Timbers Reserves continue their Cascadian run, traveling to take on Whitecaps FC Reserves
The Timbers Reserves will travel north for the second consecutive match on Sunday, when the team will play Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves at 3 p.m. at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C.
The Timbers Reserves come into the game at 1-1-0 after losing 1-0 at San Jose on March 27, but coming back on April 10 to beat the Seattle Sounders FC Reserves 2-0 at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash. After an own goal by Seattle in the fourth minute, forward Bright Dike scored his first goal of the 2012 Reserves League season in the 23rd minute to make the score 2-0 heading into halftime. MLS pool goalkeeper Brian Rowe made four second-half saves to seal the win for the Timbers Reserves.
The Whitecaps FC Reserves are 1-0-1 in Reserve League play in 2012, drawing 1-1 against the Sounders FC Reserves on March 26 in Vancouver, and winning against the San Jose Earthquakes Reserves 2-1 on April 8. A first-half goal by forward Long Tan sent Vancouver to halftime with a 1-0 lead, but San Jose’s Anthony Ampaipitakwong in the 77th minute tied the score 1-1. But just one minute later, Whitecaps FC’s Atiba Harris scored the game-winner on a close-range header to make the final score 2-1. Vancouver’s Reserves also played the University of Washington in a friendly on April 13, drawing 0-0.
Having two games under their belts, here are some players from both sides that could figure into Sunday’s match in Burnaby:
Sal Zizzo – The speedy midfielder Zizzo, on the road to recovery from a torn ACL suffered in October of 2011, made the start against the Seattle Sounders FC Reserves on April 10, and played the entire first half, a huge stepping stone to his recovery. Zizzo’s speed on the edges could make all the difference in this match, and he will be needed to get the ball in the box to Portland’s goal-scorers against Vancouver’s stingy defense.
Chris Taylor – The second-year defender out of the University of Tulsa, Taylor was a defensive stalwart last season with the Reserves squad, leading the team in minutes played (855) in the 2011 MLSRL season while also adding an assist. Taylor also played in three exhibition matches in 2011, including starts against EPL side West Bromwich Albion and Mexico’s Club América.
Long Tan – Tan has started all three Reserve matches for Vancouver, and scored in the Whitecaps FC Reserves’ win over San Jose on April 8. The second-year forward has come on as a substitute in three of Vancouver’s MLS matches this year, while adding a goal and two assists last season in 13 games. In the Reserve League last season, Tan scored three goals and tallied an assist. The striker is the first Chinese-born player to sign in MLS.
Omar Salgado – The former first-overall pick of the 2011 SuperDraft has extensive Reserve League experience, appearing for the Whitecaps FC Reserves in eight of 10 matches last season, scoring four goals and adding an assist. While appearing in one MLS game for Vancouver this season, Salgado has played well in two Reserve League games, tallying an assist in both games. His 6-4 frame can present a lot of problems for opposing teams’ defensive fronts.
- Portland won the season-series against the Whitecaps FC Reserves in 2011 2-0-0. In the first meeting on August 21 at JELD-WEN Field, in front of an MLSRL record crowd of 10,077, the Timbers Reserves scored twice in second-half stoppage time to come back and earn the 3-2 victory. On October 3, Portland scored in the last ten minutes of playing time to edge out the Whitecaps FC Reserves 1-0.
- Vancouver finished fourth in the Western Division of the MLS Reserve League in 2011 with a 2-6-2 record (8 pts).
- In addition to Reserve League Action, the two full roster teams squared off at Starfire Sports Complex in the 2011 preseason, playing in the Cascadia Summit, a three-day, three-match tournament with fellow Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders FC.