Quick Recap: Portland Timbers Tie Champs Sporting Kansas City 1-1 in Preseason Opener

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Timbers looked good but disjointed in their preseason debut.

The Portland Timbers opened their preseason with a 1-1 tie against the defending MLS champions, Sporting Kansas City. In a game that saw both teams stuggle to play their preferred style thanks to early season rust and some viciously windy conditions, neither was able to find find a game winning goal.

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, when the Timbers gave up the first goal of the match it came from a whipped in free kick from Claudio Bieler in the 31'. The final touch on the ball did come from a surprising source, however, as former Timber Sal Zizzo managed to get a head on the ball, allowing it to skip past Andrew Weber and into the back of the net. Jorge Villafana, who looked otherwise solid to start the match, was beaten to the ball by Zizzo, who scored only twice in his sixty appearance with the Timbers.

The game started to open up two minutes later in the 33' when SKC's Aurelien Collin received his second yellow of the match for a foul on the driving Gaston Fernandez just outside the penalty box. Collin was lucky to be on the field that long after hard, early fouls on Darlington Nagbe and Maximiliano Urruti that should have seen him sent off several minutes earlier.

Much of the Timbers' momentum following the SKC red card was lost at the half, however, as both teams brought on their second squads for the second 45'. The Timbers made wholesale changes to their line-up, featuring a several rookies seeing the field for the first time, including Taylor Peay's first appearance at left back.

Although the Timbers' youngsters (plus Frederic Piquionne, 36, and Futty Danso, 30) controlled the vast majority of play in the second half, scoring opportunities were a rarity for the Timbers until the 84'. The tying goal came from an individual moment of brilliance from Schillo Tshuma as the Timbers' new Generation Adidas signing played in an audacious chipped shot over Andy Gruenebaum that bounced once in the box before landing in the back of the net.

Tshuma's finish would mark the last real chance of the match despite both teams pressing forward hard to find a game winner.

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