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Timbers have some quality, just no goals

San Jose wins preseason game 1-0 on own goal


The Portland Timbers' first appearance at the newly named Providence Park did not quite go according to plan.

The Timbers looked good for large stretches of the night during their preseason match against the San Jose Earthquakes. Portland controlled the ball well, had dangerous service into the box and put up a lot of shots.

The Timbers were unable to get the ball in the back of the net, though, and after an own goal by defender Norberto Paparatto in the 26th minute, they walked away with a 1-0 loss before an announced crowd of 13,503.

“I’m never going to be happy if we leave our home field not scoring a goal and not getting points out of the game,” Timbers coach Caleb Porter said. “Part of it is you have to give credit to San Jose. But we had a ton of the ball and a ton of shots. We needed a bit more quality. Maybe a bit more directness at times.

"We were close a lot, but in the end, we didn’t score a goal over 90 minutes.”

The Timbers outshot the Earthquakes 17-6. Portland also put seven balls on frame compared to zero by San Jose.

The own goal came on a breakdown by the back line on a set piece.

The Earthquakes sent a cross into the 18-yard-box. San Jose defender Clarence Goodson got the ball on the right side of the box and hit a volley toward the goal.

Paparatto, in his first year with the Timbers, tried to head it away. The only thing he accomplished was sending the ball past Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.

“We fell asleep,” Porter said. “The guys weren’t where they were supposed to be. I addressed it after the game.”

There was no chanting from the Timbers Army, who apparently elected to save their enthusiasm for the regular season. But the Timbers (2-1-2 in preseason) attacked from the beginning, moving the ball up the pitch and sending dangerous crosses into the box.

Throughout the first half, the Timbers peppered the San Jose goal with nine shots. But Portland was unable to get a shot past San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch, who finished the half with four saves.

The Earthquakes put up only four shots in the half.

“The first 25 minutes was some of the best football I’ve seen all year,” Porter said.

The match was much more even in terms of possession in the second half.

The Timbers had their opportunities to score, especially in the final minutes, when they threw numbers forward.

Portland will continue its Rose City Invitational on Wednesday against Jamaican side Portmore United. The Timbers will play their final preseason match Saturday at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

“In the end, I’m not satisfied (with Sunday night’s game),” Porter said. “But if we keep playing the way we did, but have a little bit more quality, we’ll be fine.”