Reserves: Timbers 2 – Earthquakes 1By: mao | June 21st, 2011
Sal Zizzo created both goals as Portland Timbers reserves defeated the reserves from San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 at Jeld-Wen Field. Nearly 1400 were in attendance on a beautiful morning as Eddie Johnson opened scoring in the second half, Chris Leitch scored a stunning equalizer and Zizzo forced Brandon McDonald into an own-goal for the match-winner. The Timbers featured trialist Cillian Sheridan at forward as well as former Timbers Tony McManus and Ross Smith in defense, the former playing all ninety minutes before sprinting off the pitch as soon as the final whistle blew. Johnson continues to impress in the reserves while Zizzo was more involved in the score sheet than any previous appearance in either the first team or reserves.
Portland played something between a 4-4-2 with a midfield diamond or a 4-1-3-2 as McManus sat just above the back four. Brian Umony, Ryan Pore and Zizzo played across the midfield with Johnson and Sheridan up top. Adam Moffat was in the back line along with Kevin Goldthwaite, Freddie Braun and Chris Taylor. Adin Brown started for the Timbers and was replaced at the half by Jake Gleeson. The Timbers used all of their substitutes, a wise move ahead of a brutal six weeks, by inserting Sean Morris and Jesus Gonzalez from the U-23s as well as Smith and Rodrigo López.
Umony had the best chance of either side when his first half shot from inside the box hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced back into play. Johnson’s opener came when Zizzo anticipated a midfield pass by San Jose, intercepted and sprinted up field. He then slipped a pass ahead to Johnson who made a slight move to free space and fired back across the goal to score. After Leitch’s 25-yard rocket the Timbers answered right back when Zizzo got the ball in the right corner, eluded one defender with a slick move and passed across the face of goal where McDonald redirected into his own net. That goal in the seventy-second minute capped an eight-minute stretch that included all three goals.
As a trialist, Sheridan had a few nice chances including a glancing header that missed just wide left and a half-chip that narrowly missed wide right, both in the second half. At 6′5″ the Irish striker was a constant factor in the air but was never quite able to get a handle on the style of his teammates.