Timbers U-23s defeat Yakima 8-2 at PGE Park

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Timbers U-23s forward Brent Richards tallied two goals and an assist and their backline contributed an additional three goals and two assist as they defeated the Yakima Reds 8-2 Saturday at PGE Park.

Making his first start of the season, Richards tallied in each half and midfielder Tracy Hasson logged a goal and an assist to lead the Timbers U-23s (2-0-1, 7pts) to their second straight win and second victory in two days.

Defenders Josh Brown, Sterling Flunder and Daniel Leach each netted their first goals of the season, while Kipp Erskine and Logan Emory recorded an assist as the Timbers U-23s backline produced eight points on the night to extend their unbeaten run to three games to start the season.

Second-half sub Tyler Penn and 2008 Premier Development League MVP Junior Garcia each scored for the Reds (0-4-0, 0pts), who were dealt their fourth straight loss on Saturday.

Much like the night before, the Timbers U-23s went up by a goal early as Brown’s converted his only shot on the night in the eighth minute. During a scramble in the box, the ball landed at his feet and he was able to finish into the net past Yakima goalkeeper Mauricio Sanchez.

Portland struck again less than five minutes later when Emory slashed through the Reds defense and sent a ball across the face of the goal to Hasson alone on the back post. Hasson then fired the ball from point-blank range for a two-goal Timbers U-23s’ advantage.

The scoring continued in the 28 minute, when Erskine sent in a ball off of a short corner that found forward Warren Ukah inside the six-yard box. He too was able to convert from close range to extend Portland’s lead 3-0.

Yakima pulled one back when Garcia snuck a ball into the back of the net in the 32 minute. Garcia dribbled into the 18-yard box and slotted the ball between Timbers U-23s goalkeeper Austin Guerrero and the right post for his first goal of the season. 

Richards added another goal to the Timbers U-23s’ tally when midfielder Miguel Guante fed Richards a through ball all alone at the top of the box. Richards turned, dribbled past Sanchez and knocked in his first goal of the night in the 34 minute.

Defender Daniel Leach gave the Timbers U-23s a 5-1 lead at the 58 minute mark when he drilled in a cross from Richards from seven yards out.

The Timbers U-23s scoring continued after the break when Hasson sent a ball in to Richards, who then poked a shot past Sanchez in the 62 minute.

Yakima chipped a goal off the Timbers U-23s’ lead in the 70 minute, when forward Vinicius Oliviera took a short corner and delivered a pass to Penn with space in the box. Penn converted his chance to trim Portland’s lead to 6-2.

Portland answered back after the Yakima goal. Second-half substitutes forward Ryan Youngblood combined with Frankie Lopez to give Youngblood his first goal of the season in the 75 minute and the Timbers U-23s a 7-2 lead.

In his team debut, substitute midfielder Roberto Farfan helped cap the scoring for the Timbers U-23s when he sent in a cross that found Flunder on the back post, who headed the ball into the goal in the 78minute to seal the team’s second straight victory in as many days; the Timbers U-23s defeated the Spokane Spiders 4-0 on Friday.

The Timbers U-23s hit the road for their next game as they take on the Seattle Wolves on Wednesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. at the Starfire Sports Complex.

Notes: Ukah paces the team in goals scored with three … Richards leads the team in points (7) with a pair of goals and assists… Midfielder Masaki Hemmi made his Timbers U-23s debut Saturday.

POR: GK Guerrero, D Brown (Harms 57), D Erskine, D Leach, D Emory (Hemmi 40), M Guante (Lopez 53), M Hasson (Flunder, 76), M Kwesele, M vanSchaik, F Ukah (Youngblood, 60), F Richards (Farfan 65)

YAK: GK Sanchez, D Valencia, D Viveros, D Hacker (Stevenson 45), D Avila (Silva 45), D Lopez, M Galvan, M O’Brien (Penn 45), M Sagare, F Garcia, F Oliveira