U-23s midfielder Nick Palodichuk vs. Tacoma
Photo by Miranda Chrislock

Timbers U-23s face three-game road swing

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers U-23s kick off a stretch of three road games in five days tonight as they visit the Tacoma Tide at 7 p.m. The Timbers U-23s then head to British Columbia over the weekend to take on the Abbotsford Mariners on Saturday and Vancouver Whitecaps Residency Sunday.

The Timbers U-23s embark on the first of two, three-game road swings in 2011. Wednesday marks the Timbers U-23s’ second matchup against the Tide, while the team plays both Abbotsford and Vancouver for the first time this season.

The Timbers U-23s (3-2-1, 10pts) sit in third place in the Northwest Division after a 3-2 loss to the Kitsap Pumas in their last match June 3. Forward Brent Richards and midfielder Nick Palodichuk each scored in the second half for Portland, but the Pumas held on to end a four-game unbeaten streak for the Timbers U-23s.

After posting a perfect 8-0-0 record on the road in 2010, the Timbers U-23s are unbeaten in their two away tilts in 2011, posting a win over the Washington Crossfire and a draw against Kitsap.

The Timbers U-23s make their lone visit to Stadium High School this season to take on the Tide (1-2-3, 6pts). Forward Miles Byass scored two goals to help Portland earn a 2-0 win over Tacoma in their first meeting of the season on May 29 in Oregon. The Timbers U-23s have a 5-0-0 all-time record against the Tide, including wins in each of the two previous matches in Tacoma. The two teams finish their three-game, regular-season series on Saturday, June 18.

Portland faces an Abbotsford side (0-3-2, 2pts) at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Bateman Park looking for its first win of the 2011 campaign. The Timbers U-23s are 3-0-0 against the Mariners since joining the Premier Development League in 2009. Last season, the Timbers U-23s defeated the Mariners 4-1 in Abbotsford. The two teams close their season series in Oregon on Friday, July 8.

The Timbers U-23s visit the second-place Whitecaps Residency (3-1-2, 11pts) on Sunday at Empire Field Stadium at 3 p.m. The Timbers U-23s are 4-0-0 all-time against the Whitecaps Residency. Last season, Portland defeated Vancouver in each of their two matches against one another, out-scoring the Whitecaps Residency by a combined score of 6-1. The Timbers U-23s and Whitecaps Residency finish their regular-season series Sunday, July 10, in Oregon.

The Tide are coming off a road trip through British Columbia in which they earned four points, including their first win of the season – a 4-3 victory over Abbotsford on June 5. The team’s leading scorer Chris Sanders tallied twice and newcomer Mike Ulehama registered a goal and an assist in win over the Mariners. Tacoma plays host to the Victoria Highlanders on Sunday to round out its week.

Abbotsford faces a weekend with back-to-back matches, starting Saturday against the Timbers U-23s. The Mariners enter the week searching for their first win of the season after a back-and-forth 4-3 loss to Tacoma in their last match June 5. The three goals against Tacoma was their highest scoring output of the season. Abbotsford plays host to the Kitsap Pumas on Sunday.

Since losing their season opener to Kitsap, the Whitecaps Residency has assembled a five-match unbeaten streak to move into second place in the Northwest Division. Vancouver defeated the Victoria Highlanders 2-1 in its previous match June 5; it was the team’s second win in three games. Sunday’s contest closes a three-match homestand for the Whitecaps Residency at Empire Field Stadium.