U-23s forward Brent Richards WAS
Miranda Chrislock

Richards hat trick leads Timbers U-23s to road win

REDMOND, Wash. – A hat trick from forward Brent Richards paved the way as the Portland Timbers U-23s defeated the Washington Crossfire 6-0 on Sunday night at Redmond High School. The Timbers U-23s scored four of their six goals in the second half.

In his season debut, Richards scored two of his three goals in the second half to record just the third hat trick in the three-year history of the Timbers U-23s. Richards, the reigning PDL MVP, was also the owner of one of the two hat-trick performances by Portland in its 2010 championship season.

Midfielder Bim Ogunyemi and forward Miles Byass bookended Richards’ three-goal performance to help the Timbers U-23s (1-1-0, 3pts) to their first points of the season and spoil Washington’s home opener. Striker Ricky Abrego added a goal in the 90th minute to round out the scoring for Portland.

Goalkeeper Garrett Staples recorded two saves and anchored the first clean sheet of the season for the Timbers U-23s. Ogunyemi, Byass and Abrego each scored their first goals of the season, while midfielders Nick Palodichuk and Tracy Hasson and defender Reed Matte all logged an assist.

Facing its second match in two days, the Crossfire (0-2-1, 1pt) suffered its second straight loss. The team lost 3-0 on the road against the Kitsap Pumas on Saturday.

The Timbers U-23s claimed an early 1-0 lead in the 9th minute. Matte caught up to a long pass down the right touch line and crossed the ball to the back post for Ogunyemi. After settling the ball, Ogunyemi hammered in a shot from eight yards out past Crossfire goalkeeper Andre Bourdeaux.

Richards gave the Timbers U-23s a 2-0 lead 10 minutes later. Portland had Washington pinned in its defensive third and Palodichuk chipped the ball into the box for Richards, who snapped header under the crossbar for his first goal of the season.

Hasson set up Richards’ second goal of the match in the 50th minute, with a low, slicing cross in from the right side. On a run up the middle of the box, Richards one-timed the ball from the top of the six yard box by Bourdeaux to extend the Timbers U-23s’ lead to 3-0. He capped his hat trick four minutes later, finishing a bouncing ball through the box into the back of the net.

Portland finished its scoring with two goals in the final five minutes of the match. On broken plays in and around Washington’s penalty area, the Timbers U-23s capitalized on quality looks in tight spaces and received goals from Byass and Abrego to seal the 6-0 victory.

The Timbers U-23s face Northwest Division rival the Kitsap Pumas on the road in their next match on Saturday, May 21; kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Notes: Sunday’s match marked the first of the Timbers U-23s’ four qualification matches for the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament … The Timbers U-23s were without the services of midfielder Nosa Iyoha due to a one-game, league-imposed suspension for his red card on May 7… A handful of Timbers U-23s players made their season debut against Crossfire, including Richards, Palodichuk, Farfan, Abrego, Byass, defender Dylan Tucker and goalkeeper Keegan Rogers … Earlier in the day, Timbers U-23s players Nosa Iyoha, Sean Morris and Ogunyemi each saw time with the Timbers Reserves in an MLS Reserve League match against Seattle Sounders FC Reserves; Ogunyemi scored a goal.

Scoring Summary:
POR: Ogunyemi (Matte) 9
POR: Richards (Palodichuk) 19
POR: Richards (Hasson) 50
POR: Richards (unassisted) 54
POR: Byass (unassisted) 85
POR: Abrego (unassisted) 90+

POR: GK Staples (Rogers, 81), D Matte (Tucker, 54), D Kawulok, D Gonzalez, D Carrillo, M Palodichuk, M Hasson (Dorrego, 72), M Ogunyemi (Iwasaki, 54), M Farfan, F Richards (Abrego, 71), F Bowen (Byass, 67)

WAS: GK Bourdeaux, D Arena (Zoggs, 78), D Fisher, D Mueller, D Harris, M Knapp, M Fishbaugher, M Conrad (Cline, 46), M Keller (McIntosh, 46), F Knight, F Rigby (Kelly, 46)

Misconduct Summary:
POR: Palodichuk (Caution) 45
WAS: Kelly (Caution) 88