The Portland Timbers reserves saw the field today in a lackluster effort against the FC Dallas starters.
Sorry this is late getting up, folks. I am sick (so no training report today either) and Ryan was a little distracted by having a child.
The Timbers's second game of the Portland Preseason Tournament could not possibly have been more different from their first. Where Sunday's game was an action packed shootout that showcased the style and commitment that Caleb Porter is looking to make the club's calling card, last night's match saw the Timbers never quite able to come together as a team.
There were flashes of quality; the team's string of ten passes that culminated in one of the game's better opportunities for the Timbers, the athletic prowess of Jose Adolfo Valencia, and the set pieces of Michael Nanchoff all come to mind. In the end, however, it looked clear that the Timbers' reserves were not at the same level as the Dallas starters.
The game started off with some helter-skelter play as both teams struggled to maintain possession of the ball. In the early going most of the excitement came from Jose Adolfo Valencia's explosive runs down the right flank, earning Dallas centerback Matt Hedges a yellow card after he chopped Valenica down.
In the seventh minute, Timbers trialist Frederic Piquionne almost had a chance to go in on goal when a poor Dallas pass was deflected into his path, but the Dallas defense barely beat him to the ball.
Dallas saw their first scoring opportunity in the thirteenth minute after a foul gave Dallas a free kick outside the box. David Ferreira hit a dangerous ball into the box which was headed down by Hedges to Blas Perez. Perez got the shot off but it was blocked away by Ben Zemanski and cleared.
Only moments later the Timbers found themselves under pressure again as Ferreira sent a well placed corner kick into the Portland box. After the ball was knocked to the ground, Perez got his boot to it again, but this time there was nobody to block the shot and Perez knocked it home.
The Timbers had an opportunity to equalize two minutes later with a free kick of their own as Trencito got a head to Nanchoff's delivery, but the ball went wide of the post.
Dallas seemed to solidify their hold on the game in the later stages of the first half with good defensive pressure causing the Timbers to cough up the ball with some regularity. Nanchoff seemed to embody the frustration of both the players and fans when he went in late on Ferreira in the twenty-fifth minute and earned the Timbers' first yellow of the game.
The Timbers' next chance came in the thirty-third minute when Danny Mwanga dropped the ball off for Nanchoff twenty-five yards from goal. After a quick touch, Nanchoff elected to shoot from distance, putting his shot well over the cross bar. From there on out the remainder of the half was a series of back and forth possessions with little to show for it from either side.
The first action of the second half came after Trencito went on a powerful run down the right flank before dropping the ball off to Nanchoff who centered to Zemanski. With space ahead of him, Zemanski fired off a shot from around twenty yards out but the ball went high and did not threaten the goal.
One minute later Dallas had their first chance as well, as Bradlee Baladez attempted a bicycle kick off a bouncing cross. Baladez made contact, but was not able to put the ball on frame.
The Timbers quickly gave up possession again and ceded another chance to the FC Dallas attack. A Futty Danso header out of bounds gave Dallas their sixth corner kick of the night which Jake Gleeson was able to punch clear of the goal only to have the ball fall to Dallas's Fabian Castillo at the top of the box. Castillo quickly fired off a shot, but it went just wide of the post.
In the fifty-third minute the Timbers had another chance as the ball fell to Ryan Kawulok outside the box. Kawulok took his opportunity and fired off a shot, but was not able to put the ball on frame.
Two minutes later the Timbers had another chance as Rodney Wallace played in an early cross to Piquionne but the French forward could only get a glancing header on the ball which went wide. Piquionne would have another chance in the fifty-ninth minute off a Nanchoff corner kick, but again his glancing header went wide.
Another chance for Piquionne in the sixty-seventh minute when he received the ball at the top of the box, but his low shot was just wide of the left post.
The best opportunity of the night for the Timbers came in the eightieth minute after Sebastian Rincon drew a foul at the top of the box. Michael Nanchoff tried to curl the ball inside the near post after a well worked dummy run by Zizzo pulled the Dallas wall out of position but the shot went just wide.