Portland Timbers 2 played the first game of their season today against the Tulsa Roughnecks. If the rest of the season is going to feature similar lineups, it’s going to be a great year to see younger Timbers players continue to develop. The lineup consisted largely of first-team players Marvin Loria, Eryk Williamson, Foster Langsdorf, Renzo Zambrano, Marco Farfan, Bill Tuiloma and Modou Jadama. New acquisitions Jake Leeker, Todd Wharton and Ryan Sierakowski joined veteran Harold Hanson as the only T2 players to start the game. This explains why there are only 12 players listed on the T2 roster.
Loria, Williamson and Sierakowski lined up at attacking-mid behind Langsdorf, with Zambrano and Wharton in support behind them at defensive-mid. The back line consisted of Farfan on the left, Tuiloma and Jadama at centerback, and Hanson on the right. Jake Leeker earned his first start in goal.
Tulsa opened the scoring in the 12th minute on an impressive effort from Christian Altamirano, whose shot from distance curved into the far corner and beyond the reach of Leeker.
Loria and Williamson created a lot of chances over the course of the first half, and only a few near misses and saves by Tulsa goalkeeper Sean Lewis kept the Roughnecks on top.
Timbers 2 came out aggressively in the second half. In the 50th minute, Harold Hanson overlapped on the right, received the ball and cut into the box, but was taken down from behind, drawing a penalty. Loria stepped up to the spot and kicked a low ball to the keeper’s right, but the ball was too slow and Lewis got a hand on it before diving on top of it and ending the play.
Finally, in the 55th minute, Eryk Williamson set up for a corner kick from the right side of Tulsa’s half. The ball curved heavily towards the middle of the box, and Modou Jadama headed it down, bouncing in for the tying goal.
Williamson continued to demonstrate his ability to create plays, as in the 68th minute, where he received the ball from a throw-in, worked through traffic, back-heeled the ball to Hanson, received it back, and drove towards goal, nearly scoring.
In an excellent chance to win the game in the 90th minute, a quick counter by T2 got Loria free and running with the ball up the middle of the field, but he was taken down around 30 yards from goal. Zambrano chipped the ensuing free kick to a running Jadama at the right corner edge of Tulsa’s box, but it was headed down and out of bounds.
Tusla broke T2 down a number of times by passing upfield along the wings, bypassing lines of defense. Thankfully, these forays failed, usually from a ball off-target or clutch defending.
- Williamson looks good. Very good. I hope he can fill in at attacking mid sometime this year with the Timbers.
- Farfan is showing much more physicality, fighting past players, winning balls and dribbling around defenders in tight spaces.
- Loria showed a few flashes of brilliance, almost created a couple of goals, and almost scored a couple from distance. He combines well with Williamson and Langsdorf.
- Langsdorf was also nearly on the scoresheet a few times.
Timbers 2 travel to San Antonio on the March 16th, where they will kick off at 5:30 pm. As always, the games are streamable on ESPN+.