Timbers fight back but fall 2-1 in Rochester
June 1, 2008
ROCHESTER, NY – Forward Matthew Delicate and midfielder Johnny Menyonger each recorded a goal and an assist to lead the Rochester Rhinos to a 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers at PAETEC Park on Sunday. Portland defender Justin Thompson tied the match late, but the Rhinos answered back moments later to earn their first win of the season.
Rochester (1-4-3, 6pts) took their first lead of the season on a goal by Delicate in the first half. Thompson was able to pull the Timbers even at 1-1 in the 78th minute with his first goal of the season. But the deadlock didn’t last long, as Menyonger fired home the game-winner in the 80th minute.
Portland (4-3-4, 16pts) suffered its first loss on the road this season and second in three games to end its two-game road trip. The Timbers remain winless (0-4-1) in Rochester since 2001.
Goalkeeper Jordan James made his Timbers debut against the Rhinos on Sunday in place of Ray Burse who was recalled by Major League Soccer’s FC Dallas on Saturday – Burse is on loan from the MLS club for the 2008 season. James recorded five saves, but picked up the loss in his first action of the season.
Delicate tallied his first strike of the season in the 14th minute to give the Rochester a 1-0 lead. Menyonger found Delicate on a run along the left side of the box with space in front of him. Beating his defender, Delicate was able to get around James, who was charging off his line, and slot home the go-ahead goal into an open net.
James was busy against Rochester’s attack in the first half making three of his five saves on the night in the first period, including point-blank shot from Delicate around the six yard box which he knocked wide. In the 71st minute, James thwarted another close range opportunity by Delicate as he headed a short cross at the near post.
Portland seemed to find the equalizer in the 36th minute on free kick by midfielder Andrew Gregor into a herd of players inside the Rochester penalty area. Finding his way to the ball was Thompson, who was able to knock the ball inside the right post has he fell to the ground, but the Timbers were ruled offside by the assistant referee and the goal was waived.
Thompson eventually capitalized on Gregor free kick in the 78th minute to even the score at 1-1. From midfield, Gregor’s ball into the box worked its way near the right post, but Rochester goalkeeper Scott Vallow was able to swat the ball away from the goal line. After midfielder Miguel Guante’s follow up attempt was stopped by Vallow, Thompson drilled the loose ball into the back of the net.
The Rhinos ended the stalemate just two minutes later as Menyonger delivered the game-winner inside the left post. Fighting off a Portland defender about 15 yards from goal, Delicate slipped the ball out to Menyonger angling his way through the box with a step on his man. With only James in front of him, he fired a shot from 10 yards out to record his first goal of the season.
In the closing minutes of the match Portland had a handful of chances to pull off a draw. In the 90th minute, forward Chris Brown looped a shot from 18 yards out over the box but couldn’t sneak it under the crossbar. Five minutes into stoppage time, Brown sprung free on a breakaway down field and charged his way into the box. He fired a shot from 15 yards out at the far post that barely missed wide and had Guante just a step behind.
The Timbers return home to play host to the Minnesota Thunder on June 5 at PGE Park at 7 p.m. Tickets, starting at $11, are available through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (503) 224-4400.
Notes: Portland’s record on the road is now 1-1-3 … The Timbers wore their “Rose City” red alternate uniforms in Rochester … Sunday’s attendance at PAETEC Park was 5,123 … In his 2008 MLS debut, Burse and FC Dallas suffered a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids. Burse is expected to rejoin the Timbers for their next match against Minnesota … Prior to Sunday’s match, Rochester had only scored two goals in their first seven matches of the season.
POR: GK James, D S. Thompson, D J. Thompson (Karalexis, 84), D Griffin, M Higgins, M Poltl (Lara, 78), M Gregor, M Bagley (Little, 38), F Brown, F Suzuki (Guante, 69)
ROC: GK Vallow, D Craft (Sembaluk, 45), D Loera, D Ball, M Fitzpatrick, M Guppy, M Kreamalmeyer, M Menyonger (Severs, 87), M Salles, F Delicate (Diallo, 90)
ROC: Delicate (Menyonger), 14
POR: J. Thompson, 78
ROC: Menyonger (Delicate), 80