Bim Ogunyemi, U-23s vs. Seawolves, 5.25.11
Photo by Miranda Chrislock

Timbers U-23s top North Sound 2-0 at JELD-WEN Field

PORTLAND, Ore. – Midfielder Bim Ogunyemi and forward Miles Byass each found the back of the net as the Portland Timbers U-23s topped the North Sound SeaWolves 2-0 in front of 2,762 at JELD-WEN Field on Wednesday afternoon.

Thousands of Portland-area kids descended on JELD-WEN Field for the first of two Health and Fitness School Days, presented by Providence Health & Services, for the Timbers U-23s in 2011. Portland dictated the tempo of the match, which led to a first-half goal by Ogunyemi and an early second-half tally for Byass. The Timbers U-23s out-shot North Sound 22-2 in the contest.

Ogunyemi scored his second goal of the season, Byass recorded a game-high seven shots and his first goal, while midfielder Tracy Hasson and forward Travis Bowen each logged assists to help the Timbers U-23s (2-1-1, 7pts) extend their unbeaten streak to three games.

Timbers U-23s goalkeeper Garrett Staples made two saves to pick up his first shutout of the season, helping the team to its third straight clean sheet and extending its stretch of consecutive minutes played without conceding a goal to 305 minutes.

Goalkeeper Claudio Lazar made eight saves, including five in the second half, in the first loss of the season for the SeaWolves (0-1-2, 2pts), ending a two-game unbeaten run to start the campaign.

Wednesday’s match doubled as one of four qualifiers for the Timbers U-23s for the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. With the win, the Timbers U-23s improve to 2-0-1 in qualifying games and will play their last qualifier Sunday in their regular-season meeting against the Tacoma Tide.

In the 22nd minute, the Timbers U-23s cracked the deadlock with a goal from a free kick by Ogunyemi. Defender Jesus Gonzalez was fouled on the fringe of the area. On the ensuring re-start, Ogunyemi received a short pass from Bowen before he blasted a low drive through the box and by Lazar for a 1-0 Timbers U-23s lead.

After taking five shots in the first half, Byass’ persistence paid off in the 49th minute, with this first goal as a member of the Timbers U-23s. Hasson worked the ball down the right side and deep in the corner, drawing out his defender and Lazar off his line. He crossed the ball in and Byass was able to finish into an open net to double the lead for Portland 2-0.

The Timbers U-23s pressured from the opening whistle and forced the SeaWolves to defend much of the first half; Portland held a 13-1 shot advantage in the opening half. Byass had a point-blank attempt in the 17th minute turned away on a diving stop by Lazar. Before the break, midfielder Nick Palodichuk’s follow-up shot off a corner kick hit off the right post.

Portland’s attack continued to pressure over the last half hour, leading to a series of close chances by Byass, Bowen, Palodichuk and midfielder Steven Evans. Evans nearly capitalized on a misplay by North Sound in the 73rd minute, intercepting the ball along the top of the box before firing a shot just wide.

Lazar made several key stops for the SeaWolves the second half. He punched away a dangerous chance by Byass in the 52nd minute and denied an open look by Palodichuk on a scramble off corner kick late in the match.

The Timbers U-23s return to action Sunday as they play host to the Tide at Clackamas High School in Clackamas, Ore., at 5 p.m. Tickets will be available for purchase at the gate on match day.

Notes: Timbers U-23s’ Evans and Byass made their first starts of the season … Evans had a goal waived off minutes after Byass’ strike in the second half; he was called offside on the play … Wednesday’s meeting was the first all-time between Portland and North Sound … Bowen’s assist was his first of the season … Ogunyemi also scored last season in the Timbers U-23s’ first Health and Fitness School Day, presented by Providence Health & Services, leading the team to a 1-0 win over Tacoma.

Scoring Summary:
POR: Ogunyemi (Bowen), 22
POR: Byass (Hasson), 49

POR: GK Staples, D Thompson, D Morris (Matte, 66), D Kawulok, D Gonzalez, M Evans (Dorrego, 85), M Hasson (Iyoha, 61), M Palodichuk (Iwasaki, 89), M Ogunyemi (Carillo, 86), F Bowen, F Byass (Abrego, 69)

NS: GK Lazar, D Brambila, D Gonzalez (Owens, 87), D Fincher (Correa, 54), D Tomlinson, M Benedetti (Lind, 36), M Nowland, M Prestes, M Dubin (Potenciano, 44), F Oliviera, F Aman