PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers Academy teams opened the 2013-14 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season over the weekend with road matches against De Anza Force and the Santa Cruz Breakers Academy. The two teams swept Santa Cruz on Sunday.
The Timbers U-18 Academy (1-1-0, 3pts) overcame a season-opening loss to the Force on Saturday at De Anza College in Cupertino, Calif., with a solid 3-1 victory against Breakers Academy on Sunday at Cabrillo College in Aptos, Calif.
The Force handed the Timbers U-18s a 4-1 loss. A goal by Timbers U-18 midfielder Ben White (Tigard, Ore.) knotted the score 1-1 late in the first half, but De Anza responded with second-half goals in the 47th, 53rd and 58th minutes to cap the scoring.
On Sunday, a second-half brace from Reid Baez (Salem, Ore.) guided the Timbers U-18s to a 3-1 win over Santa Cruz. A member of the Timbers U-16 Academy, Baez netted both the game-tying and game-winning goals in the 48th and 74th minutes, respectively. Rolando Velazquez (Junction City, Ore.) contributed the team’s third goal in the closing minutes of the match.
Baez suited up for the Timbers U-18s due to four of the team’s roster players joining the Timbers Reserves for an MLS Reserve League match Sunday morning in Carson, Calif.
The Timbers U-16 Academy (1-0-1, 4pts) played De Anza to a 1-1 draw on Saturday and then recorded their first shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory against Santa Cruz on Sunday.
The Timbers U-16s opened the campaign with a hard-fought draw against the Force. Timbers goalkeeper Miguel Martin (Terrebonne, Ore.) made two great saves in the first half, but De Anza was able to convert a tipped save off the crossbar in the 24th minute to take a 1-0 lead. Timbers U-16s midfielder Nick Evans (Troutdale, Ore.) earned a penalty kick late in the first half and slotted home the attempt from the spot to level the score, 1-1.
The following day, the Timbers U-16s posted their first victory of the season in a 1-0 win against Breakers Academy. Portland’s Jake Bray (West Linn, Ore.) scored the lone goal in a hotly contested match. Santa Cruz was a awarded a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time, but Timbers U-16s goalkeeper Grant Alcorn (Vancouver, Wash.) preserved all three points with a save down to his left.
The Timbers Academy teams make their home debut this weekend at the adidas Timbers Training Center, playing host to the Chivas USA Academy on Saturday; the U-18 sides kick off at 12 noon and the U-16s play at 2:30 p.m. (Pacific). The LA Galaxy Academy visits the Timbers Academy on Sunday, with the U-18 teams playing at 10 a.m. and the U-16 teams at 12:30 p.m. (Pacific).