Timbers U-23s top Whitecaps FC U-23 2-0
PORTLAND, Ore. – Second-half goals from defender Eric Miller and forward Reinaldo Brenes helped the Portland Timbers U-23s defeat division-rival Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 2-0 before 3,370 fans Thursday afternoon at JELD-WEN Field.
The 3,370 on hand for a Providence Health & Fitness Day at JELD-WEN Field was the second-largest attendance in the Premier Development League this season. Portland has drawn the two largest crowds in the league in 2013, with the team’s Health & Fitness Day match on May 16 against Sounders FC U23 drawing 3,681 fans.
With a third straight win to open the regular season, the Timbers U-23s (3-0-0, 9pts) move into a tie for first place in the PDL’s Northwest Division with Victoria Highlanders FC. Whitecaps FC U-23 (1-2-0, 3pts) remain in third place in the division.
After trading scoring chances in the second half, the Timbers U-23s broke through in the 63rd minute. A free kick from midfielder Jose Ribas was deflected away by a Whitecaps FC U-23 defender, and the loose ball fell to the foot of Miller just outside the penalty area. Miller drilled the half-volley past Whitecaps FC U-23 goalkeeper Simon Thomas for his second goal of the season.
The Timbers U-23s added a second goal 15 minutes from time, when a long cross by Miller found Brenes near the right post. Brenes, who had come on as a substitute in the 74th minute, calmly slipped the ball past Thomas to give the Timbers U-23s the insurance goal.
Timbers U-23s goalkeeper David Meves recorded three first-half saves to earn his second shutout of the season. Meves was tested from distance twice by Whitecaps FC U-23 midfielders Harpreet Lakhan and Gagandeep Dosanjh. Portland’s defense held Vancouver to just two shots in the second half.
A late goal mouth scramble in first-half stoppage time saw the Timbers U-23s with a chance to take a lead into halftime. After a Whitecaps FC U-23 turnover, Timbers U-23s forward Clark Phillips sent a cross into the box which resulted in a blocked shot attempted by Ribas. The deflection fell to forward Jaime Velasco and his follow-up effort from just outside the six-yard box was sent over the goal.
The Timbers U-23s play host to North Sound SeaWolves FC on Friday, May 31, at JELD-WEN Field as part of their third and final Providence Health & Fitness Day of the season; kickoff is 11 a.m. (Pacific). Tickets are available for purchase at the JELD-WEN Field box office and online at www.portlandtimbers.com.
Notes: The match between the division rivals featured a combined 30 fouls, including 20 in the second half, and six cautions … Timbers U-23s goalkeeper David Meves, midfielder Zach Barnes and defender Eric Miller played the full 90 against Vancouver, and have played every minute of the 2013 campaign … Earlier in the day, Miller was named to the PDL Team of the Week. He will depart Friday to join the U.S. U-20 National Team for the upcoming Toulon Tournament in Toulon, France … With the win, the Timbers U-23s are off to a 3-0-0 start for the second straight season … The Timbers U-23s are 7-1-1 in the all-time series against the Whitecaps FC U-23 and improve to 16-5-0 all-time in matches played at JELD-WEN Field across all competitions.
POR: Eric Miller, 63
POR: Reinaldo Brenes (Eric Miller), 75
POR: JJ Greer (Caution), 17
POR: Bryan Gallego (Caution), 56
VAN: Sasa Plavsic (Caution), 56
POR: Nick Palodichuk (Caution), 73
VAN: Cam Hundal (Caution), 78
VAN: Derrick Bassi (Caution), 84
POR: GK David Meves, D Anthony Hobbs (Saad Abdul-Salaam, 58), D Eric Miller , D JJ Greer, D Travis Brent (D Brian Gallego, 45), M Zach Barnes, M Nick Palodichuk (Zach Foxhoven, 76), M Jose Ribas (Mitch Lurie, 86), F Jaime Velasco (Reinaldo Brenes, 74), F Clark Phillips (Gabriel Conelian, 70), F Mark Sherrod
Subs not used: GK Blake Hylen
VAN: GK Simon Thomas, D James Farenhorst, D Derrick Bassi, D Adam Clement, D Michael Winter, M Marco Visintin (Bhupinder Jhutty, 62), M Harpreet Lakhan, M Cam Hundal, M Gagan Dosanjh (Carlos Marquez, 79), M Yassin Essa (Spencer DeBoice, 70), F Sasa Plavsic (Niall Cousens, 62)
Subs not used: GK Sean Melvin, D Colton O’Neill