Short-handed Timbers U-23s fall 1-0 to Victoria
PORTLAND, Ore.– A short-handed Portland Timbers U-23s opened the 2011 Premier Development League (PDL) season with a 1-0 loss to the Victoria Highlanders at JELD-WEN Field on Saturday afternoon.
Timbers U-23s midfielder Nosa Iyoha had his team debut cut short in the seventh minute when he was issued a straight red card following an aerial challenge with Victoria’s Jordie Hughes near midfield. Against a 10-man Portland side, the Highlanders received goal in the 55th minute from midfielder Jared Stephens to secure the victory in the season-opening match for both teams.
Goalkeeper Elliot Mitrou recorded five saves, including two on penalty kick attempts in the second half, Stephens tallied his first goal of the season and midfielder Andrew Ravenhill logged an assist for the Highlanders (1-0-0, 3pts).
Forward Travis Bowen and midfielder Bim Ogunyemi combined for nine shots and goalkeeper Garrett Staples contributed five saves for the Timbers U-23s (0-1-0, 3pts). Despite playing 83 minutes with a one-man disadvantage, the Timbers U-23s out-shot the Highlanders 16-9 in the contest.
The Timbers U-23s has two chances in the final half hour to pull even on penalty kick attempts. In the 60th minute, Bowen’s effort from the spot was turned away on a diving save by Mitrou. Portland was awarded a second penalty kick attempt in second-half stoppage time, but it was Mitrou with the late stop to deny Ogunyemi’s shot and keep his clean sheet intact.
Stephens, a late first-half sub, put the Highlanders on top with a strike from the top right side of the box early in the second half. On the buildup, Ravenhill was able to find Stephens with some space just beyond the area and Stephens blasted a shot past Staples and inside the far post.
The Timbers U-23s will play their next two matches on the road, starting Sunday, May 15, at the Washington Crossfire; kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
Notes: The Timbers U-23s were handed their first loss in a season-opening match since joining the PDL in 2009 … Portland’s starting XI featured just four returning players from the team’s 2010 PDL championship side … The Highlanders committed 18 fouls, compared to the Timbers U-23s’ five … Defender Jesus Gonzalez was added to the Timbers U-23s roster Friday and started for the team against Victoria … Nine different players attempted a shot for the Timbers U-23s.
VIC: Stephens (Ravenhill), 55
POR: GK Staples, D Kawoluk, D Smith, D Thompson, D Gonzalez (Matte, 71), M Iyoha, M Morris, M Hasson (Iwasaki, 62), M Ogunyemi, F Carrillo (Dorrego, 56), F Bowen
VIC: GK Mitrou, D Wragg, D Hughes, T., D Pearson, D Vogelli, M Gray, M Ewashko (Eng, 89), M Hughes, J. (Marousek, 9)(Vandenborman, 83), M Ravenhill (Arnett, 77), F Scott (Stephens, 42), F Gorman