The Portland Timbers lost 2-1 to the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night in their second match of the 2018 preseason. A goal from Diego Valeri kept the first teams of the two sides even, but a moment of sloppy play in the second half opened the door for a Seattle winner.
With the presumed first teams on the pitch, the Sounders opened the scoring in just the 9th minute when Cristian Roldan knocked home a close range rebound. On the break, the Sounders found Harry Shipp cutting in from his post on the left flank and played the creative winger in behind the Timbers back line. Shipp went for goal and Jeff Attinella was able to knock the attempt away, but his sliding save left the Timbers keeper out of position as Roldan reached the ball first and was able to put it away.
Going down a goal seemed to help the Timbers shake off some of the off-season rust that had affected the team in the opening minutes.
The Timbers almost struck back in the 19th minute after earning a corner. David Guzman served in the chance and Larrys Mabiala rose up and put a strong header on goal only for Sounders keeper Stefan Frei to tip the ball up and over the bar.
The Sounders lead would not last much longer as the Timbers pulled even in the 24th minute. The Timbers broke down the pitch and worked the ball out wide to Sebastian Blanco wide on the left flank where the wily Argentine cut inside and served a curling cross into the box and into the path of Diego Valeri. The Maestro’s run split the Sounders’ center back pairing and as Blanco’s ball dropped to him, Valeri had only to nod it forward and into the back of the net.
As the second half got underway, the Timbers made wholesale changes, bringing in their youth and depth to close out the match. Matched up against the Sounders’ starters, the Timbers’ youngsters brought energy and flair to the pitch and created a series of half-chances to start the half.
With half an hour left, the Sounders made their changes as well, putting their own youngsters up against the Timbers and bringing some energy of their own.
The Sounders retook the lead in the 69th minute when an errant touch from Jack Barmby gave up possession on the edge of the Timbers box. After two deft passes into the box, Sounders homegrown player Handwalla Bwana hit a curling shot that dipped past Kendall McIntosh and inside the near post to make the score 2-1.
The two teams bounced off each other for the remainder of the match, with chances coming for both sides but neither breaking through.
The Timbers’ preseason continues on Wednesday, February 14th when they face off against the Houston Dynamo.