Timbers drop preseason match
Minnesota United handed a team of Timbers reserves Portland's first loss of the preseason on Wednesday, beating the host team 4-2 in front of 10,301 fans on the second day of the Timbers Preseason Tournament at Providence Park.
What it means: Portland is now 4-1 in five warm-up matches ahead of the March 1 season opener — against Minnesota.
How they scored: Dairon Aspirlla and Ken Krolicki, a T2 midfielder, delivered rockets from outside the 18-yard box. Asprilla gave Portland a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute and Krolicki drilled a left-footed one-timer in the 85th minute. Minnesota United scored four times in between, three on counter-attacks and one off a Portland turnover. Raheem Edwards scored twice on far-post runs to cap counter-attacks. New Minnesota designated player Thomas Chacon converted a rebound and new MNUFC striker Luis Amarilla put in another breakaway rebound.
Who played: None of Portland's projected season-opening field players were in uniform and goalkeeper Steve Clark played the first half. Defenders Julio Cascante and Marco Farfan, midfielders Renzo Zambrano, Andy Polo, Eryk Williamson, Tomas Conechny and Asprilla played 75 minutes. Forward Jeremy Ebobisse played the first half. Minnesota played a mixed lineup, with many of its projected starters coming on for the final 15 minutes.
What we learned: The Timbers were on the front foot for the first half hour as their high press had Minnesota out of rhythm. It was a positive example of the way coach Giovanni Savarese wants his team to play, possessing the ball in the opponent's half and quickly winning possession when the ball is lost. But once Minnesota broke that pressure for its first counter-attack goal — against a makeshift Timbers backline — Portland couldn't restore a foothold on the game. … Andy Polo might be a useful option in holding midfield. Exclusively a winger in his first seasons in Portland, Polo was confident on the ball and used his recovery speed well playing alongside Zambrano.
Also Wednesday: Vancouver beat New England 2-0 in the first game of the doubleheader.
Up next: The preseason concludes on Saturday with a 5 p.m. match against New England at Providence Park. Vancouver and Minnesota play at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available for the doubleheader.
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