Portland, OR - On a sunny Sunday at JELD-WEN Field, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves topped Portland Timbers Reserves 3-2 to cap a fine weekend in Oregon for the Blue and White.
Two goals from Tommy Heinemann were the difference in an exciting contest, which saw five second half goals. Erik Hurtado scored the other for the Blue and White, while Jose Valencia and Rauwshan McKenzie found the back of the net for Portland.
The match got off to a fast and furious start as the two teams exchanged a number of exceptional chances inside the first 15 minutes.
In the eighth minute, Erik Hurtado, a former member of the Timbers U-23 squad, made a hulking run down the left flank before his low cross found Tommy Heinemann, but the striker’s shot was cleared off the goal line for a corner by Portland’s McKenzie.
On the ensuing corner, the ball found its way to Kevin Cobby’s feet, but his shot was well-stopped by Milos Kocic.
The best chance of the half for the Timbers came in the 11th minute. Brad Knighton was unable to properly deal with a dangerous cross from Portland, leaving the ball for Jesse Garcia. However the Timbers’ U-16 product was unable to slide it into the empty net.
Vancouver came close with their own chance on 23 minutes. Heinemann intercepted a poor pass from Kocic and found Jun Marques Davidson only to see Davidson's one-timer roll inches wide of goal.
Portland pressed just before the break. Knighton was called upon to make a huge save on 44 minutes to deny a long-range effort from Steven Evans as the two sides went into halftime scoreless.
The Timbers finally opened the scoring in the 51st minute through a successful penalty from Jose Valencia. They were awarded the penalty when the Columbian was deemed to have been taken down by Greg Klazura.
Whitecaps FC picked up their game from that point on, immediately equalizing off the kickoff. Heinemann finished off a crafty pass from Whitecaps FC Residency midfielder Kianz Froese, slotting his shot clinically into the bottom left corner. Not long after that, the Blue and White made it 2-1 when Hurtado darted up field with a terrific run and slid it past halftime substitute goalkeer Jake Gleeson.
On 73 minutes, Sebastian Rincon was played in all alone with only Brad Knighton to beat, but Knighton came off his line quickly to deny the scoring opportunity.
The Timbers drew level in the 81st minute as Rauwshan Mackenzie headed in a beautiful chipped pass from Sal Sizzo. The goal was a culmination of a clever set piece just outside of Vancouver’s 18-yard box.
However, the action wasn’t done there. Just three minutes after Portland found a way back to tie the game, the ‘Caps fought back, again.
On 84 minutes, Koffie was tripped up in the box after zig-zagging his way around not one, not two, but three, Portland defenders, earning a penalty kick. Heinemann stepped up and buried the spot kick to retake the lead, which the 'Caps would ride until the final whistle for a 3-2 win.
The win shoots Vancouver straight to the top of the MLS Reserve League Western Conference standings. The Reserves have one final game in their 2013 MLS Reserve League campaign against another Cascadia Cup foe, Seattle Sounders FC, on August 26. Kickoff for that match is set for 7 p.m. PT at Starfire Sports Complex.