April 22, 2012 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Portland Timbers
BURNABY, B.C. - Forward Brent Richards scored just before halftime and midfielder Franck Songo'o and forward Bright Dike each scored in the second half to lead the Portland Timbers Reserves to a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves at Swangard Stadium in MLS Reserve League play on Sunday afternoon.
The Timbers Reserves (2-1-0, 6pts) captured a second straight shutout victory over a Cascadia rival, having defeated the Seattle Sounders FC Reserves in their previous match. Richards and Songo'o each scored their first goals of the season, midfielder Charles Renken had a pair of assists and goalkeeper Brian Rowe made five saves as the Timbers Reserves handed the Whitecaps FC Reserves (1-1-1, 4pts) their first loss of the season.
With the win, the Timbers Reserves move into first place in the MLS Reserve League's West Division after three games.
Playing their third consecutive road match to start the 2012 MLS Reserve League campaign, the Timbers Reserves opened the scoring just before halftime. Off a pass from defender Chris Taylor, Richards, the Timbers' first Homegrown Player, hit a volley from inside the penalty area past Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Brad Knighton in the 44th minute.
Renken assisted both Timbers Reserves goals in the second half, starting with Songo'o's strike in the 65th minute to double Portland's lead, 2-0. Renken then set up Dike for a late goal in the final minute of the match to seal the 3-0 win. Dike's goal was his second in two games.
The Timbers Reserves have earned shutouts in each of their last two MLS Reserve League matches and have not allowed a goal since the 53rd minute of their season-opening loss to the San Jose Earthquakes Reserves on March 27 - a span of 217 minutes.
Whitecaps FC midfielder Michael Nanchoff had two scoring efforts during the match rattle off the goal's frame. In the 33rd minute, his shot from close range found the post. Early in the second half, Nachoff's free kick from 20 yards out hit off the crossbar.
The Timbers Reserves play host the Whitecaps FC Reserves in the return match at JELD-WEN Field on Sunday, May 27; kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (Pacific).
- The Timbers Reserves have recorded back-to-back shutouts over their last two matches - a feat they did not accomplish in 2011.
- The defense for the Timbers Reserves has conceded just one goal through its first three games, matching the Houston Dynamo Reserves for fewest goals allowed in MLS Reserve League play this season.
- An MLS league pool goalkeeper, Brian Rowe has recorded nine saves and two shutouts in two MLS Reserve League matches for the Timbers.
- Richards and Songo'o become the second and third different goal-scorers, respectively, for the Timbers Reserves this season.
- Richards is one of four players to have started and played every minute of the Timbers Reserves' first three games of the season, joining defenders Ryan Kawulok and Chris Taylor and midfielder Charles Renken.
- Forward Bright Dike becomes the first Timbers Reserves player to score in back-to-back games this season, while Renken becomes the first Timbers Reserves player to record a multiple assist performance.
- Defender Chris Taylor's assist on Richards' goal was his second career assist in MLS Reserve League action.
- In the last meeting between these two sides at Swangard Stadium, the Timbers Reserves came away with a 1-0 win on Oct. 3, 2011, in the team's 2011 MLS Reserve League season finale.
- The backup goalkeeper for the Timbers Reserves on Sunday was Pasha Hashemi, a member of the Timbers Pre-Academy ODP '95 pool. He became the second Timbers Pre-Academy ODP '95 player to be called up for the Timbers Reserves in 2012, joining midfielder//forward Anthony Macchione, who played four minutes as a sub against Seattle on April 10.
- Vancouver goalkeeper Brad Knighton played for the second-division Timbers during the 2008 season while on loan from the New England Revolution.