Reds Drop Finale vs. Timbers U23
SPRINGFIELD — Offensive woes came back to haunt the Reds again in the season finale at the Les Schwab Sports Park Sunday, ultimately ending in a 3-0 loss to the Portland Timbers U23’s in front of a season-high crowd of 569 fans.
Lane United (8-6-5 Overall, 3-6-5 PDL) struggled to find opportunities on goal against the the Portland defense all game long, tallying just four shots against goalkeeper Jordan Farr.
The win for Portland clinched a Northwest Division title for Timbers U23 after Victoria Highlanders played to a 1-1 draw on the road at Calgary Foothills FC.
Lane United’s home defeats throughout the season came when the Reds struggled to create chances on the offensive end. This happened again Sunday as LUFC was without forward Jordan Jones who was tied with his running mate Nick Moon for the team lead in goals at six.
Two of the Portland goals came on giveaways from Lane United in very poor locations near the box that didn’t give goalkeeper Ben Willis a chance to make a save. Those giveaways are hard to overcome, especially when the offense isn’t running smoothly.
“We talked coming in that the longer we stayed in the game it would be more pressure on the Timbers because they needed to win to take the division title,” head coach John Galas said. “When you gift a team two goals like that, a good team that’s in rhythm and playing exceptionally well it’s going to be tough to get back in it.”
Lane United goalkeeper Ben Willis made six saves against an attacking Portland front line, including a fantastic diving save to his right to knock away a shot that was headed for the back of the net.
Throughout the season the Reds missed a few chances here and made some mistakes there that led to dropping important points that may have changed the outcome of some matches leading to a different stretch run.
It’s all part of the learning curve in the Premier Development League.
“This group was certainly committed, they fought and they worked hard,” Galas said. “It’s a good group, we have so much quality in that locker room. I’ll go to war with these guys any day. It’s been a fun group to work with all summer.”