Feb 18, 2013, 10:27 AM EDT
Yes, the regular season remains two weeks away. But a hat trick is a hat trick.
Ryan Johnson stole the show late Sunday in Portland, striking three times in front of the home fans in one of his early appearances since coming over from Toronto in an offseason trade. He provide all the Timbers goals in a 3-3 draw with San Jose.
Johnson is a Jamaican international who went to college at nearby Oregon State. So fans there are surely predisposed to like the forward who has always stood just outside the “difference maker” zone. They love the guy if he does any more of this.
- All three goals were quality finishes, accomplished in either their technical difficulty or in terms of athleticism needed to complete the task.
- His tidy footwork in midfield to help begin the sequence on Portland’s third goal.
- Two assists were provided by new Argentine midfielder Diego Valeri, which is exactly what manager Caleb Porter needs from the team’s Designated Player creator.
- The crowd, which at 14,229 checks the box on “fantastic” for an MLS preseason contest.
Here are Sunday’s highlights:
- Tim Howard taking a break from U.S. international duty 0
- Report: Xabi Alonso heading to Manchester United 5
- Mario Balotelli edging closer to shock $26 million Liverpool switch 16
- Thursday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Tiote to Arsenal, Destro to Chelsea 0
- Angel Di Maria gets love from Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Diego Simeone 2
- Jozy Altidore is the happiest he’s ever been, says Gus Poyet 3