U-23s forward Brent Richards TAC
Photo by Miranda Chrislock

Timbers U-23s play host to Tacoma Saturday

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers U-23s return home from a three-match road swing to play host to the Tacoma Tide on Saturday at Kiggins Bowl in Vancouver, Wash., at 7 p.m. Saturday’s match wraps up a three-game, regular-season series between the teams.

Tickets are $8 and will be available for purchase at the gate on match day; a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales benefit host youth soccer club Vancouver United.

The Timbers U-23s finished their recent three-game road stretch with a 1-2-0 mark, which included the first set of back-to-back losses in team history. Portland fell to the Abbotsford Mariners and Vancouver Whitecaps Residency on consecutive days last weekend.

Just past the mid-way point in the 16-game regular-season, the Timbers U-23s (4-4-1, 13pts) sit in third place in the Premier Development League’s (PDL) Northwest Division and are just one point back of second-place Vancouver; the top two teams from each division advance to the postseason.

The Timbers U-23s and Tide have met twice previously this season, with Portland prevailing in both matchups. On May 29, the Timbers U-23s received a brace from forward Miles Byass to earn a 2-0 victory over the Tide. Byass has scored four goals against Tacoma this season, including another brace in a 4-1 road win June 8. Since joining the PDL in 2009, the Timbers U-23s are 6-0-0 all-time against the Tide, and in the last four meetings, have out-scored Tacoma 9-2.

The Timbers U-23s’ roster features two players from the Vancouver area in forward Brent Richards and midfielder Nick Palodichuk; both attended nearby Camas High School. Richards, the reigning PDL MVP, is in his third season with the Timbers U-23s, while Palodichuk plays his first season with the team in 2011.

Saturday’s contest against the Tide begins a four-match homestand for the Timbers U-23s as they finish their regular-season home slate in 2011.

Tacoma (1-4-3, 6pts) faces a two-game week and visits the North Sound SeaWolves on Wednesday before traveling down to play the Timbers U-23s. The Tide are also coming off back-to-back losses and most recently lost 3-1 to the Victoria Highlanders on June 12. The Tide play three of their next four matches on the road, where they have scored seven of their 12 goals and secured five of their six points this season. Tacoma is led by leading scorers Chris Sanders and Daniel Gray with four goals each.