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USSF Division 2

USSF D2: Vancouver Whitecaps at Portland Timbers (Match Night Commentary)

Vancouver_Whitecaps Timbers

It's early in the USSF Division 2 season, but tonight's matchup between the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps (10pm ET) features the top team in each conference.

Neither side has lost in 2010, and bring identical 2-0-1 records into tonight's game, hosted by Portland at PGE Park. And of course, there's the not-too-small fact that both clubs are making the jump to MLS in 2011.

I will be following along via webstream and providing live commentary after the jump. If you're up and following along, feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below.

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FULL TIME– That's all from me tonight. Thanks for following along with tonight's match. If you have any post match comments or thoughts, share them below. Good night.

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FULL TIME– Portland squeaks out the win, Pore grabs the winner. It was a wild ten final ten minutes at PGE Park, as the Timbers went ahead shortly after going down a man. Vancouver looked a bit better offensively, but will need to pick up their forward production in the future.

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93rd minute– Suzuki comes on, less than a minute to go.

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91st minute– Steele controls with his hand, but his shot is way over. Another change for Portland with Takayuki Suzuki set to come on.

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90th minute– Into stoppage time. Three minutes of stoppage time for Portland to hold on.

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88th minute– SAVE CRONIN. A half volley after Moose gets behind Marcelin and Cronin gets a hand to it and push it around the post. The ensuing corner is cleared after a goalmouth scramble.

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86th minuteGOAL PORTLAND! Ryan Pore with a beautiful header off a cross-field long ball from the top of the box. Six goals for Pore now.

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84th minuteRED CARD. Mamadou Danso gets a second yellow and Portland will have to finish with ten men. A rather weak decision — it was a foul, yes, not another yellow card. 

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82nd minute– Attendance of 5,808 tonight at PGE Park.

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82nd minute– Randy Edwini-Bonsu replaces Marcus Haber for Vancouver, electing to go with speed instead of brawn for the last eight minutes.

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80th minute– Ten minutes to go. Can either side find a winner?

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78th minute– Justin Moose comes in for Vancouver, taking the place of Toure.

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76th minute– Thompson steals it off a Whitecap and lofts in a cross that Pore heads back into the middle, but no one is there to clean up for Portland.

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73rd minute– Out of nothing, Portland almost takes the lead. Josten flicks on to DeMartin who beats Janicki to the ball. Nolly comes up with a huge save to deny the attacker.

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72nd minute– Nash floats in Vancouver's ninth corner of the game, Steele missing with a header. Timbers still struggling for possession.

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71st minute– Of the two sides, Vancouver has been the better side in the second half, creating more clear scoring chances and looking more likely to win. Keel comes off for Portland, Steve Purdy takes his place.

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70th minute– Vancouver sub Steele has already shown his class, putting Haber through on goal, though Danso recovers well to deny the Whitecaps strikers.

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68th minute– Nash goes close, hitting the outside of the post. Cronin a bit too casual on that.

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66th minute– Steele gets on the end of a flick, and he's taken down outside the box by Keel. No card shown, and a dangerous chance for Vancouver.

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63rd minute– Wes Knight gets free in the box, but his shot hits the side netting. Good effort, though he could have crossed. Jonny Steele comes on to debut for Vancouver in 2010, replacing James.

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62nd minute– Lopez, on for two minutes, gets a yellow for a trip on Nash. A bit harsh, though he broke up a potential counter.

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59th minute– Farber comes off, with Rodrigo Lopez coming on for Portland.

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57th minute– Josten plays Pore behind Vancouver's defense, but his touch betrays him. He recovers with a stepover and unleashes a hard shot that Nolly saves at full stretch. Would have been quite a goal.

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55th minute– Portland knocking it around with more confidence, cutting down on sloppy turnovers.

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52nd minute– Timbers struggling to get possession and sustain it, but Martin Nash and Vancouver haven't done all that much when they've had the ball.

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50th minute– Vancouver's approach is the same as the first half. Long balls towards James and Haber, two very large target forwards.

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49th minute– Portland's defending on those two corners were much better as they look to get the ball out of their own end.

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47th minute– Another corner for Vancouver, their sixth of the night. It goes through everyone and off Danso for another one.

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45th minute– Vancouver gets the second half going. Doug DeMartin and Scot Thompson come on for Portland.

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HALFTIME– Second half kick off is just a couple minutes away. Discipline could be a turning point in this match — four cards were handed out, and the physical play you'd expect from a rivalry has been on display throughout.

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HALFTIME– Pore's free kick goal was rather uncharacteristic of him — a lot of his deliveries this season have been straight into the wall or too low when delivering from further outside the area. Nevertheless, the former Wizards man has now scored all but one of Portland's goals this year. Who will step up in the second half for Portland?

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HALFTIME– The edge goes to Vancouver, who had plenty of scoring opportunities. They almost took an early lead when Tsiskaridze hit the post, and have threatened on a number of set piece chances. Portland has been unable to mark well on Nash deliveries, constantly leaving men wide open in dangerous positions.

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HALFTIME– And that's the end of the first half. It's been an entertaining 45 minutes, as a beautiful Ryan Pore free kick gave Portland an early lead. Akwari answered back for Vancouver to level things at 1-1.

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45th minute– Two minutes of extra time, Portland holding on, content to go in to the half with a 1-1 draw. Whitecaps have enjoyed the better half.

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43rd minute– Nash sends in a high, looping free kick that Janicki deflects back towards the middle and Haber puts over. Timbers have been having trouble with Vancouver's set pieces all nights, and have another to deal with now.

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42nd minute– Yet another card comes out as the physical play continues. This time it's Quavas Kirk with a late challenge on Martin Nash, Whitecaps with a free kick.

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40th minute– Whitecaps threatening now, with James Marcelin intervening to deny James. A goal before the half would be huge.

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38th minute-The James-Dando battle is one to keep an eye on. Both are physically imposing players, and now they each have a yellow card. Could we see a red card before this one is over?

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36th minute– Both teams playing at a quick pace, and also using direct tactics to challenge the defenses and hope for the turf to play a part as well.

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34th minute– Jay Nolly rushes out, but Farber can't get his touch right, allowing goalscorer Akwari to clear with the net empty.

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32nd minute– James gets forward on the left hand side, but Cronin does well to come out and smother the cross.

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30th minute– Josten with a great cross into the heart of Vancouver's box but Claesson can't get on the end of it. The offside flag was up, anyways. Marlon James then earns a yellow for a foul on Stephen Keel.

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27th minute– Joy fouls James to break up Vancouver's chance to counter after a Portland corner is cleared.

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25th minute– Nikolay Tsiskaridze (a great name, by the way) with a couple of long throws into the box, but his second goes straight to Cronin.

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24th minute– No clear cut chances in the last few minutes as turnovers mar the run of play. Haber and James are two big, target forwards that will trouble Portland's back line through out the night.

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22nd minute– The rubber warning track causes Pore to lose his footing and leads to a turnover, but Nash shoots wide. Back-and-forth play continues.

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21st minute– Pore drives in a free kick that is knocked down to Farber, whose shot is deflected and bounces to Nolly.

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18th minute– Another corner to Vancouver, Kirk with the clearance for Portland.

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17th minute– Vancouver a bit sloppy at the back, struggling to cope with Portland's pressure and maintain possession.

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15th minute- Farber sets up Obatola, but his weak shot is right at Nolly.

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14th minute- Back-and-forth action as both sides press to go ahead. Greg Janicki with a couple of clearing headers for the Whitecaps.

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12th minute- A wild start to tonight's match, and the Northwest rivals are tied at 1-1.

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11th minute- GOAL VANCOUVER! Portland marking goes astray and Nelson Akwari equalizes on a free header off a corner.

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9th minute– Portland seizing the initiative, keeping the pressure on Vancouver in their half of the field.

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7th minuteGOAL PORTLAND! Ryan Pore with a perfect bending free kick over the wall, Nolly can only get a hand on it. That's Pore's fifth in four matches now.

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7th minute– Martin Nash whistled for a high boot on O.J. Obatola and Portland earns a dangerous free kick.

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6th minute– A Toure cross is blocked by Portland out for another corner. Martin Nash takes it, Cronin collects.

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4th minute– Expect a tough and physical game tonight. Portland were knocked out of the playoffs last year by the Whitecaps after a strong 2009 performance.

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2nd minute– Teams getting settled in on the rough PGE turf, knocking the ball back and forth. Whitecaps with an early corner, hitting the post before it's cleared to the corner.

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1st minute– Portland gets the game underway.

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PRE-GAME– Both teams have stout defenses, with just one goal conceded between them in six games combined. Another random fact? Martin Nash is NBA player Steve's brother.

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PRE-GAME– MLS fans will recognize a few names: former MLSers Cronin, Kirk, Joy and Pore and Janicki are all in the starting lineups. A lot of D.C. United ties, in particular, with Cronin, Kirk and Janicki all having spent time with United.

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PRE-GAME– Teams are making their way onto the pitch at PGE Park.

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PRE-GAME– One of Portland's best striker's Mandjou Keita, returned this week after a loan stint with Salgaocar Sports Club in India. He won't be available tonight, but his return will take the pressure off Ryan Pore, who has shouldered most of the scoring load this year in Portland.

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PRE-GAME– For those watching the web stream, it's up and running now.

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PRE-GAME– Vancouver's bench includes Jonny Steele, who is recovering from injury and could make his 2010 debut for Vancouver after coming over from Puerto Rico.

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PRE-GAME– Portland: Steve Cronin; Quavas Kirk, Mamadou Danso, Ian Joy, Stephen Keel; Brian Farber, Ryan Pore, Johan Claesson, James Marcelin; George Josten, O.J. Obatola

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PRE-GAME– Lineups are in. Vancouver: Jay Nolly; Nikolay Tsiskaridze, Nelson Akwari, Greg Janicki, Chris Williams; Ansu Toure, Luca Bellisomo, Martin Nash, Wes Knight; Marlon James, Marcus Haber

63 comments
  • Kejsare

    They added to the outfield new turf because in the off season they did foundational work for the renovation for MLS 2011. Hence, two fields.

    Like

  • Kejsare

    If you’re watching the stream that’s the radio broadcast you’re listening to.

    Like

  • Kejsare

    Fellas, the stadium is a ‘civic stadium’ probably used 300 days of the year for something. So the turf is heavily used and was installed about 3 years ago. There will be new turf, probably the same that the Revs just got, installed for next year.

    Like

  • Kejsare

    Aye, the best teams in D2 soccer. If we’re soccer fans who want a great domestic league, we need a solid lower tier. thousands in the US are following this level. We’d better support it.

    Like

  • Kejsare

    FYI, they do the hockey style comments b/c its the radio broadcast being streamed on the internet with the video feed coming from Fox.

    Like

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