PORTLAND, Ore. – A second-half goal by forward Austin Savage was the difference as the Charleston Battery of USL PRO defeated the Portland Timbers U-23s 1-0 in a hard-fought match in the second round of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday evening at JELD-WEN Field.
The Timbers U-23s, members of the Premier Development League, went toe-to-toe with the Battery, nearly matching the pro club in shots (12-10) and held the advantage in corner kicks (4-3). Savage tallied the decisive goal in the 60th minute, heading in a cross from midfielder Zach Prince to clinch the win for Charleston and to help the club advance to the third round of the tournament against Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes.
From the left side, Prince sent in a well-placed cross to the back post, where Savage was trying to hold his ground against Timbers U-23s defender Mitch Lurie. Savage was just able to get his head to the ball and placed a shot inside the top left corner of the goal for the game-winning strike.
The Timbers U-23s, playing in their second consecutive U.S. Open Cup, pushed hard for the equalizer, and out-shot the Battery 5-4 in the second half. Forward Mark Sherrod had a bouncing header off a cross from the wing that was collected by Charleston goalkeeper Kevin Klasila in the 79th minute. Two minutes from time, Sherrod flicked on a long ball at the top of the box to set up a half-volley for defender Will Seymore, but Klasila was in position to block the attempt from inside the penalty area.
The two teams exchanged scoring opportunities throughout the first half. Sherrod had a looping header just miss the target in the fifth minute and forward Reinaldo Brenes, making his Timbers U-23s debut, was on the receiving end of a build-up through the middle of the park and hit a rolling shot from the top of the box on frame in the 16th minute.
Timbers U-23s goalkeeper David Meves made two of his three saves in the first half to keep the Battery at bay. In the 37th minute, a ball played over the top by Charleston was headed back towards goal by Portland’s Bryan Gallego, but was not firm enough to prevent Battery forward Dane Kelly from running onto the ball. Kelly’s shot from near the penalty spot was blocked by Meves charging off his line.
Battery midfielder Jose Cuevas, the 2012 USL PRO Rookie of the Year, had a curling shot from the left side in the 17th minute that Meves got his fingertips to and got enough of the ball to steer it off the top right corner of the goal frame.
The Timbers U-23s return to league play Thursday as they play host to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 as part of the team’s second Providence Health & Fitness Day at JELD-WEN Field; kickoff is set for 11 a.m. (Pacific). Tickets are available for purchase through the JELD-WEN Field box office and online at www.portlandtimbers.com. The day will feature a host of activities for kids and a pre-game assembly.
Notes: The second-round match of the 2013 U.S. Open Cup marked the first time the Timbers U-23s, an amateur team, had faced a professional side … The second round of the U.S. Open Cup is the furthest the Timbers U-23s have reached in the tournament … The Timbers U-23s were one of 11 teams from the Premier Development League competing in the second round of the tournament; four of those teams advanced to the third round … With the loss, the Timbers U-23s are 15-5-0 all-time at JELD-WEN Field across all competitions … Defender Saad Abdul-Salaam, forward Reinaldo Brenes and midfielder Nick Palodichuk made their season debuts for the Timbers U-23s against the Battery … In the Charleston Starting XI was midfielder Jarad van Schaik, who played for the Timbers U-23s from 2009-10. He scored the team’s first-ever goal in its inaugural match May 9, 2009, against Victoria Highlanders FC.
CHS: Austin Savage (Zach Prince), 60
CHS: Zach Prince (Caution), 11
CHS: Jarad van Schaik (Caution), 20
POR: Mitch Lurie (Caution), 55
CHS: Nicki Paterson (Caution), 90
POR: GK David Meves, D Saad Abdul-Salam, D Mitch Lurie (Nick Palodichuk, 75), D Bryan Gallego, D Will Semore, M Eric Miller, M Zach Barnes, M Gabriel Conelian, F Zack Foxhoven (Jose Ribas, 62), F Reinaldo Brenes (Jaime Velasco, 73), F Mark Sherrod
Subs not used: GK Blake Hylen, D Travis Brent, D J.J. Greer, D Anthony Hobbs
CHS: GK Kevin Klasila, D Shawn Ferguson, D Colin Falvey, D Cody Ellison, D John Wilson, M Jarad van Schaik, M Zach Prince (Emmanuel Adjetey, 70), M Nicki Paterson, F Austin Savage (Taylor Mueller, 66), F Jose Cuevas, F Dane Kelly
Subs not used: GK Odisnel Cooper, D Mark Wiltse, F Heviel Cordoves