Timbers U23s midfielder Cam Vickers with a corner kick in the 2nd half vs. Kitsap. Photo by Jeremiah Mitchell Braeback.
HILLSBORO, OR - Coming in level in the standings with playoff positioning and a US Open Cup berth on the line, both the Portland Timbers U23s (9-4-2, 29pts) and Kitsap Pumas (10-4-2) slugged it out on a hot, sunny day in front of 1,078. With field temperature reaching over 100 degrees, it took an 87 minute defensive breakdown allowing Kitsap forward Ben Truax to beat goalkeeper Spencer Richey one-on-one for the games only goal.
Both teams came out strong, with several solid changes on both sides in the first half, with Portland's Steven Evans having two solid chances in the 15th and 38th minutes and Richey having to make a big save on an attempt by Elliot Fauske. Portland attacked even harder in the second half, outshooting Kitsap 6-2, with several solid chances from Mark Sherrod, Erik Hutardo, Cam Vickers, and a near equalizing header in the 90th minute by Nicholas Hamer.
- With the victory, Kitsap moves into sole possession of 2nd place, but Portand has a game in hand as they face Washington Crossfire this Wednesday in Redmond, WA. With a victory, Portland would lock in 2nd place in the division and a coveted berth in the 2013 US Open Cup. Portland and Kitsap split the season series 1-1-1, but Portland has a greater goal differential on the season.
- Seattle Sounders U23s (10-2-3, 33pts.) secured 1st place with their victory over Fraser Valley (0-14-1, 1pt.) Sunday.
- No Canadian Northwest Division squads qualified for the playoffs following the elimination of Victoria Highlanders (6-6-4, 21pts.)
- Ben Truax scored all 3 goals for Kitsap against Portland this season.
- Erik Hurtardo led Portand with 4 shots in his homecoming. Hurtado played his prep soccer at Westview High School in Beaverton.
- Portland and Kitsap will face each other next weekend in the opening round of the PDL Playoffs, with the site being determined upon the results of Wednesday's match in Redmond. Seattle will host Washington.
- Portland finishes the regular season 6-2-0 at home, and are 3-2-2 on the road.
- If Portland hosts Kitsap, the game will be played following the 3:00PM Portland Rain v. Eugene Metro FC match up Sunday, July 15 at Gladstone High School, 18800 Portland Avenue, Gladstone, OR.