CARSON, California - The Montreal Impact tied the Portland Timbers 0-0, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Friday, in its second of three preseason matchups against Major League Soccer clubs in California.
“I found that we matched them physically,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “We even set the tone, and there were some good moments soccer-wise. If we can keep doing that, then we feel like the good plays will come out.”
“We created a number of chances, especially in the first half,” said midfielder Davy Arnaud. “On another day, we might have had a few goals. The important thing is that we are getting chances.”
Impact forward Sanna Nyassi had the Impact’s first scoring chance in the 4th minute, firing a shot that hit off the crossbar. Nyassi then forced Timbers goalkeeper Joe Bendik into a good save in the 41st minute, and then volleyed another opportunity just over the net in the 44th minute.
Nyassi also set up forward Eduardo Sebrango, on trial with the team, with a through ball in the 10th minute, but Sebrango’s shot missed wide right.
“We really picked up from our last game against Houston,” said Nyassi. “We made sure that we were compact defensively and moved up well as a unit. It was unfortunate that we weren’t able to finish our chances.”
Defenders Zarek Valentin and Shavar Thomas defended well against a counter-attack in the 27th minute. Five minutes later, Valentin’s cross into the box resulted in two consecutive corners, but the Impact was unable to finish.
Brazilian midfielder Felipe had a chance at goal in the 39th minute, but his shot missed to the right of the Timbers goal.
Portland created better scoring opportunities in the second half. In the 58th minute, Timbers’ Franck Songo’o struck the ball off the post despite finding himself with an open net. Then, in the 67th minute, goalkeeper Greg Sutton, who came in for Donovan Ricketts at halftime, was forced into making a good save despite the play being called back offside.
In the 78th minute, the Impact earned another free-kick, this time Sinisa Ubiparipovic curled it into the box. Forward Evan James redirected the ball just over the net.
This tie brings the Impact’s record to 0-1-1 in Carson, losing its first game 2-0 to the MLS Cup finalist Houston Dynamo, on Wednesday.
0-0 VS THE LA BLUES
Following the contest against the Portland Timbers, the Impact played a 45-minute game against the third division LA Blues of the USL Pro league, which also ended in a 0-0 draw.
The best scoring chance for the Impact came in the 27th minute when midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic’s shot was cleared right off the goal line by a Blues’ defender.
Five minutes later, young Mexican forward Martin Galvan, on trial with the Impact, chipped the keeper only to see the ball hit the crossbar.
The team will play its next preseason game in California against the LA Galaxy, 2011 MLS Cup champions, Tuesday at 1:30pm (ET).
First half lineup vs Portland: GK-Donovan Ricketts; D-Josh Gardner, D-Tyson Wahl, D-Shavar Thomas, D-Zarek Valentin; M-Collen Warner, M-Felipe, M-Patrice Bernier, M-Davy Arnaud; F- Sanna Nyassi, F-Eduardo Sebrango
2nd half lineup vs Portland: GK-Greg Sutton; D-Jeb Brovsky, D-Zarek Valentin (Gatti 62’), D-Shavar Thomas (Garcia 62’), D-Tyson Wahl (Pizzolitto 62’); M-Evan James, M-Brian Arguez, M-Felipe (Ubiparipovic 62’), M-Collen Warner (Mayen 56’); F-Sanna Nyassi (Wenger 62’), F-Davy Arnaud (Montano 62’)
Lineup vs LA Blues : GK-Evan Bush; D-Calum Mallace, D-Nevio Pizzolitto, D-Gienir Garcia, D-Simon Gatti (Tom Mellor 15’); M-Gerson Mayen, M-Sinisa Ubiparipovic, M-Miguel Montano, M-Mircea Ilcu; F-Aaron Schoenfeld, A-Andrew Wenger (Martin Galvan 15’)