Youngblood hat trick helps Timbers U-23s to 4-1 win

POST FALLS, Idaho - Forward Ryan Youngblood scored three goals to lift the Portland Timbers U-23s to a 4-1 victory over the Spokane Spiders on Friday night at Greyhound Park. Forward Frankie Lopez assisted on two of Youngblood’s goals and midfielder Masaki Hemmi logged his first goal of the season in the Portland victory.
 
Youngblood scored the first goal of the evening for Portland in the 14th minute off a corner kick from Lopez. Just before halftime however, Spokane rallied back to level the score at 1-1. Hemmi tallied the game-winning goal minutes into the second half to put the Timbers U-23s ahead 2-1. Youngblood finished off the scoring for Portland with another assist from Lopez and his final goal off of a cross from midfielder Avneet Shergill.
 
Portland improves their record to 9-3-2 (29pts) with the win over the Spiders and moves into second place in the Northwest Division. With only two games left in the regular season, the Timbers U-23s are one of four teams in a race for three divisional post-season spots; the top three clubs from each division in the Premier Development League advances to the postseason.
 
The Timbers U-23s close out their regular season road schedule Saturday at the Yakima Reds. Kickoff is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Marquette Stadium in Yakima, Wash. Portland returns home to wrap up the regular season on July 18 against the Abbotsford Mariners at Lincoln High School in Portland, Ore. at 7 p.m.
 
Notes: Youngblood paces the Timbers U-23s in goals scored with eight … Forward Steven Evans made his second start of the season for the Timbers U-23s and played the full 90 minutes … With tonight’s four goals, the Timbers U-23s have scored 34 goals on the season and are tied with division leaders the Kitsap Pumas for most goals scored.