It was not the way the Colorado Rapids wanted to start the preseason, but then again, it was only the first preseason match.
The Rapids dropped their preseason opener 3-1 to the Portland Timbers on a cold and windy morning at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz. Portland received fantastic goals from Diego Valeri and Kalif Alhassan on each side of the half before Jose Valencia put the game out of reach. Rapids rookies Dillon Powers and Kory Kindle then set up fellow draft pick Deshorn Brown who headed in Colorado's only tally late in the match.
The first good chance for either side didn't come until the 23rd minute, when Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens sent free kick that was flicked into space by Atiba Harris. Kamani Hill let the ball bounce one, and, after his mark slipped, hit a dipping first-time shot from outside the arc that clanked off the crossbar.
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Portland saw their first chance four minutes later and converted. Newcomer Diego Valeri, from a few yards from the left side of the box, curled in a free kick to the back post for the opening goal.
Both teams changed their entire starting 11 to begin the second half, and the young Rapids side quickly had a few chances on goal through the efforts of Andre Akpan and Deshorn Brown. But the player who stood out the most was trialist goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, who made several acrobatic saves throughout the final 45 minute, despite surrendering two goals.
Hoy se perdió el juego contra portland,pero seguiremos trabajando fuerte y corrigiendo errores para llegar a un 100% al torneo— hendry thomas (@buchuca) January 29, 2013
Portland stretched their lead to 2-0 in the 63rd when Kalif Alhassan got on the end of a lose ball just inside the left corner of the box and hit a dipping shot over Mauer to the far net.
Valencia made it 3-0 in the 79th when he picked off center back Shane O'Neill's outlet pass and tucked in a shot passed the diving attempt by Maurer.
The Rapids SuperDraft picks then combined to draw one back in the 87th. Dillon Powers took a short ball from Andre Akpan and sent Kory Kindle down the left side. Kindle's cross to the far post was met by first pick Deshorn Brown, who leaped high to head in his first goal of the preseason.
Colorado's next preseason match is on Thursday against the Houston Dynamo.
POR - Diego Valeri 28'
POR - Kalif Alhassan 63'
POR - Jose Valencia 79'
COL - Deshorn Brown 88'
Colorado Rapids lineup: Matt Pickens (Jimmy Maurer 46), Brian Mullan (Chris Klute 46), Drew Moor (Shane O'Neill 46), Diego Calderon (Nathan Sturgis 46), Anthony Wallace (Kory Kindle 46), Hendry Thomas (Nick LaBrocca 46), Pablo Mastroeni (Dillon Powers 46), Martin Rivero (Cesar Romero 44, Dillon Serna 46), Kamani Hill (Walter Martinez 46), Tony Cascio (Andre Akpan 46), Atiba Harris (Deshorn Brown 46)
NOTES: Brian Mullan started at right back...Marvell Wynne was held out with an ankle injury...Pablo Mastroeni played his first competitive match since March 18, 2012...Martin Rivero limped off the field late in the first half; we will provide an update on ColoradoRapids.com when we learn more.