PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers U-23s set a new Premier Development League (PDL) attendance record Friday as the team defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 2-1 before 8,174 fans on a Health and Fitness School Day, presented by Providence Sports Care Center, at JELD-WEN Field.
For a second straight week, the Timbers U-23s established a new single-game attendance record for the PDL. The team’s crowd of 8,029 for a Health and Fitness School Day on May 24, broke the previous league mark set by the Fresno Fuego in 2011. In total, 16,203 school kids and fans attended the Timbers U-23s’ two Health and Fitness School Days in 2012.
Forward Mark Sherrod recorded two second-half assists, setting up goals by midfielder Roberto Farfan and Cam Vickers just five minutes apart, as the Timbers U-23s pulled off a comeback victory. Whitecaps FC U-23 captured the lead in the first half on a goal by Ben Fisk just past the half hour mark. Portland has won five straight matches to open the 2012 PDL campaign.
Sherrod logged his first assists of the season, Farfan scored his first goal, Vickers netted his second and goalkeeper Spencer Richey earned his PDL-leading fifth win of the season for the Timbers U-23s (5-0-0, 15pts).
Fisk tallied his third goal on the campaign, while midfielder Gagandeep Dosanjh recorded his second assist in the loss for Vancouver (2-3-2, 8pts).
Down by a goal at the break, the Timbers U-23s were able to pull level at 1-1 in the 65th minute. From the middle of the park, Sherrod played the ball to Farfan at the top left corner of the box. Farfan then set himself up for a low, driven shot that skipped through the hands of Whitecaps FC U-23 goalkeeper Lucas Menz as he dove to the ground and bounced into the back of the net.
Five minutes later, Sherrod set up the game-winning goal by Vickers, with a hard-working effort in the box. With his back to goal, Sherrod held of his defender before cutting a pass through the box to Vickers down on the right post. From a tight angle, Vickers squeezed a shot by Menz that rolled along the goal line before finally crossing over, lifting the Timbers U-23s to a 2-1 lead in the 70th minute.
The Timbers U-23s trailed for the first time this season, when Fisk provided the opening goal for Whitecaps FC U-23 in the 32nd minute. Dosanjh played the ball in to Fisk on the left side, and Fisk drilled a shot from the top left corner of the box into the top far corner of the goal.
Portland’s backline held steady through a late push by Vancouver, denying a shot by second-half sub Juan Carlos Marquez off a free kick on the very last play before the final whistle. Richey recorded two saves, one in each half, for the Timbers U-23s, including a one on a follow-up shot by Vancouver striker Michael Marousek off a set piece in the 52nd minute.
Rounding out a two-match, Cascadia week for the Timbers U-23s, the team visits Seattle Sounders FC U-23 for the first time on Saturday at Tumwater High School in Tumwater, Wash.; kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (Pacific).
Notes: Forward Mark Sherrod logged the Timbers U-23s’ third multiple assist game of the season … The Timbers U-23s had not trailed in a match this season, playing 392 consecutive minutes without going down a goal, before Vancouver’s Ben Fisk scored in the first half … Fisk’s goal was just the third conceded by the Timbers U-23s’ backline in 2012 … Timbers U-23s forward Erik Hurtado made his season debut, starting against Vancouver. He recorded a team-high six shots … Defender Reed Matte returned to the field for the Timbers U-23s for the first time since May 15. He was on a soccer trip to Holland with his collegiate team at the University of Alabama at Birmingham … The Timbers U-23s won both matches of the 2012 season series with Whitecaps FC U-23, improving to 6-1-1 all-time, with an unbeaten mark of 3-0-1 in matches played in Portland … With Roberto Farfan’s goal, the Timbers U-23s have nine different goal scorers on the campaign … Saturday’s match against Sounders FC U-23 marks the first set of back-to-back matches this season for the Timbers U-23s and the team’s second away fixture of the season.
VAN: Fisk (Dosanjh), 32
POR: Farfan (Sherrod), 65
POR: Vickers (Sherrod), 70
POR: Sherrod (Caution), 41
POR: Farfan (Caution), 74
POR: GK Spencer Richey, D Chris Harms, D Anthony Hobbs (Reed Matte, 58), D Marc Tonkel, D Evyn Hewett, M Andrew Ribeiro, M Steven Evans (Will Seymore, 82), M Roberto Farfan (Nick Hamer, 80), M Cam Vickers (John McFarlin, 70), F Erik Hurtado (Clark Phillips, 75), F Mark Sherrod (Emery Welshman, 84)
Subs not used: GK Justin Baarts
VAN: GK Lucas Menz, D Adam Polakiewicz, D Bobby Jhutty, D Shawn Parkes, D James Farenhorst, M Reynold Stewart (Gagandeep Josan, 85), M Gagandeep Dosanjh, M Ben Fisk (Yassin Essa, 69), M Ben McKendry (Juan Carlos Marquez, 60), F Kartar Hundial, F Michael Marousek
Subs not used: GK Callum Irving, D Tyrin Hutchings, F Sangyoon Hwang