Portland Timbers opened play in the 2014 Rose City Invitational, presented by
Parklane Mattresses, with a 1-0 loss against the San Jose Earthquakes in
preseason play before 13,503 fans at Providence Park on Sunday night.
San Jose (1-3-0 in preseason) recorded the game's lone goal in the 26th minute against the run of play when midfielder Shea Salinas quickly played a short corner kick to midfielder Sam Cronin near the edge of the penalty box. Cronin delivered a bending cross toward the far right post that defender Clarence Goodson redirected back in front of the goal. Both Timbers defender Norberto Paparatto and San Jose forward Steven Lenhart jumped for the ball with Paparatto ultimately deflecting the ball into Portland's net while trying to clear the ball over the goal.
Despite the early setback, the Timbers (2-1-2 in preseason) continued dictate the flow of the game and hold the majority of possession, outshooting San Jose 17-6 in the match and forcing Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch into seven saves.
Timbers forward Gastόn Fernández delivered a dangerous free kick to the far right post in the 42nd minute that caused Busch to make a diving stop. Just minutes later, Fernández again forced Busch into action with a right-footed shot destined for the lower right corner. Busch dove to his left and parried the shot away from goal.
One of Portland's best scoring opportunities came early in the first half when forward Darlington Nagbe threaded a pinpoint pass through the San Jose defense to find forward Maximiliano Urruti making a run into the top of the penalty box. Urruti took a touch and delivered a low drive that Busch partially saved, slowing the shot down enough for a defender to track back and clear the ball away from the goal line in the 21st minute.
Looking for the equalizer, Portland maintained offensive pressure in the second half as both Urruti and Nagbe saw efforts saved in the first 15 minutes of the second half. The Timbers recorded an 8-2 edge in shots during the final 45 minutes of the match.
Fernández saw a low drive saved in the 73rd minute and the Timbers had two ventures into the penalty box during second-half stoppage time disrupted by the San Jose defense.
Midfielder Diego Valeri made his preseason debut on Sunday, entering the match as a substitute for Kalif Alhassan in the 62nd minute.
The two teams combined for 27 fouls and five yellow cards in what was, at times, a physical match. San Jose received four cautions, including three yellow cards in the second half.
Timbers continue their preseason schedule in the Rose City Invitational on
Wednesday against Jamaican side Portmore United FC at Providence Park at 7:30
Release from Portland Timbers.