PORTLAND, Ore. – Midfielder Andrew Gregor recorded one goal and set up another in the first half as the Portland Timbers shut out the Rochester Raging Rhinos 2-0 at PGE Park Sunday Night in front of 3,041. Timbers’ goalkeeper Josh Wicks recorded the team’s first league shutout of the season.
The Timbers’ 2-0 win is their first victory and shutout over Rochester since Portland joined the United Soccer Leagues in 2001. The Timbers (2-1-1, 7pts) had been winless against Rochester (2-2-2, 8pts) in their last six matches.
Wicks recorded his second shutout in three games against Rochester; his first league shutout. His previous shutout came against Club Necaxa on May 9 in an international exhibition match at PGE Park.
With Rochester playing its second match in as many days, the Timbers applied heavy pressure on the Raging Rhinos and nearly found a goal in the 5th minute of play. Forward Bryan Jordan found Gregor at the top of the box but Gregor’s shot was knocked wide by Rochester goalkeeper Chase Harrison.
Gregor’s fourth goal of the season came in the 24th minute to give the Timbers an early 1-0 lead. The play developed off of a throw in to forward Chris Bagley, who controlled the ball and delivered a quick pass to Gregor in the box. From 15 yards out on the left post, Gregor rifled a shot into the far upper “v”.
The Timbers took a 2-0 lead in the 32nd minute on a 32-yard bomb by defender Leonard Griffin past Harrison along the left post. Gregor, out on the right wing, found Griffin running to space towards the top left side of the penalty area. With a right foot, Griffin netted his first goal as a Timber.
Wicks narrowly escaped an early Rochester goal in the 19th minute as forward Hamed Diallo attempted to scissor kick a cross from Stephen Shirley-Black. Diallo couldn’t connect on the shot and the ball sailed out of play.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Rochester nearly trimmed the Timbers lead on a corner kick. Glued to the right post, midfielder Tom Poltl knocked away a shot by Rochester’s Kenny Bertz for the save.
The Timbers maintained their pressure in the offensive third throughout the second half. In the 85th minute, Midfielder Luke Kreamalmeyer nearly got a head on the Timbers third goal of the night. Jordan weaved his way through the box and sent a cross from the left edge of the six-yard box as Kreamalmeyer came flying through.
Notes: Defender Lee Morrison had his 39 consecutive match streak broken tonight. His streak dated back to August 18, 2005 … Poltl earned his first start of the season … Gregor has scored four goals in four games …
POR – GK Wicks, D S. Thompson, D J. Thompson, D Knowles, D Griffin, M Hague (Lara, 45), M Poltl, M Gregor, M Kreamalmeyer (Higgins, 88), F Jordan, F Bagley (Ambriz, 89)
ROC – GK Harrison, D Aloisi (Novak, 54), D Bertz, D Perry (Ambersley, 40), D Palguta, M Shirley-Black, M Menyonger (Craft, 71), M Ball (Kramer, 71), M Bonseu, F Diallo (Martinez, 34), F Delicate