Timbers U23s GK Spencer Richey faced little pressure in the first half, but had to hold off a late push from Washington Crossfire. Photo by Jeremiah Mitchell Braeback.
CAMAS, WASHINGTON - The Portland Timbers U23s (9-3-2, 29pts.) knew they needed to come out and take control early, and that's exactly what they did. Needing only 1 point to clinch a spot in the PDL playoffs, the Timbers U23s had their sights set on hosting a play in game. With their 1-0 victory over Washington Crossfire (8-6-1, 25pts.) in front of 2,056 on Mark Sherrod's 10th goal of the season in the 69th minute, they placed themselves in a good position to be in control of their own destiny as they close out the season.
From the opening whistle, they had Washington on their heels controlling much of the possession in the attacking third and having several solid chances but were unable to hit the back of the net. As the Timbers U23s pressed on, the game became more physical as Washington tried to push back, with several fouls called on both sides and a 26st minute yellow card issued to Washington's Junior Sanchez on a reckless challenge near midfield. The Timbers U23s were unfazed and continue to press on, easily containing the counterattack. Washington's best chance may have been an 11th minute free kick just outside the 18 yard box that was easily taken care of by the Timbers U23s defense. After the first half, the shots were 9-1 in favor of the Timbers U23s
Coming out of half time, it looked like a completely different game. Washington came out strong and had several early chances that were taken care of by Timbers U23s goalkeeper Spencer Richey. While Washington was looking to break through, it was the Timbers U23s who scored the only goal on a counterattack. Racing up the right flank, midfielder Nicolas Hamer delivered a pinpoint cross to the head of Mark Sherrod, who easily put it in the back of the net in the 69th minute. Washington then made a succession of subs, hoping to break through, which they almost did on a 89th minute goal that was called back on a offsides call by the nearside official, much to the dismay of Washington, who believed it was a good goal.
Alright guys, I don't believe I have to say this but, just in case, please do not submit anything racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise not appropriate for even the younger Timbers fans.