By FRANCO PANIZO
A scoreless draw seemed to be in the books for the Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo, but a pair of late goals ensured there would be a victor.
Will Johnson and Maximiliano Urruti each found the back of the net in the final 10 minutes to push Portland past Houston, 2-0, at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz. on Wednesday. The victory improved the Timbers to 1-0-1 in preseason and dropped the Dynamo to 1-2.
The match – which was divided into three 30-minute periods – was on its way to ending goal-less but Gaston Fernandez and Urruti combined before Johnson scored the winner in the 80th minute. Three minutes later, Fernandez once again played the facilitator, assisting on Urruti’s insurance goal.
Here are more MLS preseason results:
DIKE FINDS LATE WINNER AS TFC TOP D.C. UNITED
In a battle of clubs with remade rosters, Toronto FC edged out D.C. United on Wednesday.
Toronto FC topped D.C., 1-0, courtesy of a late goal from Bright Dike. The decisive play in the game came in the 85th minute, with Dike finishing off a cross from the left with a one-timed finish.
Michael Bradley served as captain for Toronto in its first preseason game of the year and played 45 minutes before being substituted.
WHITECAPS KNOCK OFF INDY XI
That is the Omar Salgado the Vancouver Whitecaps are hoping to see this season.
Salgado donned the hero’s cape and helped the Whitecaps squeeze by Indy XI, scoring a late brace in a 3-2 victory over the NASL club. Salgado, who is finally healthy after struggling with injuries the past two seasons, scored in the 77th and 81st minutes to turn a 2-1 deficit into a lead for Vancouver.
Ben Fisk opened the scoring in the match with a 26th-minute goal, but Indy XI found an equalizer three minutes later. The NASL side then took a lead in the 71st before Salgado came to the rescue.
MARTINS BRACE LIFTS SOUNDERS PAST EARTHQUAKES
The Seattle Sounders are expecting Obafemi Martins to help carry more of the offensive load this season. If preseason is any indication, he seems up to the task.
The Sounders defeated the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1, on Wednesday through a first-half brace from Martins. The Nigerian forward scored two goals in the span of three minutes, netting in the 27th and 29th to give Seattle a 2-0 lead going into halftime.
San Jose pulled one back through Mike Fucito in the 86th minute, but ran out of time before being able to find an equalizer.
CREW OUST SWEDISH CHAMPIONS MALMO
It may not have officially counted, but Gregg Berhalter saw his Columbus Crew pick up a win in his first match in charge.
The Crew picked up a 1-0 victory over Allsvenskan champions Malmo FF in Bradenton, Fla. following a second-half strike through Jairo Arrieta. The goal came following a Justin Meram free kick in the 50th minute and Columbus’ defense held firm and posted the shutout to ensure Berhalter would win his first game as Crew head coach.
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