Nagbe leads way in training match against U.S. U-18s
BEAVERTON, Ore. – In a training match this afternoon, a Timbers squad consisting primarily of reserve and guest players defeated the U.S. U-18 National Team 4-1. Midfielder Darlington Nagbe helped lead the way for Portland, finishing with a goal and an assist on the day.
The Timbers punched in three goals in the first half to take a firm 3-1 lead heading into halftime; all three goals were scored inside a 17 minute window late in the period. Portland then tacked on one final score in the final 10 minutes to wrap up the victory.
A well-placed pass from midfielder Sal Zizzo to Nagbe inside the box helped open the scoring for the Timbers in the 20th minute, as Nagbe slotted it home. Playing up top, Ryan Pore’s snap header off a cross from Freddie Braun then gave the Timbers a 2-1 lead in the 33rd minute. Four minutes later, defender Chris Taylor’s shot from distance was deflected just enough to allow the ball to loop over the reach of the goalkeeper and drop in under the crossbar, giving Portland a 3-1 advantage.
Portland had several close chances throughout the second half and finished out the match with a late goal in the 81st minute. Nagbe did the work up the middle of the park, weaving through the U.S. U-18s midfield, before playing on forward Spencer Thompson into the box. On his second touch, Thompson finished from 12 yards out inside the left post.
The U.S. U-18s are in town for a week-long training camp and Tuesday’s training match was the first of three scheduled games for the team. They will play the University of Washington and University of Portland teams this weekend.
The training match offered the opportunity for goalkeeper Troy Perkins to see his first live action since sustaining a knee injury just prior to the Timbers’ season opener back on March 19. Perkins, who wore the captain’s armband in the training match, played all 90 minutes.
Portland featured three guest players, including former professional player and current Timbers radio color analyst Ross Smith, who played for the club’s second-division side last season. U.S. U-18 National Team defender Jonathan Campbell played the entire second half for the Timbers, while the third guest player was Sean Morris.
Pore partnered with forward Eddie Johnson up top, while Nagbe and Zizzo flanked the midfield.
With the Timbers’ MLS Reserve League opener this weekend in Los Angeles, assistant coach Amos Magee, who will oversee the club’s reserve squad this season, led the charge from the sidelines in Tuesday’s training match.
Zizzo, who played all 90 minutes Tuesday, is a former member of the U.S. U-18 National Team.
The U.S. U-18s featured a split-squad lineup, fielding a separate team in each half. The first-half squad gave the team the lead in the 14th minute.
Portland wore its all-green training kits, the same ones worn during the preseason Cascadia Summit.
- The Timbers and the U.S. U-18s were scheduled to meet during the MLS club’s preseason camp in Casa Grande, Ariz., but the match was cancelled due to inclement weather.
Portland Lineup: GK Perkins, D Taylor, D Goldthwaite, D Smith* (Campbell*, 46), D Braun, M Nagbe, M Moffat, M Lopez, M Zizzo, F Pore (Morris*, 70), F Johnson (Thompson, 51)
* indicates guest player