The Timbers Reserves will play their first match since mid-June this Sunday, as they host Chivas USA Reserves in a MLS Reserve League game at JELD-WEN Field. Kickoff is set for 2pm PT and the match will be streamed live on portlandtimbers.com.
The last match for the Timbers Reserves came against the very same reserve squad of Chivas USA. On June 18, Portland snapped a two-game losing streak in Reserve League play with a 2-2 draw against the Goats at The Home Depot Center. The Timbers took the lead twice with goals from forwards Sebastián Rincón and Brent Richards, but Chivas responded with strikes from Casey Townsend and Sebastian Stachnik to earn a point.
Chivas USA beat the Vancouver Reserves 3-1 on July 23, led by scorers Laurent Courtois, Blair Gavin and Cesar Romero. Chivas currently sits in first place in the MLS Reserve League West Division.
With the 2012 Reserve League schedule more than halfway through, let’s take a look at some key players who could feature in Sunday’s match:
Sebastián Rincón - Rincón scored his first goal of the Reserve League season against Chivas USA on June 18. The young forward also received some playing time with the first team recently, entering the match against Aston Villa as a 69th minute substitute and scoring his first goal with the Timbers first team just seven minutes later. Rincón also converted on his penalty kick attempt in the PK shootout that occurred after the 2-2 draw after regulation time. Rincón has played in five Reserve League games this season, starting four.
Ryan Kawulok - Kawulok has started every game for the Timbers Reserves this season and has registered one assist in those six games played. The first-year defender and former Timbers U-23s player has also been a part of the first team in exhibition matches, playing the second half against Spanish club Valencia CF on May 23 and playing 90 minutes against Aston Villa on July 24.
Laurent Courtois – The second-year MLS player has played well in the past few matches for the Chivas USA Reserves. Against Portland on June 18, Courtois assisted on the equalizing goal in the second half, and in Chivas’ last Reserve League match against Vancouver, the midfielder registered the first goal of the match. The France native also scored the first goal against the Seattle Reserves on April 23. Courtois has played in four Reserve League matches for Chivas USA this year, starting three of those games.
Tim Melia – After a rocky start to his 2012 Reserve League campaign, Melia has been very solid his past four games as goalkeeper for the Reserves. Melia has allowed only four goals in his past four starts for the Chivas Reserves, and has helped lead the squad to first place in the West Division. In his first year with Chivas USA, Melia has started all six Reserve League matches for the Rojiblancos this season.
In two meetings with the Chivas USA Reserves in 2011, Portland went 1-0-1, including a 3-3 draw on the road and a 5-1 victory over Chivas’ Reserves at JELD-WEN Field in September of last year. Monday marks the second Reserves League meeting for the two teams in 2012. Chivas USA and Portland ended in a 2-2 draw in the first meeting of 2012.
The Timbers Reserves currently sit in fourth place in the MLS Reserve League standings, with a record of 2-3-1 (7pts). Chivas USA is in first place, with a record of 3-1-2 (11pts).
- Portland’s leading scorers of the 2012 Reserve League season are Brent Richards and Bright Dike, both with two goals apiece. Charles Renken leads the team in assists, with two.