Wolves hand Timbers U-23s first loss of the season

Tukwila, Wash. – Forward Casey Cunningham recorded three goals help the Seattle Wolves defeat the Portland Timbers U-23s 3-1 at the Starfire Sports Complex on Wednesday night. The loss was the Timbers U-23s’ first of the season.

Entering as a sub early in the match, Cunningham’s hat trick doubled his season total for goals entering the match. He scored the equalizer for the Wolves in the 27th minute, and then sealed the victory with a brace in the second half. With the victory, Seattle (3-1-1, 10pts) has won two straight and takes sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division.

Defender Daniel Leach scored his second goal of the season and forward Frankie Lopez recorded the assist for the Timbers (2-1-1, 7pts), who had their three-game unbeaten streak come to an end Wednesday.  

Leach's second goal in two games put the Timbers on the board in the 20th minute. A free kick by Lopez from 35 yards out connected with Leach inside the box, who was able to get a foot on the ball and knock in the equalizer past Wolves goalkeeper Chris Blais.

Portland's lead was erased seven minutes later as Cunningham found the equalizer to level the score at 1-1. The Wolves pulled away in the second half as Cunningham teamed up with midfielder Taylor Hoss in the 56th minute and then again in the 63rd to help put the match out of reach for Portland. 

The Timbers U-23s travel to face the Tacoma Tide, led by player/coach and former Portland Timbers forward Greg Howes, on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Curtis High School Stadium. The team returns home to play host to the Cascade Surge on Saturday, May 30, at 3:30 p.m. at Kiggins Bowl in Vancouver, Wash. Tickets will be available at the door for $10.

Notes: Lopez was credited with his second assist of the season … Wednesday also marked the Timbers U-23s first loss in their U.S. Open Cup qualification round … Forward Warren Ukah did not make the trip to Seattle … Cunningham attempted all five of Seattle’s shots on the night … Forward Brent Richards and defender Sterling Flunder paced the Timbers U-23s with two shots each.

Lineups:
POR: GK Staples, D Hemmi (Emory, 69), D Leach, D Brown (Flunder, 64), D Erskine, M Van Houten (Youngblood, 22), M Guante (Hasson, 55), M Kwesele (Evans, 82), M vanSchaik, F Lopez (Shergill, 69), F Richards

SEA: GK Blais, D Finch, D Meyer, D Scott, D Merl (T. Klein, 86), M Allen (Fishbaugher, 45), M Hoss, M Tucker-Ganges, M A. Klein (Batres, 69), F Chursky (Cunningham, 26), F James (Walsh, 78)