TUCSON, Arizona (Saturday, February 23, 2019) – Real Salt Lake fell to the Portland Timbers 3-0 on Saturday night in Tucson, Arizona, closing the club’s 2019 preseason before the commencement of the 2019 Major League Soccer regular season on March 2.
The match began heavily in Portland’s favor with the Timbers finding a goal in the fifth minute when Jeremy Ebobisse snuck a first-time shot past Nick Rimando for the early lead. RSL’s best chance of the first half fell to the feet of Corey Baird, but his right footed effort from close range was pushed aside by Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella after 38 minutes.
Portland found a second goal right before the halftime whistle blew when Diego Valeri’s pass inside the penalty area found its way to a sliding Sebastian Blanco who clipped the ball past Rimando for the two-goal lead.
RSL came out of the halftime break as the aggressor, maintaining possession and immediately forcing Attinella into several big saves in the first 20 minutes of the half. Portland extended its lead in the 73rd minute when Andy Polo’s effort beat Rimando from a tight angle. Head Coach Mike Petke elected to play the starting group for the full 90 minutes, making no changes in the match.
RSL pressed to get back into the match, but to no avail as the match ended 3-0 in favor of Portland, ending RSL’s six-week preseason.
NEXT UP: RSL will open its 15th season in Major League Soccer on March 2 when it visits the Houston Dynamo at 4:00 p.m. MT. RSL will begin the home portion of the 2019 schedule the following week, hosting Vancouver Whitecaps FC on March 9 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
POR: Jeremy Ebobisse (Andy Polo), 5th minute: Streaking down the right flank, Polo found the wide-open run of Ebobisse who’s first-time volley inside the area snuck past RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
POR: Sebastian Blanco (Diego Valeri), 44th minute: Diego Valeri’s pass inside the penalty area found its way to a sliding Sebastian Blanco who clipped the ball past Rimando for the two-goal lead.
POR: Andy Polo (Diego Valeri), 73rd minute: Breaking free to go 1v1 against RSL defender Aaron Herrera, Polo generated space before toe-poking the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Nick Rimando for the three-goal lead.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs Portland Timbers
Date: February 23, 2019
Venue: Kino Sports Complex
Weather: Sunny and 54 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
Portland Timbers 2 1 3
POR: Jeremy Ebobisse (Andy Polo) 5’
POR: Sebastian Blanco (Diego Valeri) 44’
POR: Andy Polo (Diego Valeri) 73’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Brooks Lennon, Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva, Aaron Herrera; Kyle Beckerman, Everton Luiz, Damir Kreilach; Jefferson Savarino, Corey Baird, Albert Rusnák
Portland Timbers (4-2-3-1): Jeff Attinella; Zarek Valentin, Larrys Mabiala, Julio Cascante, Jorge Villafaña; David Guzmán (Renzo Zambrano, 86’), Diego Chara, Andy Polo, Deigo Valeri, Sebastian Blanco (Eryk Williamson, 81’); Jeremy Ebobisse