Timbers U-23s clinch second in division with draw against Sounders FC U-23
BEAVERTON, Ore. — The Portland Timbers U-23s clinched the second seed in the Premier Development League’s Northwest Division on Tuesday night, playing Sounders FC U-23 to a 1-1 draw in their regular-season finale before a crowd of 712 at Southridge High School.
The Timbers U-23s finished the regular season with a record of 7-3-4 (25pts), and will play host to the third-seeded Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 in the divisional playoff round; details for that match will be announced at a later date.
Tuesday’s draw marked the third straight match in which the Timbers U-23s conceded the opening goal, but were able to battle back to earn a result.
Sounders FC U-23 (4-5-5, 17pts) struck first as midfielder Esteban Reyes and forward Steve Mohn combined on a give-and-go for a goal in the 22nd minute. Reyes swung the ball out to Mohn on the right side of the field to start the play, and then Mohn provided the return pass to Reyes in the middle of the box. Reyes chipped the ball just inside the far post for a 1-0 lead.
The Timbers U-23s responded five minutes later when forward Reinaldo Brenes bent a direct free kick just inside the left post to level the match in the 27th minute.
Portland kept generating chances, outshooting Sounders FC U-23 7-4 in the second half. Defender Craig Nitti nearly put the Timbers U-23s up early in the second half, when he placed a header on frame following a free kick, but Sounders FC U-23 goalkeeper Earl Edwards was able to punch the effort over the crossbar.
Timbers U-23s goalkeeper David Meves prevented a late goal for the Sounders FC U-23 in the 87th minute, when a ball played towards the top of the box slipped past the Timbers U-23s’ backline and fell to the feet of forward Glenn Paden. Paden put a quick shot on the Timbers U-23s goal, but Meves had sprinted off his line and smothered the ball for one of his four saves in the match.
The Timbers U-23s will play a mid-week friendly Thursday against Lane United FC at South Eugene High School in Eugene, Ore.; kickoff is 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). Tickets are available for purchase at the door.
Notes: The Timbers U-23s outshot Sounders FC U-23, 13-9, and earned seven corner kicks … The Timbers U-23s were unbeaten against Sounders FC U-23 in 2013, with a 2-0-1 record in the regular-season series … The Timbers U-23s finished their 2013 home slate of the regular season 4-2-1.
SOU: Reyes (Mohn), 22
POR: Brenes, 27
SOU: Uyehara (Caution), 15
POR: Hewett (Caution), 23
POR: Brenes (Caution), 45
POR: GK David Meves, D Eric Miller, D Bryan Gallego (Mitch Lurie, 45), D Craig Nitti (Jack McCracken, 80), D Evyn Hewett (J.J. Greer, 45), M Zach Barnes, M Alex Waters, M Jose Ribas (Jaime Velasco, 45), F Reed McKenna (Anthony Hobbs, 69), Clark Phillips, Reinaldo Brenes (John McFarlin, 62)
Subs not used: GK Blake Hylen
SOU: GK Earl Edwards, D Chris Brundage, D Joshua Phillips, D Michael Uyehara, D Chase Hanson, M Jordan Schweitzer, M Mauricio Diaz de Leon, M Austin Sweeney (Justin Solomon, 83), M Esteban Reyes (Glenn Paden, 52), F Max Estrada, F Steve Mohn (Eli Gordley, 72)
Subs not used: GK Zac Lubin, GK Jacob Feener, D Balin Larson