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Timbers Youth Update: Jan. 21, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers Pre-Academy ODP ’95 Boys team recently returned from Phoenix, Ariz., where they finished tied for second place in the ODP Regional Championships (Region IV). Consisting of players from across the state, the Timbers Pre-Academy ODP ’95 Boys represented Oregon against ODP teams from Arizona, Cal-South, Utah and New Mexico in the tournament.

The Timbers’ Pre-Academy group started well, winning their first two matches of the Region IV championship tournament against Arizona and Utah. A hard-fought, 2-1 loss to Cal-South kept the Timbers ODP ’95 Boys from making a run for the tournament finals, but the team bounced back to finish its slate of games with a 2-2 draw against New Mexico.

Following the tournament, eight players from the Oregon team were named to Region IV ’95 Boys All-Star Teams – more than any other team. First-team selections included goalkeeper Collin Partee (Vancouver, Wash.), defender Cameron Chesnutt (Portland, Ore.) and forwards Chris Chertude (Beaverton, Ore.) and Antony Gonzalez (Salem, Ore.). Goalkeeper Pasha Hashemi (Vancouver, Wash.), defender Francisco Duenas (Salem, Ore.) and midfielders Foster Langsdorf (Vancouver, Wash.) and Spencer Kleweno (Portland, Ore.) each received second-team honors.

Led by head coach Joe Sottile and his staff, the Timbers ODP ’95 Boys opened the tournament with a 2-0 win over host Arizona. Oregon controlled the match defensively, and a second-half goal from Cody Street (Portland, Ore.) sealed the victory and set the tone for the entire tournament, which ran Jan. 13-17.

It was a high-scoring affair against Utah in Game 2 for Oregon, which would hold on for a 3-2 win. Gonzalez scored twice to help the Timbers ODP ’95 Boys jump out to a 3-0 lead. In the second half, an Oregon player was red carded and Utah took advantage, trimming the deficit down to 3-2 by scoring twice in 10 minutes.

Two of the top teams in the tournament – Oregon and Cal-South – clashed in Game 3. Cal-South scored two quick goals late in the first half on a free kick and then a corner to take a 2-0 lead at halftime. The Timbers ODP ’95 Boys pulled one back on a strike from Diego Harrison (Ashland, Ore.) in the second half. Despite some late pressure on the Cal-South goal, Oregon fell 2-1 in its only loss of the tournament.

In their final match, the Timbers ODP ’95 Boys battled New Mexico to a 2-2 draw. After giving up the lead, Oregon scored back-to-back goals to grab a 2-1 lead. Oregon controlled the match until the final moments, when New Mexico pulled even with just 30 second remaining in regulation to earn the draw.

“Overall the ‘95 group played hard and lost to a team that has won this event numerous times,” said Erik Lyslo, Timbers Youth Academy Manager/ODP Coordinator. “There's no question that with more time to work and train, this group will continue to improve; the Timbers Academy will provide that opportunity."

Region IV ODP Championship Results
Game 1: Oregon 2, Arizona 0
Game 2: Oregon 3, Utah 2
Game 3: Cal-South 2, Oregon 1
Game 4: Oregon 2, New Mexico 2

Record: 2-1-1 (tied for second place)