Regional qualifying for the 2017-18 Generation adidas (GA) Cup is off and running, with the first matches held Oct. 6-9 at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo. The Timbers U-17 Academy opened qualifying with a perfect 3-0-0 record and returned home to the Rose City in first place in the West Region.
The Timbers Academy earned wins against the LA Galaxy Academy, San Jose Earthquakes Academy and Seattle Sounders FC Academy. Rian Jamai led Portland goal-scorers with a pair of goals during GA Cup qualifying play, and is among five different players contributing goals.
Portland’s defense conceded just one goal over the three matches in Kansas City, with goalkeepers Kash Oladapo and Hunter Sulte each recording a shutout.
"The GA event is something we look forward to every year,” said Larry Sunderland, Timbers youth technical director. “Bringing the MLS academies together provides the best competitive platform for our players. Our teams continue to improve and are learning how to compete. The results last weekend provide a good foundation for us to build on."
The Timbers U-17s opened GA Cup qualifying with a comeback, 3-1 victory against the Galaxy on Oct. 6. After conceding first in the 25th minute, the Timbers U-17s scored three unanswered goals. After an own goal to level the score at 1-1, Josh Darius provided the game-winner in the 39th minute and Jamai sealed the 3-1 win with a goal on the hour mark.
The next day, the Timbers U-17s earned a 1-0 win versus the Earthquakes on Oct. 7. Andy Lomelli provided the game-winner in the final minute of regulation with an impressive run into the box and a cool finish past the San Jose goalkeeper. In the second half, Brendan Herb had a well-hit free kick carom off the crossbar.
The Timbers U-17s capped off the trip to the Midwest with a 1-0 victory against Cascadia-rival Sounders FC. Hamman Nasser had a one-timed shot on frame saved off the line, and Jamai was there to convert the rebound. Oladapo turned two great saves in the second half to keep the team’s second shutout of qualifying intact.
The next round of regional qualifying will take place in February 2018. The top teams from each region advance to face international competition in the 2018 GA Cup Finals in Frisco, Texas. Click here for more on the annual Generation adidas Cup.
The Timbers U-15 Academy also played a series of three games in Kansas City, earning a pair of victories – a 2-1 win against host club Sporting KC Academy and a 5-0 route of the Houston Dynamo Academy.
Alex Schueneman tallied three goals over the three games, including a brace in the five-goal output against Houston. Also scoring against the Dynamo were Anthony Robertson, Cole Cruthers and Lukas Fisher.