Manchester City prepares for season with a 3-0 exhibition win over the Portland TimbersBy Anne M. Peterson, AP
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Manchester City opens US tour with 3-0 victory
PORTLAND, Ore. — Manchester City of the English Premier League kicked off its summer exhibition tour of the United States with a 3-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on Saturday night.
Stephen Ireland and Emmanuel Adebayor scored quick back-to-back goals for City, which has been training at the Nike corporate headquarters in Beaverton for the past week.
It was the fourth international friendly this season for the Timbers, who will make the leap to Major League Soccer next season.
The game, played at the University of Portland’s Merlo Field, was sold out with all of the 5,018 seats going to Timbers’ season ticket holders.
Manchester City’s travel roster included defender Kolo Toure and midfielder Yaya Toure, brothers who played in the World Cup for the Ivory Coast, as well as French midfielder Patrick Vieira and striker Adebayor of Togo.
The Toure brothers did not play against the Timbers, but Vieira and Adebayor started. Joe Hart was in goal.
Ireland scored in the 43rd minute and Adebayor added a header in the 44th minute to give City the lead. Adam Johnson assisted on both goals, which drained the enthusiasm of the green-and-white clad Timbers Army.
Brazilian striker Jo added a goal in the 68th minute.
“It’s good for my confidence to score goals,” Adebayor said.
“That was really the first length of a game we’ve done,” assistant manager Brian Kidd said. “I thought it was a terrific workout for the boys.”
Earlier this week, Spanish winger David Silva signed a four-year contract with City worth $36.6 million. He was not with the team in Portland.
There were also rumors that Manchester City could be interested in Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan, although MLS commissioner Don Garber said this week that the league has no intention of accepting transfer offers for the midfielder.
Donovan was the best U.S. player at the World Cup, scoring three goals to become the American career leader with five. He agreed in December to a four-year contract with MLS that pays him a base salary this year of $2.05 million.
Donovan attracted attention in Europe when MLS loaned him to Everton for 10 weeks in January. He scored two goals in 13 matches.
Donovan was open to possibilities when he returned to the Galaxy from the World Cup on July 2.
“Right now, I want to be in America,” he said. “If there’s something serious to look at, then I will. I never say never to anything. But for now, I’m very excited to be home.”
City manager Roberto Mancini was not available to comment on the matter after Saturday’s match.
Next weekend the New York Red Bulls will host Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Sporting Lisbon in the New York Football Challenge at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.
City also will play Club America at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on July 28 and Inter Milan in Baltimore on July 31.
Manchester City finished fifth last season, missing out on a place in this season’s Champions League, and will play in the Europa League.
The match was played at Merlo Field because of a conflict at Portland’s home field, PGE Park, which is also home to the Portland Beavers, the Triple-A baseball affiliate of the San Diego Padres.
Portland has played international exhibitions against Costa Rica’s Puntarenas FC, Argentina’s Boca Juniors and Atlas of Mexico this season, going 2-1-0.
Portland coach Gavin Wilkinson said he hoped his players learned from the experience and said the team would go over the film to find ways to improve. The Timbers have a four-game winning streak in their league.
“I’m delighted that we played them,” Wilkinson said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for the team, the city and the fans.”
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