McManus helps Timbers earn draw with Thunder

BLAINE, Minn. – Midfielder Tony McManus scored his first goal of the season as the Portland Timbers settled for a 1-1 draw against the Minnesota Thunder Saturday at the National Sports Center and extend their unbeaten streak in league play to 13 games.

McManus’ strike in the 63rd minute put the Timbers up 1-0, and their lead held until the final minutes of the match. In second-half stoppage time, a late push by Minnesota led to a corner kick that allowed Jeremiah Bass to level the score.

Making his first league appearance in a month because of injury, McManus tallied his first goal as a member of the Timbers to help Portland (7-1-6, 27pts) move into a two-way tie with the Charleston Battery for second place in the USL First Division.

After a scoreless first half, Portland finally broke the stalemate in the second behind the effort of McManus. The Timbers held on to their one-goal lead throughout the second period, fighting off a surge by the Thunder in late going.

But a late run by Minnesota carried over into the stoppage time of the second half, and a sequence of shots and activity in the Portland box created a late corner kick for the Thunder. On the play, Bass was able to convert his shot to even the score at 1-1 and help the Thunder (1-7-5, 8pts) escape from dropping their third straight league match.

The Timbers continue their stretch of road matches on Saturday, July 11 against the expansion Austin Aztex at 5:30 p.m. (Pacific).

Notes: McManus made his first start for the Timbers since sustaining an injury on June 9 … Midfielder Ryan Pore, who missed the previous four regular-season matches also due to injury, entered the second half as a sub … The Timbers are now 1-1-5 on the road this season.