Timbers Reserves earn 3-0 exhibition win over Pilots
PORTLAND, Ore. – First-half goals from midfielder Franck Songo’o and forward Jorge Perlaza and a last-minute strike from midfielder Lovel Palmer led the Portland Timbers Reserves to a 3-0 win over the University of Portland Pilots in an exhibition match Tuesday night at Merlo Field on the University of Portland campus.
Songo’o opened the scoring for the Timbers Reserves in the 17th minute, firing home a shot from outside the top of the box inside the right post. Just past the half hour mark, Perlaza stripped a Pilots defender of the ball near the penalty area and, in a one-on-one situation, beat Pilots goalkeeper Justin Baarts for a 2-0 Portland advantage in the 32nd minute. Palmer scored in second-half stoppage time, capping a late build up with a hard driven shot into the top left side of the goal.
The defense for the Timbers Reserves, which included trialist defenders Andreas Dober and Steven Smith, held the Pilots to only a few scoring opportunities. Midfielder Thomas Iwasaki, who played for the Portland Timbers U-23s in 2011, had the Pilots’ best chance, forcing Timbers goalkeeper Brian Rowe to make his only save in the final 10 minutes of the match.
Forward Bright Dike had scoring chances in each half hit off the woodwork. In the eighth minute, Dike got his head to a cross from the left side by Smith and put a shot off the right post. He then drilled a shot from 20 yards off the center of the crossbar in the 64th minute.
Timbers defender Ryan Kawulok, who had a standout collegiate career at the University of Portland from 2008-11, returned to Merlo Field for the first time since being selected by the Timbers in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft and faced his former Pilots teammates in the exhibition. The Pilots featured two members of the Timbers U-23s' 2012 roster in midfielder Steven Evans and defender Marc Tonkel.
The Timbers Reserves return to MLS Reserve League play Sunday as they visit the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C.; kickoff is set for 3 p.m. (Pacific).