The Portland Timbers U15/16 Pre Academy team ran the table over Labor Day Weekend with three straight victories in the first annual MLS Seattle Friendlies at the Starfire Sports Complex. The U15/16 age group for the Timbers traveled to Tukwila, WA for a series of friendlies against academy teams from the Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders and the San Jose Earthquakes. The Timbers Pre Academy is made up of youth players from all over Oregon.
The weekend started off Saturday with the Timbers playing the Whitecaps. The energy level was high with both teams flying all over the field but from the beginning the Timbers were the better team. The Portland boys got goals from Zel Rey, Brad Spencer and Issa Hassan for an eventual 3-0 victory.
Sunday was the day everybody was waiting for with the Timbers taking on the host Sounders. The game was a battle from start to finish. The Sounders went up early off a cross and header executed brilliantly. The Timbers answered with a great goal of their own by Hassan to tie the game at 1-1 at halftime.
The Timbers went ahead early in the second half with another goal by Hassan, but the Sounders answered with a scramble in front of the Timbers goal that eventually saw the ball find the back of the net. Then Rey of the Timbers got the ball 10 yards into his own half, turned on the center back and ran hard to goal and rifled a shot from about 22 yards out for the eventual game winner over the host.
“One of the best youth games I’ve seen in a long, long time,” said Timbers U15/16 head coach Cony Konstin. “An absolute battle between two very good teams.”
Monday was the most important game according to the coaching staff. The Timbers had a chance to sweep the weekend with a win over San Jose. After falling behind 1-0 early, Hassan scored his fourth goal of the weekend to even the game at 1-1 at halftime.
The second half was all Timbers as they pressed the Earthquakes deep into their own half and controlled possession. With goals from Rey, Hassan, Niko DeVera and Spencer the Timbers finished the game and weekend off in style with a 5-1 victory.
“Absolute team effort,” said Konstin. “From the coaches, to the players, to the administrators, this was a total team effort from everybody and a great weekend for the Timbers.”
Hassan led the way for the Timbers with five goals. Rey finished with three, Spencer had two and DeVera had one.
Goals For: 11
Goals Against: 3