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Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Portland wraps HDC stay with win

By Scott French

If there were an MVP honor for Southern California's preseason slate, Portland Timbers trialist Franck Songo'o would be celebrating.

The Cameroonian midfielder, looking to move to Major League Soccer from Spanish club Albacete, burnished his chances to make the Timbers' roster with two more assists in a 2-0 win Wednesday over the Chicago Fire at Home Depot Center.

Songo'o also had two assists in a man-of-the-match performance in Portland's 4-1 romp over the Galaxy eight days ago. The Timbers were the most impressive of the eight teams training in SoCal -- that number includes the Galaxy and Chivas USA -- posting a 3-0-1 record. They also beat Houston, 2-0, and drew, 0-0, with Montreal.

Eric Alexander and Jorge Perlaza scored in the 120-minute exercise, and Portland coach John Spencer was pleased with his defense.

“We’ve now played against four decent teams in preseason and conceded one goal,” Spencer told his club's website. “For us, I’d rather be winning these games, because it builds confidence and spreads a good spirit amongst the group. The first part of the preseason is over, and I think we’re starting to hit our stride and we’re starting to look fitter and stronger.”

Chicago wraps its SoCal trip with a game Saturday morning at 9 against San Jose at Oxnard College.

Home Depot Center (Carson)
Portland Timbers 2, Chicago Fire 0
P -- Eric Alexander (Franck Songo'o) 64
P -- Jorge Perlaza (Frank Songo'o) 113

Portland Timbers: Troy Perkins (Joe Bendik, 61); Ryan Kawulok (Steve Purdy, 61), Hanyer Mosquera (Eric Brunner, 61), Andrew Jean-Baptiste (Mamadou Danso, 61), Mike Chabala (Rodney Wallace, 61); Miguel Ibarra (Charles Renken, 46; Franck Songo’o, 61), James Marcelin (Jack Jewsbury, 61), Freddie Braun (Diego Chara, 61), Kalif Alhassan (Eric Alexander, 61), Brent Richards (Darlington Nagbe, 61; Sebastian Rincon, 114), Bright Dike (Jorge Perlaza, 61)

Chicago Fire: Paolo Tornaghi (Sean Johnson, 46; Jay Nolly, 93); Dan Gargan (Tony Walls, 60), Jalil Anibaba (Austin Berry, 60; Kwame Watson-Siriboe, 105), Cory Gibbs (Rodrigo Iņigo, 60), Gonzalo Segares (Hunter Jumper, 60; Ivan Guerrero, 105); Marco Pappa (Rafael Robayo, 60), Pavel Pardo (Daniel Paladini, 60), Patrick Nyarko (Michael Videira, 60; Pari Pantazopolous, 105; Sebastian Grazzini (Victor Pineida, 60; Corben Bone, 96), Dominic Oduro (Kheli Dube, 60; Danny Barrera, 105), Federico Puppo (Orr Barouch. 60; Lucky Mkosana, 96).

Yellow cards: None.