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RSL felled by Timbers, lose 3-0 in 2018 repeat

Preseason ends with RSL struggling.

MLS: Mobile Mini Sun Cup-Portland Timbers at Real Salt Lake Jacob Snow-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Timbers continue to have Real Salt Lake’s number, with the club’s Western Conference foe putting RSL to a 3-0 beating.

The match started in familiar fashion for Salt Lake, with Jeremy Ebobisse finishing at Nick Rimando’s near post on a breakaway in the fifth minute.

Rimando saved a near-certain goal in the 15th, blocking a well-taken shot after several poor defensive moments from RSL.

Corey Baird nearly equalized 22 minutes in, but some good goalkeeping from former RSL backup Jeff Attinella kept the Timbers in the lead.

Portland went up 2-0 as the second half waned with a Sebastian Blanco goal fed by Diego Valeri, giving RSL a deeper hole to try to dig out of heading into halftime.

Andy Polo escalated the lead on a breakthrough, finishing a smart, centered pass inside the box in simple fashion. It was typical of the match, with RSL struggling to maintain defensive shape when pressed.

It was a poor showing from RSL defensively, who have looked far from ready in such a way for the impending season. However, it was an interesting look at what looks likely to be a tactical commonality: Albert Rusnak playing out left in an apparent attacking 3-5-2 and defensive 4-2-3-1.

The match ended without RSL making a single substitution, and with Mike Petke remaining seated for nearly the entirety of the 90 minutes.