Jack McInerney proved to be too much for the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night, scoring in the 66th and 84th minutes to lead the Portland Timbers to a 2-1 win in the teams’ preseason matchup at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.
McInerney’s brace rallied the Timbers back from a 1-0 deficit early in the second half after Sounders second-year player and Homegrown forward Darwin Jones added another goal to his preseason tally in the 52nd minute, giving him two goals in two matches.
“I saw I had space with the defender,” Jones said. “I’m a pretty good 1 v. 1 player so I showed him outside, then I went in and he gave me the space. I saw the opening shot near post, so I took it.”
Jones, 23, started up on the left wing in the second half against the Timbers, which according to Head Coach Sigi Schmid, is his preferred position.
“He’s much more comfortable when he’s coming off the flank,” Schmid said. “That’s where he played tonight, and I thought we was dangerous on a lot of occasions.”
The Sounders played a mixed bag of first and second team players throughout the match, making wholesale changes at halftime.
Second-year midfielder Cristian Roldan and Homegrown midfielder Aaron Kovar got the start alongside veterans Obafemi Martins, Nelson Valdez, and Erik Friberg. Kovar played right wing while Roldan tested his mettle in Osvaldo Alonso’s holding midfielder role.
“I think I did well.” Roldan said. “In the final third I think I could have made a better decision but defensively and playing out of the back I thought I did well. I completed most of my passes and I had a good work rate so I’m pretty pleased with how it went.”
Three notable players missed the game on Saturday night: Clint Dempsey (rest) and Brad Evans (hamstring tightness) were both held out, while Homegrown Player Jordan Morris joined the team earlier in the day after wrapping up the U.S. national team’s January camp on Friday night.
The Sounders open the season back in Seattle in less than 3 weeks. The club will host Club America in the quarterfinals of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Feb. 23 at CenturyLink Field before ultimately opening the MLS regular season at home on March 6 against Sporting Kansas City.
The Sounders will play Ascenso MX side Celaya FC on Tuesday (6 p.m. PT), and the match will be available via live stream on SoundersFC.com.