PORTLAND, Ore. — On a second-half goal by defender Ryan Kawulok, the Portland Timbers battled back to earn a 1-1 draw in a preseason match against Chivas USA in front of 15,195 fans at JELD-WEN Field on Thursday night.
Kawulok, who was signed by the Timbers earlier in the day, scored his first goal of the preseason to help the Timbers pull level with Chivas USA in the 78th minute. With the draw, the Timbers remain unbeaten (3-0-3) through six games in preseason play.
Trailing for the first time in the 2012 preseason, the Timbers fought their way back with just 12 minutes left to play. Midfielder Kalif Alhassan’s corner kick from left side carried to the back post. Off a short bounce, Kawulok hit a low drive, which skipped off the hand of Chivas USA goalkeeper Tim Melia and into the back of the net for the equalizer.
Chivas USA claimed a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute on a quick play up the right side. Midfielder Alan Souza drove a sharp cross in from near the top of the penalty area towards the near post. Forward Cesar Romero worked his way to the top of the six yard box and one-timed Souza’s cross in for the match’s opening goal.
With only one preseason match remaining, Timbers head coach John Spencer worked 16 players in to the preseason contest against Chivas USA, including seven players who did not see time in the club’s opening match of the preseason tournament on Monday. Defender Eric Brunner and forward Bright Dike were among the six players who played the full 90 minutes.
Portland defender Chris Taylor kept Chivas USA from doubling its lead in the 34th minute, when he headed away a looping shot from David Junior Lopes clear of an open goal.
The Timbers wrap up their 2012 preseason Sunday as they play host to Sweden’s AIK in the final match of the preseason tournament at JELD-WEN Field; kickoff is set for 5 p.m. A live webstream will be available at www.portlandtimbers.com, with a radio broadcast on 750 AM The Game.
CHV: Romero (Souza), 21
POR: Kawulok (Alhassan), 78
POR: GK Gleeson (Bendik, 46), D Palmer (Kawulok, 60), D Brunner, D Jean-Baptiste, D Taylor, M Braun, M Jewsbury (Chara, 46), M Marcelin, M Richards (Alhassasn, 66), F Dike, F Rincón (Perlaza, 75)
CHV: GK Melia, D Gordon, D Lopes (Valencia, 46), D McKenzie, D Jazic (Villafana), 46, M LaBrocca (Bolaños, 63), M Zemanski (Minda, 71), M Souza (LaHoud, 46), M Courtois (Venegas, 63), F Romero, F Townsend (Angel, 46)
- In the opening match of Thursday’s doubleheader, AIK and a 10-man San Jose Earthquakes finished in a scoreless draw. San Jose’s Jed Zayner was sent off with a straight red card in the 60th minute, forcing the Earthquakes to play the final half hour a man short.
- Until Romero’s go-ahead goal for Chivas USA, the Timbers had not trailed in a preseason match in 2012, playing 501 minutes across six matches with playing from behind.
- Additionally, Romero’s strike was the first goal surrendered by the Timbers in the first half of a preseason match in 2012.
- The Timbers are unbeaten in preseason play with a record of 3-0-3, drawing each of their last two contests.
- Kawulok becomes the eighth different Timbers player to score this preseason as the club has out-scored preseason opponents 10-3.
- Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson saw his first minutes of the 2012 preseason, starting the match against Chvias USA and playing in the first half.
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 draw San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 at JELD-WEN Field (Alhassan)
Thursday, March 1 – Timbers draw Chivas USA 1-1 at JELD-WEN Field (Kawulok)
Sunday, March 4 – Timbers vs. AIK (Sweden) at JELD-WEN Field (tournament); 5 p.m. (Pacific)
Preseason quotes: Portland vs. Chivas USA
Head coach John Spencer
On a young team fighting back for the draw: ”The fans expect you to win every game here, and so you can feel the passion and nervousness in the stadium. I told them at halftime that you earned your right to be here and you have to keep fighting. We never played well, never passed the ball quick enough but it was a time for the young players to show what they have.”
Defender Ryan Kawulok
On scoring the equalizer: “You probably couldn’t write something much better for myself today. That goal felt pretty awesome. It was almost a dream come true. I mean, to be honest, it’s kind of a blur right now, but when that went in, I was on cloud nine. It was awesome.”
“The ball just got played over the top, but somehow, I almost did like a swim move, and got behind their defender. I think I hit it left-footed, and their keeper made a really nice initial save, and I think it just trickled over the line by a foot. And after it went in, I was smiling ear-to-ear.”
On lifting up log slab: “There’s not a better feeling celebrating with the Timbers Army. Those guys come out and, I mean they give their full 90 singing and chanting all game, and when you can make them happy and hold up the slab of wood in front of them, it’s, I mean, it’s quite a feeling.”