Former division rivals, the Portland Timbers U-23s and the Kitsap Pumas squared off in the 2018 US Open Cup for the first time since Kitsap left for the NPSL. Photo: Allison Andrews | SoccerCityUSA.com
The Portland Timbers Under-23s of the Premier Development League (PDL) punched their ticket to the Second Round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, defeating the visiting Kitsap Pumas (National Premier Soccer League) 5-0 in front of 470 fans at McCulloch Stadium in Salem, Oregon.
The 5-0 victory was the largest margin of defeat between PDL and NPSL sides in US Open Cup history, and the first meeting between the former PDL Northwest Division rivals, who met for the first time since Kitsap made the move to the NPSL following the 2016 season.
The Timbers U-23s quickly found themselves up a goal in the 12th minute, after Kitsap defender Kevin Francis was shown a straight red card by referee Ekaterina Koroleva, following a hard tackle just outside the box. With the Pumas scrambling to find their footing following the sending off, U-23s midfielder Rey Ortiz-Flores curled the ball into the back of the net, beating goalkeeper Cody Lang off the free kick to give the Timbers a 1-0 lead.
The match opened up following the goal, with both sides trading chances over the next 20 minutes, but the Timbers would once again find the back of the net, as Benji Michel’s shot off a cross from Ortiz-Flores was deflected into the back of his own net by Pumas defender Aria Shahmirzadi, giving the U-23s a 2-0 lead.
Portland would continue to press Kitsap through the remainder of the first half, with several chances to add to their lead as the first half ended. At the break, the Timbers U-23s outshot the Pumas 5-0, and had a 4-2 lead in corner kicks.
Rey Ortiz-Francis of Portland Timbers U-23s scores the opening goal off a free kick against the Kitsap Pumas in the 2018 US Open Cup. Photo: Allison Andrews | SoccerCityUSA.com
Coming out of the break, the Timbers U-23s continued to put on the pressure, and it quickly paid off. Kitsap’s halftime substitute Jack Sluys slid to clear a cross, only to see the ball go in to the back of his net in the 50th minute, giving the Timbers a three-goal lead. The goal was an unfortunate piece of history as the goal marked the first time in the Modern Era (1995-present) that a team has scored two own goals in the same match.
Following the goal, Kitsap had their best opportunity of the night, as U-23s goalkeeper Mario Sequeira made a leaping save to stop a Juan Carrillo shot heading into the upper 90 in the 52nd minute.
The Timbers continued to press Kitsap back in their own half, and they quickly found the back of the net again, as Alex Segovia sent in a pinpoint cross to Don Tchilao, who easily headed it home for the fourth goal of the match.
Facing a seemingly insurmountable deficit, Kitsap conceded possession for the remainder of the match, as the U-23s continued to find space and scoring opportunities, with Joel Walker capping off the scoring in the 84th minute to give his side a 5-0 victory, while Sequeira earned his first shutout of the young season.
With the victory, the Timbers U-23s will face off against Reno 1868 FC of the United Soccer League on May 16 at Greater Nevada Field in Reno, Nevada, in the Second Round.