Portland Timbers U23s Weekly Round-Up: No Longer Perfect Edition

Find out what is going on with the Timbers U23s, including practice notes, quotes, news, and previews of just what is happening this week.

Game Summaries

Timbers U23s Come From Behind to Defeat Whitecaps

6/1 - The Timbers U23s played in front of a record PDL crowd of over 8,000 people at Jeld-Wen Field on Friday. In doing so,the U23s also managed an impressive 2-1 comeback win over the Vancouver Whitecaps U23s. The Whitecaps opened the scoring through Ben Fisk in the 32nd minute leaving the Timbers down at the half. After the break, however, the Timbers U23s came back, first through a low, driven shot by Roberto Farfan, then finding the game winner as Cam Vickers fire home from a tight angle. Mark Sherrod, the team's leading scorer, assisted on both plays.

Timbers U23s Fall 1-0 to Sounders

6/2 - Playing their second game in two days, the Portland Timbers U23s saw any hopes for a repeat of their perfect run from 2010 dashed with a 1-0 loss against the Seattle Sounders U23s, formerly the Tacoma Tide. The Timbers dominated possession during much of the match but were unable to find the back of the net before Seattle forward Jamael Cox scored in the 91st minute. Cox's goal came on the Sounders U23s' only shot as the Timbers outshot them 8-1.

This Week

6/6/12 vs. Washington Crossfire, Redmond High School, 7:00 p.m.

6/9/12 vs. Kitsap Pumas, Bremerton Memorial Stadium, 7:00 p.m.

Practice Notes

6/5 - The Timbers U23's practiced at the team's training facility in Beaverton before the arrival of the first team.

A number of players were still absent from training as they finish up their semesters at school, however, new arrivals have continued to trickle in. Striker Eric Hurtado, who was not available earlier in the season, has been practicing with the team for a week now and has already seen time in two games. In practice, Hurtado showed off a wicked shot and good physicality. He and his partner up top, Mark Sherrod, are clearly still getting to know each other as they often found themselves running into the same space in drills today.

Newly signed players Will Seymore, wearing number 23, and Nick Hamer, wearing number 6, were both in attendance as well. Both players have been practicing with the team for the last few weeks and were brought in to provide depth for the team. Seymore, from Soham, England, is a central midfielder who seems to have a more defensive bent to his game. Hamer, from Spokane, also plays centrally but often moved to the outside and got forward, showcasing some versatility and a nose for the attack in today's drills.

The U23s still had a number of additional practice players and trialists in camp, including Jin Gyu-Won, who appeared on the bench for Wednesday's reserve game, and five others.

Quotes

6/5 - Jim Rilatt

On the team's new additions

I think both of them earned their way in through their training. I wasn't quite familiar with them through their colleges and I hadn't seen them play, but they came with high recommendations.

They now add depth to positions. To be fair, they could replace those same players in those positions. They just bear the brunt of coming into it late, but there is a chance that Will will get his first start up in Kitsap because a player has to go and do a family function, which is part of the summer.

I am happy with both of them and their attitude and approach to it has been like the rest of the players.

On Eric Hurtado

Eric has started since he came here and I know Eric from last year, so he had the advantage of my having a good understanding of his game. He has partnered with Mark up front and brings a different dimension. It makes it more difficult for people to focus on Mark. As Mark has gotten some notice it has become more and more difficult for him.

Eric has caught a couple of bad breaks, otherwise he would have a boatload of goals already. I am happy to have him. We have a good working relationship. He understands me and I have a good understanding of him. I think that he not only brings depth but a completely added dimension to what our attack looks like.

On the team's first loss of the season and the end to the team's perfect record

I honestly don't think about [the end of the team's perfect run] as much as I never saw [the loss to Seattle] happening. Without being too critical, Seattle played what they wanted to do and it made the game, in the first half, not very entertaining through what they were trying to do.

We talked about it at halftime. We determined that it was going to be a hard game to play in because of what they wanted to do. In the second half we went about it blu-collar. We took over the game.

The shots weren't even close and that was the only shot they had in the game. That was their only threat in the second half. That part was disappointing, but you have to walk away and think, that is soccer sometimes. We put on a great performance in front of their fans.

On Cam Vickers' appearance with the reserves

It affected us because Cam has had a good run. That is his old team, Tacoma, and I know he would have been excited to play, his friends would have been there, but they are all here to play for the Timbers and get a shot at the Timbers. It was the right choice. The reserve team needed him.

I would have been inappropriate for me to hold him back from the chance to play in front of [Amos Magee], in front of [Cameron Knowles], in front of [John Spencer]. The timing sucked, but it is all right.

We missed him. He might have brought something to that first half when we were trying to figure it out, but such is life, you know. Now we just have to go and win the rest of them. That is kind of our mentality. If we don't we have got nobody to blame but ourselves, not the personnel we have available.

[Reed Matte] steeped in and did an admirable job. We got two games in a row from Roberto, which is where we want him to be.We got a good performance from Steve Evans. We were playing well. It is just soccer: sometimes the soccer gods don't smile on you and that is all it was.

6/5 - Steve Evans

On the team's first loss of the season and the end to the team's perfect record

Every year we are hoping for the 20-0-0 or whatever we need to go undefeated. It is a little disappointing but we are going to bounce back strong and hopefully get a win here.

On the loss to the Sounders U23s

That second half it was all us. We had shot after shot and the ball just didn't seem to want to go in for us. Maybe there were some unlucky shots and I think we killed them, but it just wouldn't go in for us.

On bouncing back

I think that we are all the type of players that we don't want two losses in a row. We don't want that on our record and we want to get as many wins as possible. I think we are all ready to go tomorrow and we all just want to come back strong and get that win.

6/5 - Andrew Ribiero

On his time in Portland so far

I've loved it this far. I tried to study a little bit to come out here and see what it was like. A lot of people said there was a lot of rain, which there has been, but I am a fan of rain.

On how he ended up with the Timbers

I think that a lot of players, they don't really know what they are doing until their coach says, hey, someone is interested in you and you are going to go play here this summer. It's not that you don't have a say in it but this was a great opportunity for me, so when I heard Portland [I said], yeah, that's awesome, I'd love to go. A lot of times it is a coach sees you, such as a Portland coach, and they will contact you.

On what he knew about the U23s

I did not know there was such a good U23 program here. Being from the midwest and having no family out west here, I did not know of the Portland U23 team. I played with the Fire last year and we never heard about the undefeated season for Portland two years ago. I am glad I am on here now.

On the team's first loss

It happens. I won't say it is a terrible thing. To us, I don't thinkit is that big of a deal. It is a loss, it happens, but our big goal is winning the conference and then going on further and we are still doing that.

On the Seattle game

We just didn't finish the ball, unfortunately. We had chances but the game ended up 1-0 to Seattle. I think when the whistle blew they were very thankful that the game was over. I think we could have had a few. The next time is going to be a much different game with a different mindset.

On bouncing back

We talked about how good teams, even great teams, lose, but they don't lose twice in a row. It is kind of a thing that, our next game has to be a win. We are going to step back from it to kind of put things in perspective.

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