Timbers shut out in loss to Minnesota

PORTLAND, Ore. – Matt Schmidt scored a goal and goalkeeper Joe Warren collected a shutout as the Minnesota Thunder defeated the Portland Timbers 1-0 in front of 5,568 Friday night at PGE Park.

Alan Gordon marked his return to the Timbers (5-12-6, 21pts) by starting at forward after joining the team on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer (MLS).

The win was only the fourth this season for the Thunder (4-10-5, 17pts), who currently sit in last place in the USL First Division standings.

The loss extended Portland’s winless streak to 13 games, the last win coming against the Thunder on June 15.

The Thunder took the lead in the 51st minute when Chad Dombrowski launched a shot from the top corner of the penalty area. The ball deflected off of several players in front of the Timbers goal before Matt Schmidt was able to tap the ball past Timbers keeper Josh Saunders to put Minnesota up 1-0.

Luke Kreamalmeyer won the ball on the right flank in the 41st minute and brought the ball upfield. Kreamalmeyer’s cross found Gordon 12 yards from goal sandwiched between two defenders, and Gordon was able to get a head on the ball, but his effort missed wide of the mark.

Portland had a great opportunity to equalize in the 71st minute after Gordon beat several Thunder defenders. Gordon played the ball forward to the feet of the on-rushing Byron Alvarez, but Alvarez’s strike rolled just wide and out for a goal kick.

“We’re not getting enough shots on target and not enough people getting chances. We believe, though, when Mamba Chisoni gets back in town, his pace and ability is something that lifts the team. And what we have to do is rely on our ability to lift ourselves. We’ve got to get these guys to push themselves through the rest of the season and learn valuable lessons so we can build on that. We’re still a team in transition right now.”

NOTES: Tonight marked the first appearance at PGE Park for newly acquired midfielder Mike Chabala and forward Yuri Morales … Gordon made his first appearance in a Timbers uniform since September 5, 2004 at Seattle … defender Scot Thompson left earlier in the day to take part in a 10-day tryout with England’s Coventry City … defender Jacobi Goodfellow wore the captain’s armband in Thompson’s absence.

SCORING SUMMARY: MIN: Schmidt 51’ (Dombrowski).


LINEUPS: MINNESOTA (4-10-5): J. Warren GK, B. Branan D, A. Esteves D, C. Dombrowski D, D. Branan D, F. Juarez M, G. Tenoff M, M. Schmidt M, T. Alvino M, L. Gibson F (Knox 69’), M. Tarley F (Brisson 90’).
PORTLAND (5-12-6): J. Saunders GK, M. Randolph D, J. Goodfellow D, M. Nsien D, S. Bullen D, L. Kreamalmeyer M, M. Chabala M, L. Morrison M (Wilkinson 84’), H. Alcaraz-Cuellar M (Morales 57’), A. Gutierrez F (Alvarez 67’), A. Gordon F.