Timbers blank RSL to cap preseason
The Portland Timbers capped their preseason schedule on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Real Salt Lake at Tucson, Arizona.
Jeremy Ebobisse, Sebastian Blanco and Andy Polo scored for Portland, which went 4-1-1 in six preseason matches. Blanco and Polo also delivered assists, and Diego Valeri had a pair of assists.
The Timbers return to Portland this week to prepare for their MLS regular-season opener at 3 p.m. next Saturday at Colorado.
Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese played a lineup that is presumed to be the starting XI for the season opener, with most of the Timbers going all 90 minutes. Jeff Attinella played in goal and delivered a series of close-range stops in Saturday's shutout.
Larrys Mabiala and Julio Cascante played at center back, with Zarek Valentin and Jorge Villafana at outside back. Diego Chara and David Guzman were the holding midfielders, with Valeri, Blanco and Polo in attacking positions and Ebobisse the lone forward.
Ebobisse scored in the fifth minute at the end of a quick attack out of midfield. Polo got behind the defense and delivered a cross for a close-range Ebobisse shot that found its way in off the legs of goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
In the 15th minute, Blanco scuffed a chance after Valeri forced a giveaway at the top of the 18-yard box.
Blanco made the score 2-0 in the 44th minute at the end of a quick buildup. Polo slid a ball into the penalty area that Valeri sent across the 6-yard box for the on-running Blanco.
Polo scored in the 72nd minute, driving past a defender in the left side of the penalty area and toe-poking the ball between Rimando's legs from close range.
Blanco left the field in the 80th minute, holding his lower back. Eryk Williamson came on for Blanco, and Foster Langsdorf came on for Ebobisse, for the final 10 minutes. Renzo Zambrano came on for Guzman for the final five minutes.
Many Timbers who did not play scrimmaged earlier Saturday for training purposes. Defender Bill Tuiloma missed his second match with what has been described as a calf injury.
Two of RSL's best chances in the first half came after Cascante misplayed touches.
In the 22nd minute, Attinella made a save on Corey Baird and followed with a stop on the ensuing RSL corner kick.
In the 36th minute, Attinella stopped a Savarino chance after a Cascante giveaway, and on the resulting corner kick Attinella denied a 6-yard shot from Baird.
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