Sounders play to scoreless tie in exhibition
Sounders tie rival Portland in physical exhibition match in Tucson
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Sounders FC and the Portland Timbers played to a scoreless tie in exhibition soccer Saturday, played in front of 1,712 at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.
While the rivals didn’t produce any goals, they did combine for five yellow cards in a physical first meeting since last year’s Western Conference semifinals, a two-game series Portland won, 5-3 on aggregate.
The Sounders are 2-0-1 in preseason and next play the Vancouver Whitecaps at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, their final game in Arizona before coming home.
The Timbers nearly found a shocking winner in the final moments Saturday, when Seattle goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann misplayed a ball coming out of his penalty box, but a shot by Portland’s Frederic Piquionne toward an empty net was cleared away on a sliding save by defender Jalil Anibaba.
The Sounders’ best scoring chances came through forward Obafemi Martins, who had scored twice in Wednesday’s exhibition opener against San Jose. The production nearly continued in the 11th minute against the Timbers, but his header off a cross from DeAndre Yedlin sailed high and wide.
Martins then got behind the Portland defense in the 29th minute, set up nicely by midfielder Brad Evans, but he was tackled off the ball before he could get a clean shot away.
The game was divided into three 30-minute periods, with most of Seattle’s starters playing 60 minutes. The Sounders welcomed two returning U.S. internationals to the lineup, Evans and Yedlin, after they had spent a month away with the national team. New acquisition Marco Pappa could see his first preseason action Sunday.