Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/USA Today
By MIKE DONOVAN
PORTLAND, Ore.- The Rose City Invitational wrapped up Saturday at Providence Park with the San Jose Earthquakes earning a victory and the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps playing to a hard-fought draw.
In the day’s first matchup, the Earthquakes beat Portmore United, 1-0, behind a Cordell Cato goal. Cato’s first half goal was all San Jose needed to defeat the Jamaican side, who was outshot for the third consecutive match.
San Jose’s lineup consisted mostly of players who are expected to start when the MLS season starts later this month. One exception might be Adam Jahn who started over an injured Steven Lenhart, who left Wednesday’s match after being kicked in the foot.
San Jose was able to shutout an opponent for the second time this week, while Jon Busch allowed just one goal in his 225 minutes of action during the tournament. The Quakes will next be in action with a friendly versus Sacramento Republic FC in Turlock, Calif. on Wednesday, followed by a CONCACAF Champions League match with Toluca on March 11th.
Portmore United, meanwhile, will head into their offseason after their first tour outside the Carribbean in their club’s history.
The nightcap featured regional rivals and despite the preseason nature of the match, the teams did not shy away physical play and tough challenges. The game ended in a 1-1 tie, with Will Johnson and Sebastian Fernandez each finding the net.
Minutes after the opening whistle, Johnson scored on a free kick when Caps goalkeeper David Ousted fumbled the ball into his own goal.
Vancouver’s answer came just 11 minutes from full time, when Kekuta Manneh was brought down in the box by Timbers defender Jack Jewsbury. Sebastian Fernandez’s penalty kick snuck under a sprawling Donovan Ricketts to give the Whitecaps a share of the spoils.
Both clubs led off the match with their expected regular season starters with Diego Valeri making his first start of the preseason.
The Timbers open the regular season at home against the Philadelphia Union, while the Caps will host the New York Red Bulls. Both matches will take place on Saturday.