Ukah, Richards lead Timbers U-23s to 4-0 win

PORTLAND, Ore. – Newcomer Warren Ukah scored twice and forward Brent Richards logged two assists to lead the Portland Timbers U-23s to a 4-0 victory over the Spokane Spiders Friday night at PGE Park.
 
Ukah, who was added to the roster earlier in the day, opened the scoring in the 13th minute and Richards’ sparked a three-goal outburst in the second half with a pair of assists to lead the Timbers U-23s (1-0-1, 4pts), to their first victory in team history.
 
Portland goalkeeper Garrett Staples logged two saves to earn his first shutout on the season and handed the Spiders (1-3-0, 3pts) their third loss in four games.
 
The Timbers U-23s controlled possession of the ball throughout the match and dictated the pace as they out-shot the Spiders 34-3.
 
Ukah’s first goal of the season came off a cross from midfielder Avneet Shergill in the 13th minute. The ball was played up field for Shergill on the right side, who then sent a pass across the face of the goal to Ukah. Alone on the back side, Ukah took a touch and then drilled a shot into the lower right side netting past Spokane goalkeeper Seth Baker for the lead.
 
The Timbers U-23s peppered the goal with 16 shots in the first half, seeing multiple chances from Shergill, forward Frankie Lopez and defender Josh Brown.  
 
In the second half, Richards provided a spark off the bench and contributed to the score line early in the period. Richards set up Ukah’s second goal of the night in the 48th minute with a sharp pass inside the box. Ukah had time to turn and placed the ball into the lower right corner to give Portland a 2-0 advantage.
 
The Timbers U-23s scoring continued. In the 51st minute, Richards slipped midfielder Miguel Guante a ball just outside the six-yard box. Guante collected the ball, turned, and fired a shot inside the bottom right corner of the frame to extend the Timbers U-23s’ lead to three goals.

 

At the 56th minute mark, the Timbers U-23s were awarded a penalty kick after Spokane defender Ben Rotert collided with Timbers U-23s forward Ryan Youngblood inside the box. Midfielder Mutanda Kwesele stepped up to the spot and blasted a shot past Baker to seal the victory.
 
Spokane’s best chance of the evening came in the 28th minute on a bending cross from midfielder Nick Love. His ball went through the six-yard box, but no one was home on the back side to finish the play.
 
Staples recorded saves on two of the three shots he faced on the night, including a stop in the 85 minute, when Spiders forward Adam Crossingham received a through ball into the box. Staples came sliding out and collected the ball to maintain his clean sheet.  
 
With the win, the Timbers U-23s remain unbeaten on the season and earned their first points towards qualifying for the 2009 U.S. Open Cup.
 
The Timbers U-23s play their second match in two nights Saturday as they host the Yakima Reds at PGE Park at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 and available at the PGE box office, area Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or by phone at (800)-745-3000.
 
Notes: Twelve different Timbers U-23s players contributed to the team’s 34-shot effort. Ukah paced the team with eight shots … Midfielder Miguel Guante was also added to the Timbers U-23s’ roster before the game and scored in his team debut … Guante was one of five Timbers U-23s players who earned their first start of the season, including Staples and defenders Daniel Leach and Kipp Erskine.
 
Lineups:
POR: GK Staples, D Brown, D Erskine, D Leach, D Emory (Flunder 64), M Guante, M Shergill (Hasson 56), M Kwesele (Evans 59), M vanSchaik (Harms 72), F Ukah (Youngblood 54), F Lopez (Richards 45)
 
SPO: GK Baker, D Realing, D Philp, D Rotert, D Muravez, M Falco (Dunbar 66), M Vela (Mastronardi 64), M Love (Retan 65), M Baranski (Washington 70), F Smith ( Crossingham 70) , F Moug (Weller 62)