PORTLAND, Ore. — Club América star midfielder Ángel Reyna came into Thursday’s friendly against the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field with a big crowd to please, and he didn’t disappoint, helping las Águilas soar over the hosts with a 1-0 win.
Eager to see one of Mexico’s premier players on one of the country's most historic clubs, Águilas supporters came in droves, armed with drums, horns and chants that rivaled the famed Timbers Army. In front of a crowd of 17,198, Reyna found the net in the 16th minute on a right-footed blast to lift his team to victory.
The goal came after a series of beautifully placed passes. First, defender Óscar Rojas sent in a pass to Vicente Sánchez through several defenders. The forward then found Reyna through traffic in the goal box to set up the shot, and Reyna did his part by finding the net, hitting a hard shot that deflected off the post and in.
Reyna, who played on Mexico’s recent Gold Cup-winning squad, scored 13 goals for América in Mexico’s Primera División to take home the Golden Boot for the 2011 Clausura. He has been a fan favorite since he joined the club in 2008.
The fashion in which América started the match — attacking and easily advancing possession up the field — it was only a matter of time before they found the net. The Mexican side fired off three shots, including one off the goalpost, in the game’s first 10 minutes.
América, preparing for the upcoming 2011 Apertura season, which they will kick off July 24, had nine shots to Portland’s six in the first half. Both teams used a number of reserves in the second half.
With most the Timbers' top players looking on — obviously resting for perhaps their most important and highly anticipated match of the season against bitter rivals Seattle Sounders on Sunday — the team started slowly. While América were fast on the ball, the Timbers did make effective adjustments following the goal, picking up the pace and showing some fight.
The Timbers tried to answer back by way of Ryan Pore and later via Kenny Cooper, but neither forward found success.
In the 31st minute, Rodrigo Lopez mailed in a cross for Pore, who had an open chance at a goal. Pore got his head on it but América 'keeper Armando Navarrete stretched out to deny the equalizer.
The Timbers' best chance at a first-half goal, however, came when Cooper found himself onside behind the Águilas' defense and onside, but his attempt sailed over the goal.
In the second half, it was Cooper again who led the Timbers' attack. The big striker took a shot from the edge of the box on the hour mark that forced Navarrete into a save near his post.
Still chasing the equalizer in the dying moments of the game, Portland's Kalif Alhassan just missed the mark from 19 yards out in the 80th minute.
Two minutes from the end, another goal opportunity went by the boards for Portland when defender Kevin Goldthwaite had a clear shot sail high off a corner kick.
The Timbers next take the pitch at 4 pm ET on Sunday, when they host rivals Seattle Sounders in an ESPN-televised match.
CAM -- Angel Reyna (Vicente Sanchez) 16
CAM -- Joaquin Martinez (caution; Reckless Foul) 30
POR -- James Marcelin (caution; Reckless Foul) 62
CAM -- Isaac Acuna (caution; Reckless Foul) 86
POR -- Chris Taylor (caution; Reckless Foul) 94+
Club America -- Armando Navarrete (Hugo Gonzalez 71), Oscar Rojas (Erik Pimentel 46), Jorge Reyes, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Edgar Castillo (George Corral 46), Jesus Molina (Miguel Layun 46), Angel Reyna (Isaac Acuna 46), Joaquin Martinez, Daniel Montenegro (Raul Alonso Jimenez 46) (Patricio Trevino 71), Vicente Sanchez (Alejandro Chavez 46), Matias Vuoso (Daniel Marquez 46).
Portland Timbers -- Adin Brown (Jake Gleeson 46), Chris Taylor, John Thompson, Kevin Goldthwaite, Alex Ignjatovic (Mamadou Danso 83), Freddie Braun (Kalif Alhassan 83), James Marcelin (Peter Lowry 71), Rodrigo Lopez, Kenny Cooper (Brian Umony 68), Ryan Pore, Sal Zizzo (Bright Dike 71).
Referee: Alejandro Mariscal
Referee's Assistants: Baboucarr Jallow; Desmond Miller
4th Official: Ronald Lagraff
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Cloudy and 66 degrees