Brunner goal gives Timbers undefeated preseason
The Portland Timbers concluded an eight-game string of preseason matches without a loss on Saturday in San Jose against the Earthquakes.
Defender Eric Brunner put Portland on top 1-0 in the 52nd minute, slotting a loose ball after a corner kick. In the 69th, San Jose drew even on Chris Wondolowski’s penalty kick.
Portland had another goal erased by an offside penalty.
“If you looked at the game through honest eyes, I think you’d have to say a tie was a fair result,” Timbers coach John Spencer told MLSsoccer.com. “We had a look at some chances and I thought we were unlucky to have the penalty called [against us].”
The Timbers look ahead to the final seven days of preparation before their official entry into their MLS season, March 19 at Colorado. An undefeated preseason slate preserves the team’s growing confidence.
“That’s one of the targets we set for the group,” Spencer said. “It was a challenge I thought we could meet. Go undefeated for the preseason, not concede goals, be compact. I’m quite happy with that.”
Midfielder Sal Zizzo fell and landed awkwardly on his shoulder in the 39th minute and left the game. Spencer said Zizzo was removed as a precaution and that he would have the shoulder looked at back in Portland.
Brunner, a defender who scored twice in 39 games with the Columbus Crew, netted his first goal as a Timber. San Jose failed to clear a corner kick and Brunner drilled the ball into the top corner of the net from just inside the 18-yard box.
Brunner’s goal was the seventh scored by the Timbers in the preseason – all by different players.
Spencer said he feels ready for the start of the regular season.
“I am very calm,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it. This is what we’ve all wanted as a group, I’ve wanted to be a head coach for a couple of years, and now we have an opportunity. At this point we have nothing to be nervous about.”