Timbers U-23s fall to PSA Elite 3-1 in U.S. Open Cup
PORTLAND, Ore. – A brace by forward Davis Paul guided the PSA Elite to a 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers U-23s in a first-round match of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night, before 1,524 fans at JELD-WEN Field.
PSA Elite, from the U.S. Adult Soccer Association, took a 2-0 lead into halftime on the opening goal by Paul and a strike by forward Christian Ramirez. The Timbers U-23s pulled one back in the early stages of the second half on a goal by midfielder Eric Miller in his team debut to cut the deficit 2-1. Despite heavy offensive pressure by the Timbers U-23s in the second half, taking 17 second-half shots, PSA Elite sealed the 3-1 victory on Paul’s second strike of the night in the 89th minute.
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: PSA Elite 3, Timbers U-23s 1
With the win, PSA Elite advances to the second round of the 2012 U.S. Open Cup and will face the Carolina RailHawks of the North American Soccer League on Tuesday, May 22. The Timbers U-23s’ debut run in the U.S. Open Cup, a knockout tournament, comes to an end with the loss.
Ramirez finished the night with a goal and an assist, defender Joseph Sophia and midfielder Jonathan Prieto each logged assists and goalkeeper Trevor Widdon notched fives saves to lead PSA Elite.
Forward Mark Sherrod and midfielder Steven Evans combined for 12 shots and goalkeeper Spencer Richey made three saves in the loss for the Timbers U-23s.
Paul opened the scoring in the 24th minute off a long throw in from the right touchline by Sophia. Unmarked in front of the goal, Paul was able to connect on the throw near the edge of the goal box and converted his header for a 1-0 PSA Elite lead.
PSA Elite doubled its lead in the 39th minute. Prieto collected the ball near the edge of the box and played a centering pass to Ramirez at the top of the area. Ramirez settled the pass and fired a hard shot past Richey for a 2-0 advantage.
The Timbers U-23s found the back of the net 11 minutes into the second half to pull one back at 2-1. Portland defender Marc Tonkel attempted a hard shot from near the top of the box that ricocheted out to Miller, who then calmly slotted a shot past Whiddon from inside the box in the 56th minute.
As the match drew to a close, Paul capped his brace in the final minute of regulation. Ramirez, out on the right flank, connected with Paul, who then curled a shot up and over the outstretched arms of Richey completing PSA Elite’s 3-1 win.
The Timbers U-23s attempted 26 shots against PSA Elite, creating several scoring chances throughout the match. Evans forced Whiddon into an early save in the second minute, taking a half volley from just outside the box that the PSA Elite goalkeeper had to palm over the crossbar. In the 27th minute, Sherrod nearly found an equalizer, but his header from inside 10 yards struck the woodwork. Midfielder Roberto Farfan turned and fired a shot from inside the box just high and wide of the mark early in the match.
Portland continued its offensive push in the second half, out-shooting PSA Elite 17-7 in the period, as it continued to push for a goal. In the 75th minute, Sherrod collected a long pass up field by forward Clark Phillips, but Sherrod’s effort at the near post was saved and knocked out for a corner kick. A minute later, the Timbers U-23s produced a flurry of activity in front of the PSA Elite goal and had a pair of shots blocked before the ball fell to Evans near the penalty spot. Evan’s shot was pushed wide left of the mark by Whiddon.
In the 88th minute, just before PSA Elite’s third goal of the night, Timbers U-23s midfielder Cam Vickers had a shot saved off the goal line by PSA Elite defender Edwin Miranda and the follow-up attempt off the rebound by Tonkel was blocked in the box. Down by two goals deep in stoppage time, the Timbers U-23s continued to press and Evans produced the team’s final shot, working through three PSA Elite defenders to get a shot off on frame; it was saved by Whiddon.
The Timbers U-23s return to Premier Development League play Saturday as the play host to the Victoria Highlanders at Alder Creek Middle School in Milwaukie, Ore.; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Tickets will be available for purchase at the gate.
Notes: The Timbers U-23s marked their debut in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competition on Tuesday … Timbers U-23s midfielder Eric Miller became the team's first player to score a goal in U.S. Open Cup competition ... The Timbers U-23s out-shot PSA Elite 26-15 in the match ... PSA Elite’s roster featured three former second-division Timbers players, including defenders Cameron Dunn and Edwin Miranda and forward Luc Harrington; only Miranda and Harrington played … The loss marked the just the Timbers U-23s’ fourth loss all-time at JELD-WEN Field and now has an overall record of 11-4-0 at the venue since 2009.
PE: Paul (Sophia), 24
PE: Ramirez (Prieto), 39
POR: Miller, 56
PE: Paul (Ramirez), 89
POR: Miller (Caution), 60
POR: GK Spencer Richey, D Reed Matte (John McFarlin, 78), D Marc Tonkel, D Chris Harms, D Anthony Hobbs, M Eric Miller, M Andrew Ribeiro, M Steven Evans, F Mark Sherrod, F Roberto Farfan (Clark Phillips, 53), F Emery Welshman (Cam Vickers, 34)
Subs not used: GK Justin Baarts, M Ricardo Carrillo, M Joey De Mare
PE: GK Trevor Whiddon, D Joseph Sophia, D John Lee (Luc Harrington, 85), D Joel Smith (Adrian Avila, 83), D Edwin Miranda, M Miguel Lopez, M Jonathan Prieto, M William Lopez, F Brent Whitfield (Andrew Reimer, 64), F Christian Ramirez
Subs not used: GK Michael Oseguera, M Martin Ontiveros, D Cameron Dunn