Timbers U-23s Nick Hamer Kitsap
Leah Parr

Timbers U-23s open postseason play against Kitsap

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers U-23s begin postseason play on Sunday as they play host to the Kitsap Pumas in the divisional round of the Premier Development League (PDL) playoffs at Gladstone High School in Gladstone, Ore. at 6:30 p.m. (Pacific).

Tickets for Sunday’s match are $5 for adults and $2 for kids 12 and under, with proceeds benefiting Gladstone High School soccer. Prior to kickoff, the Portland Rain of the Women’s Premier Soccer League and an adidas Timbers Alliance Club will take on Eugene Metro FC starting at 3 p.m. (Pacific).

The Timbers U-23s closed out their 2012 regular season, presented by Billups Worldwide, with a 3-0 win over Washington on Wednesday. With a record of 10-4-2 (32 pts), Portland finished the regular season in second place in the PDL’s Northwest Division. The Timbers U-23s and Pumas finished the regular season with identical 10-4-2 records, but Portland claimed second place as a result of PDL tiebreakers.

The Timbers U-23s, who won the PDL championship in 2010, make their third trip to the postseason since joining the league in 2009.

Portland and Kitsap played each other three times during the 2012 regular season, splitting the season series at 1-1-1. The Pumas benefitted from a late goal in a 1-0 win over the Timbers U-23s in their last meeting on July 8, with forward Ben Truax scoring in the 87th minute. In their first matchup of the season, the Timbers U-23s received a brace from midfielder Steven Evans in a 4-0 win over the Pumas at JELD-WEN Field on May 24. The two teams played to a 2-2 draw at Bremerton Memorial Stadium on June 9, with Portland forwards Clark Phillips and Erik Hurtado scoring in the draw on the road.

Sunday’s match will mark the second postseason meeting between the Timbers U-23s and Pumas. The two division rivals squared off in the 2010 Western Conference finals on Aug. 1, 2010, with the Timbers U-23s earning a 2-1 win on their way to winning the league title that season. Sunday’s match features’ the PDL’s last two league champions, with Kitsap having won the league crown in 2011.

The winner of Sunday’s contest will advance to the Western Conference semifinals, where they will compete for the conference championship. The Western Conference semifinals will feature two teams from the PDL’s Northwest Division and two from the Southwest Division; match dates and a location will be announced at a later date.