Timbers advance in U.S. Open cup with win over Kitsap

BREMERTON, Wash. – Second-half goals by midfielder Brian Farber, forward Jason McLaughlin and defender David Hayes guided the Portland Timbers to a 3-0 win over the Kitsap Pumas of the Premier Development League at Memorial Stadium Tuesday in the first round of the U.S. Open Cup.

With the win, the Timbers advance to the second round of the tournament and will travel to face the Sonoma County Sol of the U.S. Adult Soccer Association on June 16 at Santa Rosa High School; kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

After a scoreless first half, Timbers erupted for three goals in the second half, including a strike from Farber 25 seconds into the period. McLaughlin then sealed the victory with a tally in the 90th minute and Hayes added an insurance goal in second-half stoppage time, converting a penalty kick attempt following a Kitsap hand ball inside the box.

Tuesday marked the first of three games in a stretch of five days for the Timbers, who travel east for regular-season matches against the Carolina RailHawks on Thursday at 4 p.m. (Pacific) and Charleston Battery Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific).

A physical first half opened with early chances for both clubs. Farber nearly found the mark on a breakaway in the first minute, but missed the frame. In the 18th minute, forward Mandjou Keita corralled a ball played over the top and forced a one-on-one with Pumas goalkeeper Dustyn Brim. With a defender on his back, Keita rolled his shot wide of the right post.

Kitsap looked to run their offense down the Timbers’ right side in the first half, looking for forward Spencer Schomaker and midfielder Mark Conrad on the back side. But it was a corner kick from the left side that nearly put the PDL side on the board in the 29th minute.

Kitsap midfielder Kyle Johnson sent a corner kick into the middle of the box that found Conrad on the spot. Conrad bounced a header off the turf and it looped over the cross bar and out of play, keeping the deadlock intact.

As the match settled in, the Timbers controlled the tempo for the remainder of the first half and set up another chance in the 43rd minute. A throw-in by Portland defender Scot Thompson found defender Mamadou Danso on the back stick, but Danso’s header was pushed wide.

The Timbers didn’t take long to open the second half as Farber delivered the go-ahead goal for the Timbers in the 46th minute. Portland won a fifty-fifty ball at midfield and midfielder Keith Savage worked the ball to Farber inside the box. Farber was able to get around his defender, and on his second touch, drilled a low shot from 12 yards out past Brim and inside the back post for a 1-0 advantage.

Kitsap, one of four professional teams in the PDL, put the Timbers under pressure for a spell early in the second period. In the 57th minute, a breakaway by Schomaker led to what appeared to be the equalizing goal by forward Tony Kerr, but before Kerr received the ball, he was ruled off side and the his goal was waived.

Minutes later, Cronin had to leave his line to challenge an attacking run by the Pumas. With a sliding challenge at the top left corner of the box, Cronin was able to force Schomaker’s shot wide right, maintaining the Timbers’ one-goal advantage.

In the 74th minute, Savage had a chance to double the Timbers’ lead following a loose ball in the box. The ball rattled around several players before Savage tapped the ball towards the goal. A last-minute swipe at the ball by Brim kept the shot from crossing the goal line.

Brim was forced into action once again minutes later as a foul committed on Portland’s Tony McManus set up a 20-yard free kick by Hayes. A curling shot at the right post by Hayes was pushed wide by a diving effort from Brim, keeping the Timbers lead at 1-0.

The pressure applied to Kitsap by the Timbers paid off in the 90th minute, allowing McLaughlin was able to penetrate the back four and earn his second goal of the season. Chasing down a long ball played over the top, McLaughlin chipped a 10 yard shot over Brim to give Portland a 2-0 advantage.

Hayes then capped the scoring in second-half stoppage time with a penalty kick attempt after Kitsap defender Jesse Wheelock was called for a hand ball inside the box while challenging the play. Hayes lined up and drilled a low shot into an open left side for his first goal of the season and helped the Timbers advance to the second round of the U.S. Open Cup for the first time since 2007.

Notes: McManus left the field due to injury after he was fouled in the 74th minute. He was replaced by Tom Poltl … Portland improves to 4-5-0 in U.S. Open Cup matches since 2001 … Savage was credited with the assist on Farber’s goal … The Timbers out-shot the Pumas 12-8.

POR: GK Cronin, D Hayes, D Keel, D Hayes, D Danso, M McManus (Poltl, 75), M Savage, M Nimo (Suzuki, 63), M Farber, F McLaughlin, F Keita (Josten, 56)

KIT: GK Brim, D Lee, D Lipset (Wheelock, 80), D Mohn, D Hyde, M Conrad (Megson, 67), M Friesen, M Johnson, M Phillips, F Kerr (Gordley,67), F Schomaker