Timbers fall in season finale

PORTLAND, Ore. – Machel Millwood scored two goals as the Atlanta Silverbacks shut down the Portland Timbers in the final game of the regular season in front of 6,163 Thursday night at PGE Park.

Portland (7-15-6 27pts) could not close out the season on a high note, losing its third straight game. It is just the second loss in a regular season finale for the Timbers in the last six years.

The Silverbacks (10-11-5, 35pts) got a much-needed win as they jockey for the sixth and final USL First Division playoff spot with Seattle, Miami and Puerto Rico. In two games against the Timbers, Millwood scored three goals and tallied an assist.

Millwood opened the scoring in the 32nd minute when the Silverbacks worked the ball deep inside the left of the penalty area and drew Timbers goalkeeper Bayard Elfvin toward the left post. Tony McManus then slipped a pass to Millwood who rolled a shot to the right side of the goal and out of the reach of Elfvin to give the Silverbacks the 1-0 advantage.

Millwood tacked on another goal in the 70th minute when he collected a loose ball toward midfield and broke away from the Timbers defense. Elfvin came out of the goal to try and take away the angle, but Millwood chipped it over his head and into the empty net.

The Timbers had a prime opportunity in the 6th minute, when Silverbacks goalkeeper Felipe Quintero chased a loose ball to the end of the penalty area and took down Mamba Chisoni. Referee Colin Arblaster immediately pointed to the penalty spot, and the Timbers selected Byron Alvarez to take the penalty kick. He sent a hard shot toward the left post, but Quintero followed the ball and deflected it out of harm’s way.

Mike Chabala had a chance to tie it up in the 49th minute, as he came in-stride with a cross from Chisoni on the far side. Chabala redirected the ball toward the Silverbacks goal, but Quintero made a diving save to protect the lead.

Chisoni also tried for an equalizer in the 61st minute. He broke away from the Silverbacks at midfield and launched a shot from about 25 yards away, but it was pushed out of bounds by a diving Quintero, who finished with five saves on the night.

The Timbers were eliminated from playoff contention last Thursday for just the second time in modern franchise history.

NOTES: At halftime head coach and general manager Chris Agnello presented Tom Poltl with the Timbers Community Player of the Year Award for his outstanding contribution to the community this season … A silent auction was held before and during the match for the Timbers’ game-worn jerseys with proceeds going to the Muscular Dystrophy Association … Luke Kreamalmeyer started in midfield, his 28th appearance this season, becoming just the seventh player in modern Timbers history to reach the mark … he logged 2,380 minutes for the Timbers over the course of the season.

“In order to get a better team we need to strengthen the core of this franchise, which is what we're doing everyday, and I'm not talking about the little things, I'm talking about the big picture, like getting into the community with youth programs; hosting tournaments for youth groups and adults; going out and doing clinics with youth club programs; these types of things get our name out there.”

SCORING SUMMARY: ATL: Millwood 32’ (McManus), Millwood 70’ (UA).

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY: POR: Marcum YC (44’), Nsien YC (75’) ; ATL: Ukah YC (29’).

LINEUPS: ATLANTA (10-11-5): F. Quintero GK, D. Hayes D, O. Jarun D, M. Bobo D, A. De La Torre D (Rojas 81’), S. Buete M, T. McManus M, R. Rios M (Pineda-Chicon 83’), J. Smith M (Dawkins 54’), W. Ukah F (McLaughlin 45’), M. Millwood F (George 83’).
PORTLAND (7-15-6): B. Elfvin GK (Saunders 76’) , G. Marcum D (Thompson 76’), J. Goodfellow D (Morrison 76’), M. Nsien D, M. Randolph D, M. Chisoni M, L. Kreamalmeyer M, M. Chisoni M, H. Alcaraz-Cuellar M, A. Gutierrez (Ready 64’), B. Alvarez F, M. Chabala F (Poltl 76’).