Timbers U-23s Fall 1-0 to Kitsap on Late GoalJuly 9, 2012 - Major League Soccer (MLS) Portland Timbers
Under hot conditions, the two teams, who were tied for second place in the division entering the contest, battled through a scoreless first half. The Timbers U-23s were able to gain some momentum offensively in the second half, but Kitsap made one of its two second-half shots count in the 87th minute as Truax delivered the game's lone goal for the 1-0 win.
The Pumas (10-4-2, 32pts) take sole ownership of second place in the Premier Development League's Northwest Division with the win, while the Timbers U-23s (9-4-2, 29pts) drop into third place, with a game in hand. All four playoff berths for the Northwest Division have been secured and the top two teams will play host to divisional playoff matches.
Truax tallied his eighth goal of the season and goalkeeper Zac Lubin logged three saves to earn his seventh shutout for the Pumas in their regular-season finale.
Forward Erik Hurtado attempted a team-high four shots, midfielder Steven Evans took two shots and goalkeeper Spencer Richey recorded a save for the Timbers U-23s in their regular-season home finale. Portland had a four-game unbeaten streak come to an end in the loss.
Late in the match, a quickly played ball from midfield sprung Truax in behind a high line of pressure by the Timbers U-23s backline. Truax was able to shield off his defender as he ran down field. He forced Richey off his line before slipping a shot by the goalkeeper and off the right post for the game-winning goal.
The Timbers U-23s were the aggressors in the second half, out-shooting the Pumas 6-2 and holding a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks in the half. Portland had a handful of late chances to find the equalizer, including a glancing header by substitute Nicholas Hamer in the 90th minute that missed just wide.
Earlier in the second half, Hurtado and forward Mark Sherrod had chances to help the Timbers U-23s claim a lead. In the 52nd minute, a free kick by midfielder Cam Vickers made way for a header by Sherrod inside the box, but his attempt bounced into the arms of Lubin. Hurtado broke free in the box in the 60th minute, but pushed a shot from 15 yards out wide as he was tackled from the side.
The Timbers U-23s and Pumas exchanged scoring chances in the first half. Evans had two of Portland's better chances in the opening stanza, lifting a volley off a corner kick high of the mark in the 15th minute and then bouncing a shot wide of the left post in the 38th minute. Hurtado forced Lubin into a save in the 30th minute, hitting a hard shot on a break up field right at the goalkeeper.
Richey also turned in a key save in the first half, tipping away a hard shot by Kitsap midfielder Elliot Fauske from 22 yards out aimed at the top right corner.
Battling for playoff seeding, the Timbers U-23s visit the Washington Crossfire in their 2012 PDL regular-season finale Wednesday, July 11, at Redmond High School at 7 p.m. (Pacific).
Notes: With the 1,078 on hand at Hare Field, the Timbers U-23s set a new team season attendance record at 23,079 (an average of 2,885 per game) fans during the 2012 regular season ... Portland wore its Rose City red kits for the third time this season in Sunday's match against Kitsap ... The Timbers U-23s were handed just their second home loss of the season on Sunday and were shut out for the first time at home during the 2012 campaign ... The Timbers U-23s and Pumas split the 2012 season series, sharing a record of 1-1-1. Overall the Timbers U-23s are 4-3-3 all-time against Kitsap ... Hare Field played host to a doubleheader on Sunday, with the Portland Rain falling 1-0 to the Spokane Shine in a Women's Premier Soccer League match.
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