The Portland Timbers began the Costa Rican leg of their preseason preparations with a 2-1 win Saturday afternoon over Saprissa at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa.
Head coach Giovanni Savarese deployed a near-full-strength starting lineup, and midfielder Diego Valeri repaid that trust by curling home a free kick for the 1-0 lead in the ninth minute.
After Portland made wholesale changes for the second half, Saprissa found an equalizer in the 65th minute, only for the Timbers to deposit the go-ahead strike in the 77th minute. Recent Timbers 2 signing Ken Krolicki, who spent the last two years with the Montreal Impact, deposited from close range for the 2-1 lead.
The win capped off a busy week for Portland after signing a pair of forwards: Jaroslaw Niezgoda and Felipe Mora. The former was inked to a Designated Player deal from Legia Warsaw in Portland, while the latter is on loan from Liga MX club Pumas UNAM with an option to purchase. Mora made his preseason debut, as did Yimmi Chara, who signed earlier this offseason as a Designated Player from Atletico Mineiro.
The Timbers return to preseason action Wednesday when facing Municipal Grecia, while Saprissa will host Montreal on Feb. 19 in their Concacaf Champions League opener.
- 9' – POR – Diego Valeri
- 65' – SAP
- 77' – POR – Ken Krolicki
Portland XI (first half): Steve Clark; Jorge Moreira, Julio Cascante, Dario Zuparic, Jorge Villafana; Sebastian Blanco, Diego Chara, Diego Valeri, Andy Polo; Yimmi Chara, Felipe Mora
Portland XI (second half): Aljaz Ivacic; Chris Duvall, Larrys Mabiala, Zac McGraw, Marco Farfan; Marcus Epps, Aaron Molloy, Renzo Zambrano, Tomas Conechny; Ryan Sierakowski, Dairon Asprilla
*NOTE: Exact formations weren't made public for Portland