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MLS Pre-Season Rewind: Johnson’s hat-trick helps Timbers tie Earthquakes, Sounders beat RSL, and more

If the Portland Timbers were hoping to make Ryan Johnson the target striker in their 4-3-3 formation, then Sunday’s performance in the Portland Pre-Season Tournament bodes well for the Timbers’ plans for the Jamaican striker.

Johnson delivered three goals in Portland’s 3-3 draw vs. the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday night. Argentine playmaker Diego Valeri helped set up a pair of Johnson’s goals to give fans at Jeld-Wen Field a glimpse of what could be a dangerous attack in 2013.

The Earthquakes took advantage of Timbers mistakes to walk away with the draw. Chris Wondolowski converted a penalty kick drawn by a handball in the second minute of the match, while Mike Fucito netted the equalizer late on after a Timbers giveaway gave San Jose a final chance at tying the match.

Here are the match highlights, and a look at some of the weekend’s other MLS pre-season action:


The newly-formed strike tandem of Kenny Cooper and Blas Perez was unable to muster any goals on Sunday as they debuted in FC Dallas’ scoreless draw vs. Swedish side AIK at the Portland Pre-Season Tournament.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez performed well in goal as a second-half replacement for Chris Seitz and the new FCD netminder saved a handful of chances from the Swedish club.

Dallas did create some chances, but were unable to convert, with Cooper and Perez both squandering quality opportunities.


In a scene that had to bring a serious sense of deja vu, Honduran midfielder Mario Martinez delivered a beautiful goal to help the Seattle Sounders beat Real Salt Lake, 2-1, on Saturday in the Desert Diamond Cup.

Martinez scored the winner for the Sounders to eliminate Real Salt Lake from last year’s MLS playoffs, and he was at it again on Saturday, belting a perfect shot to seal RSL’s fate.

Seattle trialist Phillip Lund wound up scoring the eventual winner, making it 2-0 before RSL rookie John Stertzer pulled one back for Real Salt Lake.

Here are the match highlights.


An early Juninho goal helped get the New York Red Bulls off to a promising start on Saturday, but New England responded with three unanswered goals on their way to a 3-1 victory in Desert Diamond Cup action in Tucson.

A Lee Nguyen penalty kick, Jerry Bengtson header and Juan Toja insurance goal helped the Revs beat their Eastern Conference rivals, who were without the services of Dax McCarty for precautionary reasons.

Here are the match highlights.

The loss was the first of the pre-season for the Red Bulls, who return to Desert Diamond Cup action on Wednesday against the Sounders, while the Revs take on RSL on Wednesday.


What did you think of this weekend’s pre-season action? Starting to believe the hype about the Timbers attack? See the Sounders doing well without Fredy Montero? Starting to think New England could turn things around in 2013?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I’d like to nitpick and say that the Quakes lineup was not by any means the best 11, but unfortunately, for at least the first month of the season, that’s probably the lineup we’re going to see (except Bostock, who we don’t know if the Quakes can sign) The loss of Beitashour, Chavez, and Gordon for a good part of the season is really going to hurt the team. Last year they relied on outscoring opponents and could live with a relatively porous defense, but without the Bash Bros and the crossing ability of Chavez & Beitashour, that won’t fly.

    Congrats to Ryan Johnson for finally putting it together. He’s getting to be a dangerous striker, although his performance at the Mexico qualifier brought back not so fond memories of his Quake days.

  2. Jamaica could have used this kind of finishing from Ryan Johnson in Azteca against Mexico the other night. That last goal especially looked like one or two of the great opportunities he had against Mexico, but didn’t finish. Hope he goes dormant again against the US in the Hex.

  3. Hope the Revs can turn things around in 2013 (they really can’t get much worse than they have been the last couple of years.) Might be tough with Sene coming off his ACL injury from last year and Bengston pulling double-duty with the Honduran national team but they are deeper than last year…at least on paper.

    Also – and I realize this is nitpicking – Toja set up the final goal for the Revs but it was trialist Marko Jesic who slotted it home.

  4. I like Lee Nguyen a lot. It’s unfortunate he essentially wasted three years of his development, because you can see the talent in him. I hope he can continue pushing himself and earns time with the US team. I expect him to have a good showing in the Gold Cup if given the chance.


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