Timbers U-23s advance in U.S. Open Cup, defeat Gold 3-2

Team advances to second round against USL PRO side Charleston

PORTLAND, Ore. – Forward Mark Sherrod provided the game-winning goal in the 78th minute as the Portland Timbers U-23s overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat the Sacramento Gold 3-2 in the first round of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night at JELD-WEN Field.

As a result of their first win in U.S. Open Cup play, the Timbers U-23s advance to the second round of the U.S. Open Cup and will play host to the Charleston Battery of USL PRO on Tuesday, May 21, at JELD-WEN Field at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). Tickets are $10 and are available for purchase through the JELD-WEN Field box office or online here.

The Timbers U-23s, playing in their second consecutive U.S. Open Cup, controlled the tempo of the match, generating 31 shots and 14 corner kicks, but went down two goals on a first-half brace by Gold forward Max Alvarez. The Timbers U-23s responded with three unanswered goals, tallied by forward Zack Foxhoven, midfielder Gabriel Conelian and Sherrod to advance to the second round of the U.S. Open Cup for the first time in the team’s history.

The Gold, who compete in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), took a 2-0 lead by the 25th minute, with Alvarez scoring twice against the run of play. On a counter attack in the fifth minute, Alvarez beat a defender on a run down the right channel and drilled a shot inside the top far corner of the goal. In the 25th minute, Alvarez chased down a bouncing cross into the box by midfielder Eliot Chambers from the right side and tapped a shot back towards the right post to beat a diving effort from Timbers U-23s goalkeeper David Meves.

The Timbers U-23s scored twice within a three-minute span late in the first half to level the score before halftime. After receiving a pass from midfielder Eric Miller near the top right corner of the penalty area, Foxhoven drove a shot past Gold goalkeeper Dominic Jakubek inside the near post to cut the deficit in the 38th minute.

Conelian leveled the score in the 41st minute. A pass from Sherrod in the final third was broken up by a Sacramento defender and the ball deflected off another Gold player and popped up into the air. The ball fell to Conelian and he drilled an uncontested shot into an open left side of goal to knot the score at 2-2.

Portland continued to put the Sacramento defense under pressure in the second half. After close scoring chances by Foxhoven and midfielder Michael Escobar, Sherrod delivered the decisive goal in the 78th minute. Defender Mitch Lurie played a well-placed ball from his left back position up-field for Sherrod on a run towards goal. Sherrod had the advantage on his marker, settled the pass and, on his second touch, chipped Jakubek from just inside the box to seal the 3-2 victory.

The Timbers U-23s attempted 17 shots and 11 corner kicks in the first half. Sherrod had a chance to put the home side on top just before halftime with one of his four first-half shots, but his side-winding effort from the edge of the six-yard box was parried away by Jakubek.

In first-half stoppage time, Alvarez was denied his third goal of the half by the top right corner of the goal frame on a shot from distance.

The Timbers U-23s open their fifth Premier Development League (PDL) season Thursday as they play host to the Seattle Sounders FC U-23 at JELD-WEN Field as part of a Providence Health & Fitness Day at 11 a.m. (Pacific). Tickets are available for purchase through the JELD-WEN Field box office and online at www.portlandtimbers.com.

Notes: The Timbers U-23s were one of 11 teams from the Premier Development League to win their first-round matchups in the 2013 U.S. Open Cup … The Timbers U-23s improve to 14-4-0 all-time across all competitions at JELD-WEN Field … Midfielder Eric Miller recorded an assist on the goal by Foxhoven and becomes the Timbers U-23s career leader in scoring in U.S. Open Cup play. He scored a goal for the Timbers U-23s in the first round of the 2012 tournament.

Scoring Summary:
SAC: Max Alvarez, 5
SAC: Max Alvarez (Eliot Chambers), 25
POR: Zack Foxhoven (Eric Miller), 38
POR: Gabriel Conelian, 41
POR: Mark Sherrod (Mitch Lurie), 78

Misconduct Summary:
POR: Will Seymore (Caution), 33
SAC: Eliot Chambers (Caution), 47
SAC: Clemente Fonseca (Caution), 61
SAC: Rene Piña (Caution), 71
POR: Eric Miller (Caution), 84
POR: Mitch Lurie (Caution), 87
POR: Zach Barnes (Caution), 90

POR: GK David Meves, D Anthony Hobbs, D Mitchell Lurie, D Travis Brent, D Will Seymore, M Eric Miller, M Zach Barnes, M Gabriel Conelian (Clark Phillips, 83), F Mark Sherrod, F Zack Foxhoven (Will Vitalis, 86), F Jose Ribas (Michael Escobar, 72)

Subs not used: D Bryan Gallego, F Jaime Velasco

SAC: GK Dominic Jakubeck, D Fernando De Alba (Rene Piña, 70), D Diego Marroquin, D Utodi Madu, D Robert Zevallos, M Eliot Chambers, M Adam Smarte, M Jimmy Frazelle (Oscar Sandoval, 46), M Clemente Fonseca, F John Jones (Manolo Piña, 64), F Max Alvarez

Subs not used: GK Christopher Shultz, M Abraham Prado