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Gameday Report: August 19, Week 23

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 08/20/18, 12:04AM EDT

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Langsdorf brace leads T2 to victory against Seattle; Stoppage-time equalizer leaves SPR, Reno level in 3-3 thriller


Photo courtesy Sam Ortega / Portland Timbers 2

THREE THINGS THAT MATTERED

1. The Portland Timbers 2 took their third consecutive victory with a 4-1 win against Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Sunday night as the club continued to separate itself from the fight for the playoffs it was in danger of getting dragged into two weeks ago after its loss to Phoenix Rising FC on August 5. Another pair of goals by Foster Langsdorf – who moved into a tie for second in the league with 13 goals – led the way for the hosts at Merlo Field, who now have an eight-point cushion to the ninth-place Swope Park Rangers with eight games to go in their season. Orange County SC’s visit on Wednesday night is now looking like a must-see.

2. The Swope Park Rangers were unable to end what is now an eight-game winless streak despite twice holding the lead, but a stoppage-time goal by Hadji Barry ended up taking what could be an invaluable point for the two-time defending Western Conference champion as it looks for a path back to the postseason after a 3-3 draw with Reno 1868 FC on Sunday evening at Children’s Mercy Park. The Rangers had twice taken the lead through Tyler Blackwood but were staring at a demoralizing defeat when they conceded inside the final 10 minutes to go behind for the first time in the contest, but Barry’s ninth goal of the season left SPR with at least a point to show from the contest.

3. Reno will be disappointed to have missed out on a victory that would have not only seen the side gain a little revenge for its dramatic season-opening defeat to the Rangers at Greater Nevada Field, but also strongly solidified its place in the Western Conference playoff positions. 1868 FC is still in strong position for a postseason berth, but those two missed points leave the side five points away from the top four, and under pressure to make its busy scheduled down the stretch count if it’s to host a postseason contest for the second time in as many seasons.

GAME REPORTS

PORTLAND TIMBERS 2 (4), SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 2 (1)

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers 2 got a pair of goals by Foster Langsdorf as they took a 4-1 victory against Seattle Sounders FC 2 at Merlo Field in a third consecutive victory for the hosts. Portland threatened early as Renzo Zambrano’s lifted through-ball allowed Langsdorf a look at goal only for his finish to go just over the crossbar, but Langsdorf found the net in the 34th minute on a scramble in the six-yard area after Seattle goalkeeper Jacob Castro failed to claim a corner kick he came for at the near post. Seattle almost leveled less than a minute into the second half when Khai Brisco’s header from a corner kick was turned away by T2 goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh, and S2’s Azriel Gonzalez also went close with a curling effort from the edge of the penalty area that just missed the top-left corner. Portland doubled its lead just past the hour-mark, however, as Zambrano fired a shot from 20 yards that deflected off a defender, wrong-footing Castro, as it redirected into the right corner of the net. Langsdorf then added his second of the night with a sliding near-post finish on Marvin Loria’s low cross from the left to the top of the six-yard area in the 68th minute before the teams exchanged goals in the final 15 minutes as Seattle struck in the 76th minute on a fine low strike by Josh Atencio to the left corner and Portland answered two minutes later when Adrian Diz Pe headed home the rebound after Jack Barmby had hit the crossbar. Seattle continued to press late on and Jesse Daley had a good effort saved by McIntosh in the 89th minute, but the hosts comfortably claimed their third consecutive victory as they continued to solidify a playoff position.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Foster Langsdorf, Portland Timbers 2
– Langsdorf continued his bid for the USL Golden Boot with a pair of close-range finishes that pushed the hosts to victory and three points closer to a playoff place.

SWOPE PARK RANGERS (3), RENO 1868 FC (3)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Both sides held the lead, but a stoppage-time goal by Hadji Barry for the Swope Park Rangers saw honors end even in a 3-3 draw with Reno 1868 FC at Children’s Mercy Park. The Rangers took the lead in the seventh minute as a swift upfield move saw Wan Kuzain find Barry, who controlled and played Tyler Blackwood in for a first-time finish to the left corner of the net. Reno almost hit back immediately only for Swope Park goalkeeper Eric Dick to deny Brian Brown, while Antoine Hoppenot fired just wide of the left post in the 11th minute from 14 yards out. A minute later, however, Brown scored his 10th goal of the season as Brent Richards sent a low cross through the six-yard area from the right after Hoppenot has cleverly played him in down the flank. But Blackwood restored the Rangers’ lead in the 29th minute after a magnificent piece of play by Kharlton Belmar on the left, and both Barry and Felipe Hernandez forced saves either side of the halftime break by 1868 FC goalkeeper Matt Bersano as the hosts looked to add to their lead. Reno’s Hoppenot was denied an equalizer in the 49th minute by a great low save by Dick, but in the 64th minute Brown notched his second goal of the contest as he squeezed a low shot home off a ball over the top by Zach Carroll. Swope Park almost regained the lead again with 10 minutes to go as Justin Bilyeu shot just wide of the right post, only for Reno to strike two minutes later as Jerry van Ewijk put home a close-range finish on Richards’ second assist of the game, but Swope Park leveled in stoppage time as Barry got in behind the Reno defense and put home a finish that just eluded Bersano to earn the hosts a point.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Tyler Blackwood, Swope Park Rangers
– Blackwood scored the opening two goals for the Rangers and then provided the assist on Hadji Barry’s stoppage-time equalizer in a fine attacking performance.

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