Tulsa visits the Rose City for the first time as these two teams finish their home-and-home two game series Saturday afternoon at Merlo Field. T2 got the victory in Tulsa back on May 30th and will look to repeat with the home field advantage. However, T2 will be missing two key players due to yellow card accumulation and a hometown hero may be gone for good.
It's been a pleasure playing in Portland while meeting some great people! @timbersarmy is amazing....but time for some new adventures— Steven Evans (@Steven_Evans5) August 20, 2015
T2 (9-12-2, 29 pts) posted a strong 3-1 victory over rivals Vancouver Whitecaps 2 on Sunday evening. Kharlton Belmar scored his 10th and 11th goals this season. He put himself in the T2 history books as the first player to break double digit goals. Brent Richards was also a standout getting a pair of assists in the match, his first assist coming only moments from subbing on. Richards' two assists off the bench earned him a spot on the USL Team of the Week, with Kharlton Belmar's brace earning him a place on the bench. And the three vital points keep T2 relevant in the race for the post season as we approach the final 5 regular season matches.
Up first are the Tulsa Roughnecks. In the 3rd and final match for their three game home stand T2 will face a team that they defeated 3-1 back on May 30th. It was similar to many matches this season for T2, they went down early in the first half, but strong second half saw them score 3 unanswered goals to get the victory. Nanchoff scored a brace that night with Belmar picking up his 6th goal of the season.
Against Tulsa, Belmar should most certainly be there. Perhaps Nanchoff might see a loan again as well. But unfortunately, in-form midfielder George Fochive and influential winger Rundell Winchester should both miss this match due to yellow card accumulation.
Another, slightly more mysterious absence, would also be the team's jack-of-all-trades, Steven Evans. His tweet embedded above alludes to a new chapter in his life, one that doesn't include Portland. All I have on that right now is confirmation of the accuracy of Evans' tweet but no details are being provided yet.
Hopefully though, the return of new acquisition, Michael Seaton should give the team a boost. Seaton has returned from Olympic Qualifying with Jamaica. Seaton's Jamaica was eliminated in the semi final by Cuba but defeated St Vincent & the Grenadines in the 3rd place match. Seaton scored a brace in the 3rd place match with his 2nd goal coming in extra time to seal the win for Jamaica in the 100th minute.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC
Tulsa (10-9-6, 36 pts) are coming off a pair of home games where they secured 4 points across two days. On August 13th, they hosted Real Monarchs and ran them off the field with a dominant 5-1 win. Two nights later, on August 15th, they hosted Louisville FC and a back and forth battle ended in a 2-2 draw.
The victory and the draw mean that Tulsa are in the thick of the playoff race and have only lost once in the last 10 matches. June 27th was their last defeat. So they will arrive in Portland with confidence and a desire to revenge the last result these teams had when meeting for the first time.
Joining Richards on the USL Team of the Week is Tulsa forward Cristian Mata. His three goals across the two home games for Tulsa got him the recognition. And his 6 goals scored for Tulsa is the second highest mark on the team. This is despite the fact that Mata did not join Tulsa until mid-season. Also for Tulsa, midfielder Chad Bond found himself sharing bench space with Kharlton Belmar for his 3 assists in the two matches for Tulsa.
After Saturday afternoon's match vs Tulsa, T2 will hit the road for the second to last away game. They visit Orange County Blues on Saturday, August 29th before returning home to face Colorado Springs Switchbacks one week later.
Watch it: Streamed live on Timbers2.com
Kickoff: Saturday, August 22nd, 2:00pm pacific, at Merlo Field in Portland, Oregon
Portland Timbers 2: 9-12-2, 29pts, 8th place in the USL Western Conference
Tulsa Roughnecks FC: 10-9-6, 36pts, 5th place in the USL Western Conference