T2 Starting XI, T2 vs. OKC Energy, 08.08.15
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In Their Words | T2 players reflect upon the team's inaugural 2015 season

PORTLAND, Ore. – Just more than a week removed from T2’s season-ending victory over LA Galaxy II, members of the squad reflected back upon the team’s inaugural season, sharing their favorite moments – both on and off the field – in 2015.

Among the many firsts for T2, the team experienced some standout moments over the course of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) season – a victory over the EPL’s Newcastle United FC, establishing Cascadia rivalries with Sounders FC 2 and Whitecaps FC 2, and its first run in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

In its first season, T2 provided several first-team players a platform for continued development and offered a handful of Timbers U-23s and Academy players amazing experiences for growth in a professional setting.

Rennico Clarke
“Had to be the first goal that we scored – Kharlton [Belmar]. The way we got it; the build up from the backline to the midfield, a ball played through. Schillo [Tshuma] with a lovely touch and that whip in to Kharlton and the finish. It was just a great feeling. I was filled with goose bumps, you know. The stadium was very packed and everybody was yelling. I could hardly hear myself. It would have to be that moment.”

Andy Thoma
“I think my favorite moment was the Tulsa away game. We were down, nearly most of the game, came back, fought and ended up beating them. It was really just a great experience for me, great game. Just the way the team came together and fought together – guys were saving balls off the line, everyone’s pushing, and everyone’s defending. For me, that was the greatest moment of our season.”

Fatawu Safiu
“I think my favorite moment is a game between Arizona [on July 3]. The one, where I played a one-two with [Andy] Thoma. It was a great game, we fought together. So, that was my favorite.”

Rundell Winchester
My favorite moment is the first game against Real Monarchs, when I scored a diving header. That was my first goal, plus on my debut. It was just such a good … it felt so exciting, it was so good. Yeah, that’s my favorite.”

Tim Payne
Looking back on it, I’d have to go all the way back to the start of the season when we played Sacramento at home. We were just starting out on our first season and they were champions the season before, so to beat them in the last few minutes with Stevie’s [Evans] great finish there was a pretty good feeling to start the season off.”

Nick Besler
I actually have two. I’ll start with the on-the-field moment. I think the Newcastle game was a pretty cool game; crowd was really good, the environment as well. Obviously, I think we played one of our better games. As far as an off-the-field-moment, I think it was the team trip to Tulsa. We all went to a minor league baseball game – Tulsa Drillers – and a lot of us had a good time at that game.”

Brent Richards
Just thinking back to the very beginning, our first home game of the season against Real Monarchs. We came out really well and ended up winning that game, 3-1. It was really good to be back in the professional setting again. It was good to see the crowd we got there and it was just a really cool feeling.”

Kharlton Belmar
“Favorite moment, hands down, the opening, inaugural game at Merlo Field. Not only for personal reasons, but it was just a great result. My pro debut, scored two goals, and the team wins, 3-1, its first game as a team. It was great.”

 

What scoring the first goal in #T2 history feels like. #Timbers2 #USL

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