Sounders edge Timbers in preseason affair

bwana-celb
Bwana after his winning goal. (Sounders FC photo)

TUCSON, AZ—Cristian Roldan and Handwalla Bwana scored as Seattle Sounders FC defeated Cascadia rival Portland Timbers 2-1 in a preseason friendly Saturday evening at Kino Sports Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. This marks the second consecutive win of the 2018 preseason presented by adidas, following a 3-1 win over the Club Tijuana U-20 side on January 28. Brian Schmetzer’s club returns to action tomorrow with a closed-door scrimmage against Columbus Crew SC at the University of Arizona.

With lineups for both sides featuring a number full-strength players, Seattle and Portland renewed their longtime Cascadia rivalry in the desert, with the Rave Green wasting little time drawing first blood. After Harry Shipp placed an initial shot on-goal that produced a point-blank save from Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Antinella, returning United States Men’s National Team midfielder Cristian Roldan bullied his way through the scrum, placing a shot into the back of Portland’s net for his first preseason strike of 2018. The goal came in the match’s ninth minute of play.

Both sides traded blows throughout the first half, with one of Portland’s best chances coming in the 19th minute, as Larrys Mabiala forced Stefan Frei into a punching save. The Seattle netminder preserved his side’s lead by denying the Frenchman.

Roldan after goal
Roldan made it 1-0 Sounders. (Sounders FC photo)

However, Portland was able to capitalize five minutes later, this time with Diego Valeri leading the line. The Timbers playmaker was played into goal by fellow attacker Sebastián Blanco, converting his shot to make the score one goal apiece.

After wholesale changes to his lineup in the 62nd minute, Brian Schmetzer’s second unit grabbed the go-ahead goal in the 74th minute. New Homegrown signing Handwalla Bwana netted his second goal of preseason play after scoring on January 28 against Club Tijuana’s U-20 side. Midfielder Zach Mathers earned the assist Bwana’s strike.

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