BEAVERTON, OREGON – With a camp lineup depleted by multiple call-offs because of the Dallas Cup and MLS Reserve League matches, the U18 Men’s National Team had trouble finding its feet Tuesday in a 4-1 loss to the Portland Timbers Reserves.
The match was played on the Nike World Campus here as part of a U.S. Soccer Development Academy summit, but while it provided an opportunity for a number of first time youth national team call-ups, the loss was honestly quite heavy and the scoreline could have been worse but for some wasteful finishing by Portland in the 2nd half.
Head Coach Mike Matkovich agreed the group had a bit of a rude awakening.
Portland actually fell behind early when Luis Rendon hit a nice left-footed strike across his body at full trot, the shot hitting the back of the net for a 1-0 U.S. lead. The lead didn’t last long however as former U18 MNT player Sal Zizzo hit a crisp pass to Darlington Nagbe and the Akron product coolly slotted home in a 1v1 situation to level the match at 1-1.
Nagbe was impressive throughout with excellent close control, tight turns on the ball and good linking play between the midfield and forward line.
Portland just missed going up 2-1 when Ryan Pore misfired after receiving a good pass from Rodrigo Lopez. Lopez and Adam Moffat were strong in central midfield for the Timbers. Zizzo then came close to scoring but his shot was met with a sprawling save by U.S. goalkeeper Jonathan Kempin (an MLS Reserve himself with Kansas City).
Pore did manage to score a bit later however, heading home a good cross by Portland right back Freddie Braun. Chris Taylor then stretched the lead to 3-1 before halftime when is shot from 35 yards took an odd deflection and snuck in under the crossbar.
The U.S. was actually more competitive in the 1st half and got some good work from Walker Zimmerman in the back line, Will Trapp in the midfield and Luis Renton up top.
The 2nd half saw a new lineup for the U.S. and Portland had their way for most of the half. Nagbe was running at the defense and generally causing mayhem. He created the final goal with a 50-yard that included him switching gears at one point to beat two would-be tacklers. He then fed Spencer
Thompson with a good pass and Thompson buried the finish for the final score of 4-1.
The U.S. team will play two college teams this weekend.
GK: Troy Perkins
D: Freddie Braun, Kevin Goldthwaite, Ryan Smith, Chris Taylor
M: Sal Zizzo, Rodrigo Lopez, Adam Moffat, Eddie Johnson
F: Darlington Nagbe, Ryan Pore
GK: Jonathan Kempin (Jeffrey Gal)
D: Miguel Lopez (DeAndre Yedlin), Tim Parker (Grant Silvester), Walker Zimmerman (Matt Jeffery), Scott Thomsen (Mitchell Lurie)
M: Chris Somerville (Marcus Salandy-Defour), Will Trapp (Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler), Seth Casiple (Stefano Bonomo), Victor Pineda (Daniel Cuevas-Granados)
F: Khiry Shelton (Isaac Kannah), Luis Rendon (Brandon Allen)
U.S. U-18 MNT Roster by Position: (Courtesy U.S. Soccer)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jeff Gal (Sockers FC; Bartlett, Ill.), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City; Leawood, Kans.)
DEFENDERS (8): Jonathan Campbell (NC Fusion; Greensboro, N.C.), Matt Jeffery (PDA; Freehold, N.J.), Mitchell Lurie (Concorde Fire; Alpharetta, Ga.), Timothy Parker (Albertson SC; Hicksville, N.Y.), Grant Silvester (CDA; Sacramento, Calif.), Scott Thomsen (New York Red Bulls Academy; Brick, N.J.), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders Academy; Seattle, Wash.), Walker Zimmerman (Furman; Lawrenceville, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Stefano Bonomo (De Anza Force; Hillsborough, Calif.), Seth Casiple (CDA; Sacramento, Calif.), Daniel Cuevas Granados (CDA; Sacramento, Calif.), Miguel Lopez, Jr. (Classics Elite; Alton, Texas), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bollingbrook, Ill.), Marcus Salandy-Defour (D.C. United Academy; Kensington, Md.), Christopher Somerville (Baltimore Bays Chelsea; West Chester, Pa.), Gabe Stauber (FC Westchester; Waccabuc, N.Y.), Will Trapp (Crew Soccer Academy; Gahanna, Ohio), Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler (CASL Chelsea SC; Cary, N.C.)
FORWARDS (4): Brandon Allen (New York Red Bulls Academy; Old Bridge, N.J.), Isaac Kannah (Minnesota Thunder Academy; Plymouth Minn.), Luis Rendon (FC Richmond Magic; Chesterfield, Va.), Khiry Shelton (Lonestar SC; Leander, Texas)