Portland Timbers U23 vs. Kitsap Pumas

MAY 8 | 7 p.m. PT | McCulloch Stadium; Salem, Ore.

Portland Timbers U-23 (PDL) 5, Kitsap Pumas (NPSL) 0
Portland Timbers U-23, of the Premier Development League (PDL), got on top early and never took their foot off the gas against Kitsap Pumas of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) in their First Round game of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The home side won out 5-0 at McCulloch Stadium in Salem, Ore. to book a date with Reno 1868 FC of the United Soccer League (USL) in the Second Round on May 16.

Things started rolling the right way for the Timbers U-23s early when Kitsap defender Kevin Francis was shown a straight red card for a rough tackle after only ten minutes of play. And just two minutes after that, the home team were into the lead when Rey Ortiz-Flores – hands-down the best player of the first-half – swung his free-kick home from 20 yards out. Kitsap goalkeeper Mario Seguiera had no hope of keeping the curler from finding the back of his net. 

After the early expulsion and goal, the game opened up for both teams. The extra-space saw both the Timbers and Kitsap looking dangerous on the break and trying to get on the end of long balls from deep in midfield. But Portland’s Ortiz-Flores, and his attacking partner Abdulkadir Haji, were causing the most headaches. 

Ten minutes before the half, the young Timbers made it 2-0. It was no surprise that Ortiz-Flores was the creator. He carved out space wide on the right and crossed dangerously through the box, where the ball bounced off Kitsap defender Aria Shahmirzadi and nestled in the goal. From there on, the air went out of the visitors. The hosts took five shots to Kitsap’s zero in the opening period and were in total control when the whistle went for the interval.

The second-half picked up right where the first left off, with Portland flying into attack. Another good cross from Ortiz-Flores ended up in the back of the net shortly after the restart – this time it came off the foot of Kitsap defender Matt Eronemo to make it 3-0 to the home team before the 50th minute. Soon, it was 4-0 when Don Tchilao headed home a pin-point cross from Alan Cruz. 

With the clock ticking toward 90, Joel Walker finished off a fine three-pass build-up in midfield from 12 yards out to seal the result at a lopsided 5-0. It put the finishing touches on an easy night for the home team. The result sees Kitsap out of the competition and Portland Timbers U23 into the Second Round, where they’ll take on full professional opposition in the form of Reno 1868 FC.