PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers U-18 and U-16 Academy teams opened the 2012-13 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season over the weekend with a trip to Southern California to take on the academy teams for MLS sides Chivas USA and the LA Galaxy.
The Timbers U-18 Academy opened its inaugural Development Academy season with back-to-back losses to the Chivas USA and LA Galaxy U-18 sides. Despite notable performances from defender Abdiel Morfin (Canby, Ore.) and forward Christian Desir (Portland, Ore.), the Timbers U-18s were handed a 5-0 loss by the Chivas USA U-18 Academy in their season opener Saturday. Daniel Moreno scored a brace for the Chivas USA U-18s.
Against the LA Galaxy U-18 Academy on Sunday, the Timbers U-18s fell 2-0 at The Home Depot Center. Desir hit the post for a second straight match against the Galaxy and Timbers U-18s goalkeeper Mitch North (Medford, Ore.) made a phenomenal save in the 44th minute.
The Timbers U-16 Academy opened their season with a 2-2 draw against the Chivas USA U-16 Academy on Saturday. Niko De Vera (Washougal, Wash.) gave the Timbers U-16s the lead in the 17th minute, scoring the first goal in team history off a corner kick. After Chivas USA leveled, the Timbers regained the lead just before halftime, when Reid Baez (Salem, Ore.) struck in the 39th minute. The home side once again found the equalizer and leveled the score in the 80th minute.
On Sunday, the Timbers U-16s played the LA Galaxy U-16 Academy to a 1-1 draw. After conceding the opening goal in the 31st minute, the Timbers U-16s were able to answer early in the second half. Baez scored his second goal of the weekend in the 53rd minute, tapping in a rebound off a deflected shot to help Portland earn a share of the points.
The Timbers Academy teams next face the U-18 and U-16 teams for Cascadia-rival Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, Sept. 22, at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash. The U-18s kickoff at 1 p.m. (Pacific) and the U-16s take the field at 3:30 p.m. (Pacific).
Timbers ODP Pre-Academy Boy’s ’97 show well in recent holiday tournament
The Timbers ODP Pre-Academy Boys ’97 recently participated in Labor Day Cup 2012 held at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash. The Timbers won two of their three games in the tournament, which featured teams from the Northwest and Canada.
The Timbers ODP Pre-Academy side defeated XIFA from Spokane, Wash., 5-1, featuring a hat trick from Jake Bray (West Linn, Ore.), in their first match on Sept. 1. The Timbers produced another five-goal performance the following day in a 5-2 win over Calgary Foothills; Carlos Cabrera (Beaverton, Ore.) contributed a brace for the Timbers.
The Timbers closed out the tournament with a Cascadia matchup Sept. 3 against the ’97 side for Seattle Sounders FC. Bray scored again for the Timbers in a 2-1 loss to Seattle. Bray finished the tournament with five goals and found the back of the net in each of the Timbers three matches.