Timbers bag two for win at Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Luke Kreamalmeyer opened the scoring and Oral Bullen netted the game-winning goal as the Portland Timbers defeated the Minnesota Thunder 2-1 at James Griffin Stadium.

The goals were the second of the season for Kreamalmeyer and Bullen, who become the fifth and sixth Timbers, respectively, to reach the two-goal mark this year.

The Timbers (5-4-3, 18pts) extend their unbeaten run to six games, with the last loss coming on May 19 against the Rochester Raging Rhinos.

Kreamalmeyer put the Timbers up in the 14th minute when he got on the end of a free kick from Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar. Alcaraz-Cuellar, who is tied for the league lead in assists (4), took a free kick from 30 yards out, swung the ball into the box and Kreamalmeyer volleyed the ball with his foot past Thunder keeper Joe Warren for the 1-0 lead.

Mamba Chisoni brought the ball down the left wing in the 59th minute, then crossed the ball into the penalty box. Bullen was waiting at the far post and he controlled the ball before burying it in the top corner from six yards out to give the Timbers the 2-1 win.

Minnesota (2-5-2, 8pts) evened the score just seconds after halftime on a free kick near the Timbers penalty area. Kiki Lara played the ball into the box and it found Terry Alvino, who buried his shot past Timbers keeper Josh Saunders.

Up next, the Timbers continue their three-game road trip by heading to Rochester to take on the Raging Rhinos on Saturday, June 17. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:35 p.m. (Pacific).

“This was a very good performance by everyone on the team. We got everything we wanted out of this match, including a surprise appearance by our assistant coach, Gavin Wilkinson. I was also very pleased that despite the injuries we have in our defense, we have great players who can step in and do an excellent job for us. I feel that tonight’s defensive effort really exemplified our ‘build-from-the-back’ philosophy.”

“We’re only a third of the way through a tough road trip, though, and we already have to start thinking about the Rochester match on Saturday. We have some tired legs right now, so we will try and rest as best we can tomorrow so we’ll be ready to go out and get a result against the Raging Rhinos.”

NOTES: Defender Salim Bullen made his Timbers debut Thursday night … Portland assistant coach Gavin Wilkinson was made available as a substitute prior to the match and came in for the final minute … With a shot in the game, Timbers midfielder Luke Kreamalmeyer moved into a tie for the league lead in shots (26) this season.

SCORING SUMMARY: POR: Kreamalmeyer 14’ (Alcaraz-Cuellar), O. Bullen 59’ (Chisoni); MIN: Alvino 47’ (Lara).

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY: POR: Goodfellow YC (61’), Randolph (84’); MIN: Juarez YC (44’), Esteves YC (53’). B. Branan YC (72’).

LINEUPS: MINNESOTA (2-5-2) J. Warren GK, A. Esteves D, B. Branan D, M. Dello-Russo D, M. Wilson D (Paye 76’), F. Juarez M (Gotsmonov 72’), G. Tenoff M, K. Lara M (Winkel 67’), M. Schmidt M (Kilickan 76’), T. Alvion M, M. Tarley F.
PORTLAND (5-4-3) J. Saunders GK, J. Goodfellow D, S. Thompson D, S. Bullen D, M. Randolph D, L. Morrison M, H. Alcaraz-Cuellar M (Wilkinson 89’), L. Kreamalmeyer M (Iniguez 72’), O. Bullen M (Poltl 64’), B. Alvarez F (McAthy 83’), M. Chisoni F.