Forward Mauro Manotas scored as the Houston Dynamo opened their preseason trip to Tucson with a 1-1 draw against the 2015 MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers on Wednesday night at Kino Sports Complex.
Next up, the Dynamo face the San Jose Earthquakes at 6 p.m. CT on Saturday. The match will be streamed live at HoustonDynamo.com/live.
Manotas, a former Colombia U-20 national team player, capped a quick counterattack with the equalizing goal in the 74th minute. From the defensive third of the field, the ball cycled wide to midfielder Leonel Miranda and the Argentine used one touch to play a through ball in front of Manotas. The 20-year-old beat his marker and finished calmly from 15 yards to make it 1-1 with a quarter hour remaining.
The Timbers struck first with a well-taken goal from Colombian winger Dairon Asprilla. Portland took advantage after Dynamo defender DaMarcus Beasley slipped in possession near his own penalty area. Asprilla fired to his right past defender Sebastien Ibeagha and drove a low shot off the inside of the far post for the opening goal.
In the first of three friendly matches in Arizona, Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle used 24 players. His starting lineup included nine returning players from the 2015 squad: Tyler Deric, Sheanon Williams, Raul Rodriguez, Alex Lima, Boniek Garcia, Rob Lovejoy, Giles Barnes, Erick Torres and Beasley. New midfielder Andrew Wenger and Ibeagha, a former Dynamo Academy defender, were the newcomers in the starting lineup.
In the second half, Coyle brought on 11 new players, including returning players Joe Willis, David Horst, Leonel Miranda, Rasheed Olabiyi, Zach Steinberger and Manotas as well as signing Jalil Anibaba and a pair of 2016 MLS SuperDraft picks – TJ Casner and Ivan Magalhaes – along with Bradley Bourgeois, another recent Homegrown signing, and Rio Grande Valley FC signing Dzenan Catic, who played a part in Manotas’ goal.
Coyle held three players out as injury precautions: Cristian Maidana, Will Bruin and Ricardo Clark. All three have trained in Tucson this week and have minor ailments.
Houston’s best scoring chances included Casner clipping the top of the crossbar midway through the second half after an impressive move from the left flank. Later, Miranda forced Portland goalkeeper Jake Gleeson to tip his 25-yard free kick over the crossbar. Then Catic took a pass from Steinberger and fired from 12 yards but his shot was blocked.
The Dynamo will train Thursday and Friday in Tucson ahead of Saturday’s friendly against the Earthquakes.
Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers
February 3, 2016 – Kino Sports Complex – Tucson, Arizona
POR: Dairon Asprilla 1 (unassisted) 38
HOU: Mauro Manotas 1 (Leonel Miranda 1) 74
Houston Dynamo first half – Tyler Deric; Sheanon Williams Raul Rodriguez, Sebastien Ibeagha, DaMarcus Beasley, Andrew Wenger, Alex Lima, Boniek Garcia, Rob Lovejoy; Giles Barnes; Erick Torres
Houston Dynamo second half – Joe Willis; Bradley Bourgeois (Taylor Hunter 83), David Horst, Jalil Anibaba, Ivan Magalhaes*; Leonel Miranda, Rasheed Olabiyi, Zach Steinberger, TJ Casner*; Dzenan Catic** (Christian Lucatero 83); Mauro Manotas
**Rio Grand Valley FC signing
Portland Timbers first half – Kwarasey; Alvas Powell, Nat Borchers, Jermaine Taylor, Valentin; Ben Zemanski, Diego Chara, Asprilla, Diego Valeri, Lucas Melano; Fanendo Adi
Portland Timbers second half – Gleeson; Peay, Morley^, Manning, Thoma, Idowu+, Nick Besler, Brett^ (Belmar+, 81), Avila*, Polk^ (Seaton, 81), Jack McInerney
^2016 MLS SuperDraft pick
+signed by T2 (USL affiliate)