PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing the first of two games in four days, T2 fought back to earn a 1-1 draw against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at Merlo Field on Wednesday night. Defender Rennico Clarke tallied his second goal of the season and goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh tallied 10 saves for T2.
Outshooting Switchbacks FC 11-7 in the first half, T2 (5-11-4, 19pts) threatened in the 10th minute when midfielder Ben Polk’s shot from outside the 18-yard box went just wide of the target. In the 15th minute, after Polk played in a ball that sent midfielder Victor Arboleda in behind the Switchbacks defense, Colorado Springs goalkeeper Devala Gorrick came off of his line to deny Arboleda’s right-footed attempt inside the six-yard box.
Three minutes after Colorado Springs took the lead, T2 leveled the score in the 76th minute from a set-piece play, when midfielder Villyan Bijev’s cross found Clarke inside the six-yard box and his right-footed shot found the back of the net.
McIntosh, whose 10 saves is a single-game high for T2, came up with key stops in the first half to keep the match scoreless. In the sixth minute, McIntosh came up with a diving save to his right on Switchbacks FC forward Saeed Robinson’s left-footed shot. In the 19th minute, McIntosh made back-to-back saves on Robinson when he made a lunging save to his right from a tight angle, while moments later he pushed aside Robinson’s shot from the top of the 18-yard box to force a corner kick.
In the second half, after Switchbacks FC forward Luke Vercollone’s penalty attempt hit off the left post to keep the game scoreless in the 49th minute, Colorado Springs (9-6-6, 33 pts) opened the scoring in the 73rd minute when forward Miguel Gonzalez sent in a curling right-footed shot from the left side of the edge of the box.
Next up, T2 will travel to play LA Galaxy II at the StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 6; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). The Aug. 6 match will also be available via a live, high-definition web stream at www.timbers2.com.
Postgame Quote Sheet
T2 head coach Andrew Gregor
On his overall thoughts on the match…
“In the first half, I thought we played pretty well. We created a lot of oppurtunities to score some goals. The fact that we didn’t score the goals put us under some pressure, especially coming into the second half. I felt like we didn’t manage their pressure well in the second half at the start of the second half. We gave up the goal and then I thought we did well to get back into it. We scored a nice goal from a set play, but we have to manage those moments better in the second half. We also have to make sure in the first half that we take advantage of our opportunities.”
On building off of tonight’s performance heading into Saturday’s match against LA Galaxy II…
“As always, you look at the positives. We have look at the things we’ve got to get better at. We’ll teach and help develop some of these guys. They’re young guys that haven’t been in some of these experiences before and dealing with certain pressure and so we’ve got to teach, we’ve got to make sure we rest, we’ve got to teach them how to take care of their bodies and get them where they need to be so that they’ve got energy and they’re ready to play on Saturday.”
On Kendall McIntosh’s 10-save performance…
“I thought Kendall was outstanding tonight. He did a really good job of keeping the ball out of the net. He made some good saves. He got himself into good positions to deal with some of their longer balls and I thought he did quite well. There’s always room for development, but I thought he did a good job tonight.”
T2 goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh
Overall impressions of the match…
“I thought defensively we did alright. I think the stats were kind to me tonight. I think the defense did a really good job. I thought it was a pretty good performance from the boys overall. We were just a little bit unlucky in front of goal, but we’ll take the point and we’ll move forward heading into the match against LA Galaxy II this weekend.”
On building off of tonight’s performance…
“We’ve just got to take that momentum and take that confidence, especially on set-pieces. It was a little bit of our undoing against Galaxy II last game. We had a lot of practice today on set pieces and we did really well. I think we should be confident in that area of our game going into this weekend.”
T2 defender Rennico Clarke
On the team fighting back to earn a 1-1 draw…
“I thought it was a pretty good game from the guys. They never held their hands down after we went 1-0 down. They stuck to the task and applied what coach wanted from us. They fought right through the end of the game. Fortunately, I got on the end of a nice cross from [Villyan] Bijev. It was a pretty good goal and it was a well fought game from the guys."
On Kendall McIntosh’s performance…
“He was big for us. It was a massive game from him and we thank him for everything. It was a big game.”
On building off of tonight’s effort…
“There are a lot of positives to take away from the game. Hopefully going into Saturday’s game against Galaxy II on Saturday, we’ll get something out of it. It was a brilliant performance from the guys today. Hopefully if we go into the game with this attitude we’ll definitely come out with a result.”
T2 (5-11-4, 19pts) vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (9-6-6, 33pts)
Aug. 3, 2016 – Merlo Field (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
T2 0 1 1
Colorado Springs 0 1 1
COS: Gonzalez (Unassisted), 73
POR: Clarke (Bijev), 76
POR: Thoma (Caution), 90
Lineups & Stats:
POR: GK McIntosh, D Gallagher, D Clarke ©, D Morley, D Thoma, M Lewis, M Casiple, M Arboleda (Williams, 73), M Bijev, M Polk (Brett, 65), F Belmar
Substitutes Not Used: GK Luthy, D Palacios, D Richards, M Besler, M Damraoui
TOTAL SHOTS: 14; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 8; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 10
COS: GK Gorrick, D Suggs, D Phillips, D Ibeagha, D Burt, M Doyle (Kim, 90), M Argueta, M Vercollone ©, F Gonzalez, F Seth (Maybin, 65), F Robinson
Substitutes Not Used: GK Thompson, D Greer, M Cawsey, M Kim, F Robinson
TOTAL SHOTS: 21; SHOTS ON GOAL: 11; FOULS: 10; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 3
Referee: Ramy Touchan
Assistant Referees: Ian Miller, Ryan Jung
4th Official: Jeff Arthurholtz
Weather: Clear, 78 degrees