The Portland Timbers wrapped up their 2021 preseason preparations today with a pair of scrimmages against their old friends the Seattle Sounders at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington, both of which ended in draws. The first match was a full ninety minutes between nearly first team lineups, while the abbreviated second match giving a run to bench players and trialists. And once again, there was no livestream of the action provided, so for most of us the games unfolded via Twitter.
The first match featured mostly starters, who almost all went a full ninety minutes for the first time this preseason. Conspicuously absent from the first lineup was Jeremy Ebobisse, who had been getting a lot of run out with the presumptive starters for almost all of the 2021 preseason. Ebobisse would not wind up appearing in the second match either.
Today, we're playing two final preseason friendlies against @SoundersFC. Our game #1 lineup:— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) March 30, 2021
Asprilla, Bravo, D. Chara, Y. Chara, Clark, Mabiala, Mora, Paredes, Valeri, Van Rankin, Zuparic
Updates will come on this thread! #RCTID @OldTrapper
The first half appeared to proceed unremarkably, which is somewhat surprising for a game against Seattle, even in preseason. Nonetheless, the game stayed deadlocked at zeroes for the first hour. Then, the Timbers were re-introduced to the agony of posts, near-misses, and cruel irony as Felipe Mora hit the post, and the Sounders scored just after:
After a Felipe Mora header goes off the post in the 60th minute, Seattle score in the 62nd to go up 1-0.— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) March 30, 2021
Upon further perusing of social channels, it was discovered that Seattle’s goal was scored by none other than Portland’s old foe Fredy Montero, who made his return to the Sounders this year after a stint abroad and spending the last two years with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Portland made two changes in the 75th minute, bringing on Eryk Williamson and 17 year-old academy striker Tega Ikoba for Cristhian Paredes and Mora, respectively. Despite the changes, it appeared that Seattle would take the first friendly by a goal. That was until the 85th minute, when Yimmi Chara served up a cross for resident “Guy who only scores in seasons with a prefix” and “Seattle killer” Dairon Asprilla to head into the net.
It was Asprilla’s second goal of the 2021 preseason, and it rescued a draw for the Timbers, as the first scrimmage would end 1-1.
The second game of the day against Seattle featured lineups that were almost entirely reserve players and trialists. Ikoba and Williamson joined the second group as well, after their fifteen minute cameo in the first match.
The second match started very similarly to the first one, with neither side finding a breakthrough and the game remaining scoreless at halftime. As the first half ended, in a move seemingly designed to avoid the late afternoon I-5 traffic, it was announced that the second half of the second scrimmage would only last thirty minutes.
The second half kicked off with one huge substitution:
Second half is underway with one change:— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) March 30, 2021
Trialist 4 replaces Trialist 3.
That change would be the only update of note during the second half, as the second preseason scrimmage between the Timbers and Sounders would end goalless, as Portland leaves the second home of their northern rivals with a pair of preseason draws.
With preseason matches firmly in the rearview, the Portland Timbers will now look to start preparing for next week, as their 2021 season kicks off in earnest next Tuesday in Honduras with the first leg of their Round of 16 matchup against CD Marathon in the Concacaf Champions League.