Timbers vs. Sounders
Preseason soccer: Jack Mac on the attack
Newly minted Timber scores a brace
A capacity crowd of 3,112 fans packed Kino Stadium on Saturday night to get a taste of American soccer’s fiercest rivalry. By the time the green smoke and chants faded, the Portland Timbers got the better of their Cascadia opponents, Seattle Sounders FC, in this round of their long-standing feud.
Seattle and U.S. national team standout Clint Dempsey was left off of the line-up, but the first half featured his frequent strike partner Obafemi Martins. Despite the fire power brought by both teams, neither was able to score.
It fell to the second-half teams to bring the goals. Seattle’s Darwin Jones put his team on the board in the 53rd minute, but the lead wasn’t to last long as newly acquired Timber Jack McInerney, a second-half substitute, scored from the center of the box in the 66th minute.
McInerney lengthened the Portland lead in the waning minutes of the match when he finished a cross from Tyler Peay.
The goals came in McInerney’s first appearance this preseason. McInerney has had a tough time finding long lasting spot with an MLS squad, having played with both Montreal and Columbus since being released by the Philadelphia Union in 2014.
Portland coach Caleb Porter seemed to expect the strong performance from his new forward.
“I love Jack McInerney scoring two goals. We knew he had that in him,” said Porter. “We put him in great spots. When you put him in a good spot he’ll finish.”
“He’s not going to be flash and dash. He’ll just finish,” Porter added.
McInerney didn’t seem to mind having to wait until his team’s third match to get his chance.
“It felt good,” said McInerney. “It is the third game and we haven’t had too many chances. To get two goals in front of this many fans will help our confidence.”
Portland finishes off their stay in Tucson with a match against Real Salt Lake on Thursday. Seattle will be looking for their first preseason win on Tuesday with a match against Mexican club Celaya FC.
Ted Prezelski writes about all things soccer, fútbol and piłka nożna for TucsonSentinel.com and at the blog How Flair is Punished (mindingthe.net).