Team Match Reports
Timbers defeat Sol to advance in U.S. Open Cup

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Timbers start slow, finish with authority to top Sonoma County, 3-0

JUNE 15, 2010
Timbers break through for three in Open Cup win over Sonoma County

The Portland Timbers and the Sonoma County Sol would meet for the second year in a row in Lamar Hunt US Open Cup action, this time in Portland instead of in California, but the result was the same as the Timbers won 3-0 for the second year in a row and advance to face the Kitsap Pumas. Alex Nimo, Takayuki Suzuki, and James Marcelin would all score for the Timbers, while Steve Cronin recorded the shutout. Sonoma County compete in the National Premier Soccer League as an amateur team.

The Timbers were able to control possession right from the start, and it didnít take them long to get their first good chance, with Ryan Pore turning at the top of the Sonoma County box, with his shot being blocked by the Sol defense, and just past the foot of a charging Takayuki Suzuki. Three minutes later, off a cross from Alex Nimo, forward Mandjou Keita gave the Timbers another good scoring chance as he trapped then side volleyed a shot from 12 yards out that slipped just past the right post.

Sonoma Countyís first venture into the Timbers box would fail in the 14th minute, when a high diagonal cross from Mike Travis just missed the foot of a charging Miguel Santoya.

The Timbers though they had taken the lead in the 21st minute when Mamadou Danso headed in a free kick, but Suzuki was called for a push on the play and the goal was disallowed. One minute later, Suzuki had another good look with a hard diagonal shot from 15 yards that was saved by Sonoma County goalkeeper Juan Carlos Sosa.

In the 28th minute, Sonoma County would record their first official shot on the night, though the 35 yard shot by Tyler Hurst was a very comfortable save for Timbers goalkeeper Steve Cronin.

The 36th minute must have seemed like a brutal replay to Timbers fans of what has happened so many times this season, as the Timbers showed their incredible talent for hitting the woodwork, first on a header by Danso, which rebounded off the crossbar to Keita, whose header also hit the crossbar before going over. Two minutes later, the Timbers were once again within inches of taking the lead when Keita one-timed a cross from Scot Thompson, but the shot slipped agonizingly just wide of the right post.

Pore, Nimo, and Suzuki all had looks during the last ten minutes of the half, but was not able to threaten the Sol goal, and the half would end at 0-0, with the Timbers owning a 12-1 advantage in shots.

Sonoma County came out playing a much more physical style in the second half, to slow down the Timbers wide-open play, and it would be the Sol who had the first good look of the first half, with Brandon Boone running onto a long ball but blasting wide left from 15 yards out in the 54th minute.

But after having lost their momentum that they had carried for much of the first half, the Timbers took advantage of their first good scoring chance of the second half when substitute Doug DeMartin made a nice run along the endline, and centered to Nimo, who one-timed the shot into the top right corner, and the Timbers had finally broken through with a 1-0 lead.

Three minutes later, the Timbers would find the woodwork for the third (but not the last) time on the night, when a free kick from the keeperís right by Rodrigo Lopez curled over the keeperís head and hit the crossbar near the top right corner before rebounding out and finally being cleared.

In the 71st minute, it was Lopez providing service on a corner kick which found Danso open at the near post, but the defenderís open header was well over the crossbar from only eight yards out. One minute later, an odd deflection almost led to a Timbers goal as a cross from Lopez was headed by Sonoma County defender Jeff Russell, but still found the head of Nimo charging into the box, but his headed shot would be wide right.

In the 78th minute, the Timbers would find the woodwork for the fourth time on the night, when a free kick from 30 yards out by Lopez rattled the crossbar, but once again, stayed out of the net, and was cleared by the Sol defense.

The Timbers precariously held onto the lead going into the late minutes, but in the 88th minute, put a stamp on the win when Pore played a nice ball into the run of Suzuki, who beat the offside trap, and chipped over a charging Sosa and into the net to double the lead to 2-0.

And then in stoppage time, the Timbers duplicated their result from last year against the Sol when Lopez played a pass from close to the endline, similar to DeMartinís on the first goal, but this time it was James Marcelin who blasted in the shot from close range, and give the Timbers the 3-0 win as the whistle blew shortly afterwards.

Steve Cronin recorded two saves while getting the shutout, while Juan Carlos Sosa had four for the Sol.

With the win, the Timbers go on to face the Kitsap Pumas in the second round, who beat the Bay Area Ambassadors 4-2 in extra time on Tuesday night. The Timbers faced the Pumas last year in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, and also beat them by a 3-0 score.

(Click each pic to get a much larger picture)

Match report and all photos by Allison Andrews E-mail at

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