T2, vs. Real Monarchs SLC -- May 26, 2018
Sam Ortega / Portland Timbers 2

USL MATCH RECAP | Portland Timbers 2: 1, Real Monarchs SLC: 0

PORTLAND, Ore. – Closing out a two-match homestand, T2 defeated Real Monarchs SLC 1-0 at Providence Park on Saturday afternoon. Midfielder Dairon Asprilla registered his second goal in USL play, while Portland extended its unbeaten run to five games and earned its league-leading seventh shutout of the season.

Run of form
In their last nine games dating back to April 4, T2 are now 6-1-2. With Saturday’s win, Portland improved to 4-1-0 at home this season (3-0-0 at Providence Park) and is now undefeated in its last five matches (4-0-1), equaling a club record, five-match unbeaten run last achieved from Sept. 4 – 24, 2016.

Stingy defense
With Saturday’s shutout victory over Real Monarchs, T2 earned their USL-leading seventh shutout of the season. This marks the second shutout of the season at home for Portland, as goalkeeper Alex Mangels made two saves and earned his second shutout.  

T2 vs. Monarchs SLC
T2 are now 3-4-3 against Real Monarchs SLC in 10 matches all-time in USL play. Additionally, T2 improved to 3-1-1 at home against the Monarchs. By taking all three points on Saturday, T2 handed the Monarchs just their second loss of the season, and first since April 21.

Key plays
Portland saw its first scoring chance in the 25th minute after Asprilla left his marker on the left touch line, playing a cross into the center of the six-yard box. Rising first to the ball, forward Foster Langsdorf’s header was saved by Monarchs goalkeeper Jake Leeker from point-blank-range.

Four minutes later, defender Vytas was on the receiving end of midfielder Eryk Williamson’s corner kick service, but his header flashed inches over the crossbar. After he was fouled by Leeker in the penalty area, Asprilla’s attempt from the spot was saved by Leeker in the 34th minute.

Just before halftime, Asprilla’s shot from the right edge of the box skipped wide past the far post in the 42nd minute. Three minutes later, midfielder Andre Lewis played in midfielder Renzo Zambrano behind the Monarchs defense, but his low shot was kicked saved by Leeker in the 45th minute.

Continuing to apply pressure on the Monarchs defense, midfielder Mavin Loría’s free kick from just outside the 18-yard box was curled just wide of the near post in the 57th minute. Following a penalty earned by Loría after he was brought down inside the penalty area, Zambrano’s penalty attempt was fired off the crossbar in the 66th minute.

T2 nearly scored when Williamson intercepted a Monarchs pass in their own half, forcing a kick save from an onrushing Leeker in the penalty area in the 77th minute. Seconds later, Zambrano played a pass to Williamson, which he dummied to allow Asprilla to latch onto the pass and beat Leeker at his near post to give T2 a 1-0 lead. The assist marked Zambrano’s first of 2018, as the eighth different player to record an assist for T2 this season.

Gliding past three Monarchs defenders down the right wing, Loría played a pass down the left edge of the penalty area to Williamson, whose chipped attempt was cleared off the line by a Monarchs SLC defender in the 80th minute.

Next Game
Next up, T2 will travel on the road to face San Antonio FC in San Antonio, Texas, at Toyota Field on Saturday June 2. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. (Pacific), the match against San Antonio FC will be streamed live on ESPN+.

Postgame Quote Sheet
T2 head coach Cameron Knowles

On his thoughts after the win over Real Monarchs SLC…
“I thought it was a really good performance from the guys. We created chances and obviously had two missed penalties, and another shutout. It was a mature performance. We found a way to get the goal and that’s a big three points against a very good team.”

On the team’s attitude to claim the victory…
“It speaks to the character and belief in the group. The chances they were creating kept fueling that positivity that they could feel a goal or another chance was going to come and they kept pushing the game.”

On the team’s league-leading seventh shutout of 2018…
“It’s a team effort. The guys in there, regardless of whatever position they play, they’re very proud of keeping teams out of the net. It’s big. It’s been important for us. We’ve had some games where we’ve conceded a few chances and whatnot, but guys have made plays – they’ve made tackles, they’ve made saves, attacking players have tracked back and helped out and it takes that collective effort to get a shutout.”

On the team’s next road match against San Antonio FC…
“We have to move on and enjoy this for today. It’s a big result and the players need to enjoy that feeling. You’ve got to enjoy the highs. Then we’ll get them back in and we’ll reevaluate and work towards another tough opponent. There are no easy games in this league, especially no easy games on the road. We know we’ve got our work cut out for us in maintaining a high level.”

T2 (7-3-2, 23pts) vs. Real Monarchs SLC (8-2-1, 25pts)
May 26, 2018 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                1          2          F
T2                                 0          1          1
Real Monarchs SLC       0          0          0

Scoring Summary:
POR: Asprilla (Zambrano), 77

Misconduct Summary
POR: Asprilla (caution), 36
POR: Vytas (caution), 50
SLC: Peay (caution), 56

POR: GK Mangels, D Mulligan, D Phillips, D Jadama ©, D Vytas (Batista, 72), M Zambrano, M Lewis, M Asprilla, M Williamson (Ebobisse, 83), M Loría, F Langsdorf (Vuelto, 68)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Pack, D Diz Pe, D Hanson, F Williams

TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Asprilla, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (2, Asprilla); FOULS: 15 (Asprilla, 4); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3

SLC: GK Leeker, D Brody, D Horst, D Peay (Mare, 80), D Ryden, M Portillo, M Adams, M Chang, M Hernandez (Hanlin, 62), M Heard (Gallagher, 46), F Hoffman

Substitutes Not Used: GK Jackson, D Plewa, M Moberg, F Kacher

TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Adams, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Adams, 2); FOULS: 13 (Three players tied 2, x); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 4

Referee: Rosendo Mendoza
Assistant Referees: Corbyn May, Justin St. Pierre
4th Official: Pawel Sojka
Attendance: 1,548
Weather: Cloudy, 61 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial