Forward Travis Bowen
Miranda Chrislock

Timbers U-23s visit Washington Crossfire Sunday

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers U-23s open a string of back-to-back road matches Sunday as they visit the Washington Crossfire at Redmond High School in Redmond, Wash., at 6 p.m.

The Timbers U-23s return to action after a short-handed, season-opening 1-0 loss to the Victoria Highlanders on May 7 at JELD-WEN Field. Midfielder Nosa Iyoha was sent off in the seventh minute following a hard challenge near midfield, reducing the Timbers U-23s to 10 men. Despite playing a man short, Portland out-shot the Highlanders 16-9 in the match.

The loss to Victoria was the team’s first loss in PDL action in 20 games; its last defeat was July 23, 2009. The Timbers U-23s posted a perfect 20-0-0 record in 2010 on their way to winning the PDL title.

During the week, the Timbers U-23s saw several members of their roster join up with the team, including midfielders Nick Palodichuk and Roberto Farfan and defender Luis Esteves. Iyoha will not be available for selection against Washington due to a one-game, league-imposed suspension for his red card last weekend.

The Timbers U-23s and Crossfire kick off a three-game series in 2011 on Sunday. Last season, the Timbers U-23s won both meetings, out-scoring Washington by a combined score of 6-1. Since 2009, the Timbers U-23s are 2-2-0 all-time against the Crossfire; the team played under the name Seattle Wolves in 2009.

The Crossfire face matches on back-to-back days this weekend. It will travel to play the Kitsap Pumas on Saturday before playing host to the Timbers U-23s on Sunday. Washington opened the 2011 season with a scoreless draw with Northwest Division newcomer North Sound SeaWolves on May 7, receiving five saves from goalkeeper Stephen Fung in the shutout.

Sunday’s match completes a club-wide trip to the Seattle area, as the Portland Timbers face Seattle Sounders FC in Major League Soccer action Saturday at 8 p.m. followed by an MLS Reserve League match between Portland and Seattle on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Timbers U-23s travel to face Northwest Division rival Kitsap Pumas on Saturday, May 21, at Bremerton Memorial Stadium before returning home to close out their May schedule.