Wicks earns shutout in 0-0 draw with Thunder

PORTLAND, Ore. - Goalkeeper Josh Wicks picked up his league-leading 10th shutout of the season as the Portland Timbers battled the Minnesota Thunder to a 0-0 draw in front of 8,290 at PGE Park on Thursday night.
 
Thursday night's crowd was the largest regular-season attendance since the 2003 season.
 
Portland (11-4-6, 39pts) picked up a point in the standings to take possession of first place in the USL First Division over the Seattle Sounders but extend their winless streak to five matches. The Timbers are 0-2-3 in their last five matches.
 
With the draw, the Thunder (3-8-8, 17pts) also extend their winless streak now at four matches.
 
Wicks, who did not have to record a save, now has 10 shutouts in 20 matches this season as the Timbers continue their unbeaten record at PGE Park this season. Portland is now 7-0-5 at home including seven shutouts with only two home matches remaining on 2007 season schedule.
 
The Timbers had a handful of chances late in the match including two by midfielder Lawrence Olum. Meeting up with a ball in open space near the top of the box, Olum cracked one of his team-high four shots which was saved by Minnesota goalkeeper Nick Platter. Minutes later, defender Cameron Knowles had a point blank shot inside the six-yard box that was also denied by the Thunder defense.
 
Portland had two chances to take the lead in the first half with shots by forward Matt Taylor and defender Justin Thompson. Taylor had a free kick from 26 yards out curl wide left of the goal while Thompson's header was tipped off the crossbar by Platter. The Timbers outshot the Thunder 10-3.
 
The Timbers face the Vancouver Whitecaps at PGE Park on Saturday at 7 p.m. Saturday's match is Nike Night at PGE Park, the first 1,000 kids 14 and under receive a mini Nike soccer ball courtesy of Tursi's Soccer Store.
 
Midfielder Andrew Gregor, the Timbers leading scorer, missed the match Thursday serving the final match of his two-game, league-imposed suspension for yellow card accumulation. He'll be available for head coach Gavin Wilkinson Saturday against Vancouver.
 
Notes: Portland forward Chris Bagley missed his third game with an injury ... Saturday night's attendance is the largest regular-season crowd since the 2003 season.
 
Lineups:
POR – GK Wicks, D Griffin, D S. Thompson, D J. Thompson, D Knowles, M Poltl, M Higgins, M Olum, F Jordan (Hague, 66), F M. Taylor (Harrington, 78), F Kreamalmeyer
 
MIN – GK Platter, D Taylor, D Zenoni (Gotsmanov, 69), D Greenfield, M Juarez, M Friedland, M Farber, M Tenoff, M Bass, F Spicer (Toure, 72), F Gibson (Ota, 81)
 
Scoring Summary:
None