Starters for the Timbers U-23s
Photo by Steel Brooks

U-23s Preview: Timbers U-23s close out regular season

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers U-23s look to close out the 2011 Premier Development League season on Friday at 7 p.m. against the North Sound SeaWolves at Goddard Memorial Stadium in Everett, Wash.

Currently riding a five-game winless streak that dates back to June 25, Portland was officially knocked out of PDL Northwest Division playoff contention last weekend following a 4-1 loss to the Washington Crossfire on July 17. 

After beginning the season with a 4-3-1 record through the first eight contests, the Timbers U-23s have stumbled down the stretch in the second half with just one victory in their last seven matches — a 4-0 victory over Tacoma on June 18.

Last time out against the North Sound SeaWolves (4-7-4, 16 points), Portland earned a 2-0 win on May 25 at JELD-WEN Field. The Timbers U-23s received a first-half goal from Bim Ogunyemi and a second-half strike from Miles Byass while outshooting North Sound 22-2 in the win.

Portland (5-6-4, 19 points) can assure itself of a .500 record with a win on Friday. If the Timbers U-23s lose, it will close out its first losing season since entering the PDL in 2009. The 2010 PDL Champions have compiled a 32-9-6 regular-season record to date.

Midfielder Brent Richards leads the Timbers U-23s with 20 points (seven goals, six assists) while Byass ranks second with 12 (six goals) and forward Erik Hurtado is third with 10 points (five goals).

Richards has recorded a point in six straight games for Portland, dating back to June 18.

For North Sound, midfielder Marshall Kosaka, who plays collegiately at Seattle University, leads the team with 13 points (five goals, three assists).