Reserves Preview: Portland head to LA to take on Galaxy Reserves
With just two Reserve League matches remaining this season, the Portland Timbers Reserves will face the LA Galaxy Reserves this morning at 11 a.m. PT at The Home Depot Center.
The Timbers Reserves (3-4-1, 10pts), who sit just four points back behind the MLS Reserve League West Division-leading San Jose Reserves, take on the LA Galaxy Reserves (4-3-1, 13pts) for the second and final time this season. LA sits just one spot out of first place in the West Division.
Portland’s Reserves are coming off a 3-1 loss against the San Jose Reserves on Aug. 26 in front of a Reserve League record crowd of 14,121 at JELD-WEN Field. With both clubs trading goals in the first half, San Jose forward Sercan Guvenisik scored two of his three goals in the second half to propel the Earthquakes Reserves. Forward Brent Richards scored the lone goal of the match for the Timbers Reserves, his third Reserve League goal of the season.
The LA Galaxy Reserves are also coming off a loss to San Jose’s Reserves, a 2-0 defeat on Sept. 4. Earthquakes midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy put San Jose up 1-0 within 10 minutes of the match, and Guvenisik scored the insurance goal in the 80th minute.
Here are some key players who could feature when the Timbers meet the Galaxy in today’s Reserve League match:
Jake Gleeson – Gleeson, the backup goalkeeper for the Timbers the majority of the 2011 season, made his first appearance of the season on Aug. 26 against the San Jose Reserves. Along with battling a tight IT band in his knee in the spring, Gleeson helped the New Zealand U-23s “Oly Whites” earn a bid to the London 2012 Olympics. The 22-year-old also started four consecutive games for the senior New Zealand National Team in the OFC Nations Cup, helping the squad to a third-place finish.
Eric Brunner – After being sidelined for three months with injuries, Brunner made his first appearance since May 26 against the San Jose Reserves on Aug. 26, playing the full 90. It was a good sign for the defender, who was in the Timbers’ game-day 18 against Colorado on Sept. 5. Brunner, who led the team in minutes played in 2011, has played in ten matches this season, all starts. He scored the first goal of a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire back on May 20.
Jack McBean – The 17-year-old McBean, in his second MLS season with the Galaxy, has been impressive in limited time in the Reserve League this season. In six appearances and just one start with the Reserves in 2012, McBean has scored two goals, both game-winners. Additionally, McBean had an assist in the Galaxy Reserves’ 2-1 win over Portland’s Reserves on June 2.
Jose Villareal – Another young Homegrown Player for the Galaxy, Villareal has appeared in every Reserve League match this season, including four starts. The 18-year-old has scored three goals in Reserve League play, led by a brace on June 12 against the Whitecaps Reserves. The youngster has played in eight MLS regular-season games for the Galaxy in 2012, and has scored one goal and also tallied an assist.
- This is the second meeting between the Timbers Reserves and the Galaxy Reserves this season. Portland is 1-1-1 all-time in Reserve League play against the Galaxy. In Portland’s first Reserve League game ever played, Portland beat the Galaxy Reserves 3-1 at The Home Depot Center on April 24, 2011. In the second matchup between the two teams in 2011, the squads finished in a 3-3 draw at JELD-WEN Field on Sept. 1, 2011.
- The Timbers Reserves currently sit in fifth place in the West Division of the MLS Reserve League, with a record of 3-4-1 (10pts). The Galaxy Reserves are in second place in the West Division, with a record of 4-3-1 (13pts).