Timbers U-23s return home to play host to Pumas Friday
PORTLAND, Ore. — After four consecutive matches on the road, the Portland Timbers U-23s return home Friday as they play host to the Kitsap Pumas at Alder Creek Middle School in Milwaukie, Ore., at 7 p.m. (Pacific). Friday’s match is the first of three straight home games for the Timbers U-23s.
With a record of 5-1-2 (17pts), the Timbers U-23s sit in first place in the Premier Development League’s Northwest Division, and own a one-point lead over Victoria Highlanders FC in second place. The team’s defense paces the league with five shutouts and has allowed the fewest goals (4) in the division.
Timbers U-23s midfielder Zach Barnes (Flower Mound, Texas) is tied for third in the league in minutes played (720), having played every minute of the regular season. Goalkeeper David Meves (Arlington Heights, Ill.) paces the PDL with five clean sheets and is tied for second in the league with five wins.
Friday’s match against the Pumas is the first home match for the Timbers U-23s since May 31. Portland is 3-0-0 at home in league play this season and is one of only three teams in the PDL yet to concede a goal at home.
Portland and Kitsap (1-2-5, 8pts) meet for a third time during the month of June as the two teams wrap up their three-game regular-season series in 2013. The Timbers U-23s and Pumas have played to draws in each of their first two meetings this season, both played at Kitsap. In their last meeting, the Timbers U-23s overcame a two-goal deficit with second-half goals from defender Saad Abdul-Salaam (Gahanna, Ohio) and forward Mark Sherrod (Knoxville, Tenn.) to capture a 2-2 draw on June 15.
The Pumas head into Friday’s match on a six-match unbeaten streak. After recording its first win of the season on May 18, Kitsap has recorded five straight draws. Midfielder Neil Shaffer, who scored two goals against the Timbers U-23s on June 15, leads the team in goal-scoring with three goals and midfielder Nuno Gourgel paces the PDL with seven assists. The Pumas, who rank fifth in the division, are 1-2-2 on the road in 2013.
The Timbers U-23s are 5-3-5 in the all-time series against the Pumas since 2009.