Portland Timbers Academy Part 2 (Timbers U-18's 3 – Crossfire Premier 1)

An engaging game for the Timbers U-18 Youth Academy team Saturday.

If you’re not familiar with this team you might consider it worthwhile to get to know these players. Here’s a link to their Roster for this year: http://www.portlandtimbers.com/2012-13-portland-timbers-u-18-academy-roster

Most of you probably know this already but the best pipeline for developing the first team will eventually be the Timbers Academy; so as time passes a good way to get an idea of who might be in the mix for moving up to the first team is to begin to follow my articles on the Academy.

In short here are the goal scorers for yesterday: (The Portland Timbers Official Press release has numerous errors on who scored and when).

(1st Half) Nosack (Forward) scored the initial goal on a Penalty Kick awarded as the result of a hand ball by a Crossfire player in the 18 yard box.

(2nd Half) After some very good buildup from Langsdorf (I think), to Cawley, and then on to Zhividze who struck a shot that rebounded for Macchione who slotted home a nice volley for goal 2.

(3rd Half) Finally, near stoppage time Zhividze again, with very good vision, played a lovely through ball to Gonzalez who deftly chipped an on-rushing keeper just above the 6 yard box.

On to the run of play itself… Throughout the game it was a wicked pace, with high energy and very little time on the ball. As the first 15 minutes disappeared control of the midfield started to go towards Timbers where the first real shot on goal came around the 20 minute (mark?) by Nosack about 5 yards atop the 18.

Pressure in the Crossfire defending half continued throughout the remainder of the first half; eventually resulting in the hand ball leading to Nosack’s goal.

In addition to the continuous pressure applied there was a Crossfire player who was given the red card for a ‘studs high’ tackle around the 40′ minute mark.

As the second half unfolded Crossfire came out blazing and basically, even with a man down, controlled the run of play. Most 1-v-1’s were won by Crossfire and the Timbers defenders were under constant pressure.

And after a run of three free kicks, all within the space of about 5 minutes, the persistence of Crossfire paid off. A free kick was awarded above and outside the top left of the 18. And on the cross a Crossfire player to flicked home a nifty header, beating the keeper, on the near post.

As things continued to unsettle a number of substitutions occurred and after about 30 minutes or so of playing on there heals the Timbers Academy pulled one back to go ahead.

While I’ve tried to identify the names of the players involved in the build-up I think it is perhaps more important to picture the how.

Coming from the back four, the ball was moved into the midfield center, then down the left wing, atop the corner of the 18 where Timur’s shot gto deflected to Macchione who struck a brilliant half volley to the back of the net from just atop the penalty spot. Great play, fantastic ball movement, strong vision, and good fortune on the deflection led to the game winner, to the top of the 18 and finally got volleyed home just about the penalty spot.

The final goal, scored near stoppage time again came from some solid midfield play and good control/passing; a worthy result on a brilliant day for soccer.

The next games for the U-18 Academy team are Cal Odyssey (away) and San Jose Earthquakes (away).

You can follow me on twitter at: https://twitter.com/ChrisGluckPTFC

Chris Gluck

Chris Gluck

I have been covering the Portland Timbers and Major League Soccer, as a community blogger/analyst for the Columbian Newspaper, since June, 2012. Since then my involvement in soccer analysis has expanded to include participating in the Regional Emmy Award Winning Soccer City PDX TV Show (Comcast Sports Northwest). My unique analytical approach has been published in Europe and presented at the World Conference on Science and Soccer 2014. I also appear regularly as a co-host on Rose City Soccer Show and the Yellowcarded Podcast. You can find my work on PossessionwithPurpose.com, PTFC Collective and Prost Amerika.

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