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Portland Timbers Implode in 1-0 Preseason Loss to Vancouver Whitecaps

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USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers' "friendly" match against the Vancouver Whitecaps was anything but as the two teams slugged it out in a physical affair that ended with an unsatisfactory 1-0 loss for the home team.

Early on in the match the Timbers were dictating play and getting forward at will as the Whitecaps struggled to get on the ball and break out of their end. With the game turning increasingly physical as the Whitecaps tried to assert themselves on the run of play, it was only fitting that the opening goal would come from a free kick.

After a mid-air collision between Rodney Wallace and Mauro Rosales saw the Argentine playmaker tossed to the ground, the referee awarded a free kick to the Whitecaps 25 yards from goal. Although the Timbers were able to head away the initial free kick and the follow-up attempt, the third time was the charm for the Whitecaps as the ball fell once again to the feet of Rosales out on the wing. Whipping in a curling cross, Rosales found Pa Modou Kah alone in the six-yard-box and it was simple work for the former-Timber to thump home a header past a scrambling Adam Kwarasey to open the scoring in the 31'

From there the momentum shifted as the Timbers found themselves chasing the match, trying to put pressure on the Whitecaps who looked increasingly assured in possession as the half wore on.

Where the early going saw the Whitecaps committing foul after foul while they tried to contain the quick-moving Timbers; after the goal the Timbers started racking up the fouls and the yellow cards soon followed. First Rodney Wallace picked up a pair of yellow cards, leading to his sending off in the 60'; then Liam Ridgewell picked up a pair of his own by the 89', ensuring that the Timbers would finish the match with only nine men on the field.

The night was made even worse for the Timbers after a 23' non-contact injury forced midfielder Ben Zemanski off the pitch. Zemanski, Caleb Porter confirmed after the match, suffered a torn ACL on the play.

The Timbers did manage to force one save out of David Ousted late in the match when Dairon Asprilla got on the end of an errant ball outside the Whitecaps' box. Letting rip with a powerful shot, Aspilla made Ousted stretch out to make the save, pushing the shot wide and leading to a series of chances for the Timbers off the ensuing corner that they were unable to convert.

The Timbers' second XI will get a run out in Wednesday's preseason match against the Chicago Fire, while the first team are expected to finish the preseason off in next Saturday's match against Stabaek.