The last time I thought the Timbers had a US Open Cup match in the bag against a bunch of amateurs, we all know what happened.
Best not say anymore. Just go ahead and click past the jump and follow along, as I deftly the describe the action—on and off the pitch.
Orlando City SC U23's First XI—Tomas Gomez in goal. Daan Brinkman, Ian Svantesson, Boyd Okwuonu and Skyler Russell on defense. Paul Clowes, Victor Souto, Noah Franke, Andrew Brody and Allan Sexius at midfield. Romario Williams up front.
Available: Cody Uzacategui, Tosan Popo, Daniel Johnson, Nicholas Rittmeyer, Tyler Blackwood.
Portland's First XI—Andrew Weber in goal. Alvas Powell, Danny O'Rourke, Rauwshan McKenzie and Michael Harrington on defense. Jack Jewsbury, Gaston Fernandez, Michael Nanchoff at midfield. Kalif Alhassan, Maximiliano Urruti and Rodney Wallace up front.
Riding pine: Jake Gleeson, Jorge Villafana, Taylor Peay, George Fochive, Aaron Long, Schillo Tshuma.
This is the last time I'll mention Cal FC. (Promise.)
Obviously, this is an vastly different club than the last time the Timbers met an amateur side in a US Open match. That 2012 Timbers team looked at the Cal FC as a chance to get back in a groove after a slow start to the season. Then-coach John Spencer ran out a number of regular starters, and it...did not go well.
This time around, the Timbers are in much better shape, seemingly on the upswing after a sleepwalking start to the 2014 season. Having played three games in the span of a seven days just a few weeks back, current coach Caleb Porter has both a bench he's turned to and one that wants to keep proving they belong among the first teamers.
They also have Wallace, who returns to action with PTFC for the first time since tearing his ACL in the Western Conference semis against Salt Lake in November.
"We're taking it seriously. We will not take this team lightly," Porter told The O this week. "It's a big deal to us. Our chances of winning this tournament are far greater than theirs."
True, but three MLS sides already lost USOC matches over the weekend to lower-division opponents. And OC's youngsters showed their meddle in their third-round match against the USL's Charleston Battery, when they won the match after 14 rounds of penalty kicks.
And it's sports! Anything can happen, right? Right.
And hey, here's something you thought might happen: Timbers Army gives Wallace a nice welcoming when he runs out on the pitch pregame. "ROD-NEY! WALL-ACE!"
And an even bigger cheer for Wallace when lineups are announced. Speaking of lineups, looks like Orlando City's logo on the official lineup sheet didn't make the trip west.
Sparse crowd so far. Most of the East grandstand is empty, and the 200-level Timbers Army is only occupied in the first few rows. Feels like a USL match. Not here? Stream it, yo.
FIRST HALF: Timbers headed toward the South end...and away we go!
1st minute—Brody blasts one from about 35 yards out, and it's well off the side of his foot, high and wide right...almost reaches the ad board. Timbers Army with a big sarcastic cheer. HEY GUYS, HE'S YOUNG AND HE'S TRYING!
5th—Timbers have their first corner of the match. After the first one's called back by the ref, Nanchoff sends it in, but it's punched away by Gomez.
6th—Little chip from Wallace into the box for Alhassan, but he can't find the handle. Nice defending by Suoto there. Alhassan gets it back and works his way down the West sideline. He sends crosses, but it's popped high in the air. Easy pickings for Gomez.
7th—Urruti with a run down the West side and fires a shot from just outside the box. Gomez stretches to get a hand on it and nobody in green is there for the rebound. Gomez passes his first test of the night.
9th—First kinda-sorta buildup for Orlando ends with a pass that Harrington cuts off. It's bounced ahead to Fernandez, who's fouled late. Free kick coming from midfield.
11th—TIMBERS GOAL! Fernandez from distance! He doesn't have the best first touch, but pops it back to himself and almost half-volleys it off his right foot, just over Gomez's sprawling hand from 30 yards out. What a goal there from La Gata, and his efforts earn green smoke from the Timbers Army. What, no yellow, too? Timbers lead, 1-0.
13th—Decent chance for OC there. Clowes sends it into the box for Svantesson, who gets a piece of it, but Weber is right there for the save.
17th—Powell flubs an O'Rourke pass out of bounds, right in front of Porter. Hey, he's U-23, too, guys.
21st—Another corner for Portland after Wallace dribbles into the box and hits a deflected ball over the line. Nice pace/patience from Wallace there. Nanchoff airmails the corner but OC can't clear. Jewsbury has it and sends a cross up front for Urruti, who heads it down, but right at Gomez.
25th—TIMBERS NEARLY NET ONE as Harrington steals and brings it down the East side. He crosses for Nanchoff, who pulls a shot just wide of a diving Gomez.
27th—Urruti dribbles to near the edge of the box and fires, but his shot is immediately deflected. Powell pulled down and fouled on the rebound, and we'll have a free kick.
28th—Nanchoff from 30 yards. He curls one high, but it's too high. No worries for Gomez, goal kick OC.
30th—OC possessing a bit more now. Williams finds Brinkman, who slides one into the box, but Jewsbury is there to step up and clear it away.
32nd—Fernandez on the break and tries to play one ahead to Urruti, but his pass has a bit too much weight on it and Gomez gets to it first.
34th—PENALTY KICK FOR PORTLAND! Timbers on the break and Fernandez plays it ahead for Urruti. It's again too strong, and Urruti gets a touch on it as Gomez slides in. He goes flying and the ref points to the spot. Pretty terrible call there—Urruti wasn't going to do anything with that but knock it off Gomez.
36th—TIMBERS GOAL! Fernandez with a cheeky little chip and makes Gomez look foolish. Portland leads 2-0, and that was kind of mean, frankly. Men against boys.
39th—Alhassan fouled in a full sprint about 45 yards out. Free kick coming.
40th—Nanchoff sends it in and it'll be another free kick after Brinkman clears it over the line while colliding with Gomez. Near own-goal there. On the ensuing corner, Nanchoff goes long and O'Rourke heads it down. GOMEZ WITH A GREAT SAVE but it goes to Fernandez, who half-volleys back in front of goal. Urruti nearly gets a foot on it, but it's a bit too tall and OC escapes.
41st—Another corner. Nanchoff sends it in and McKenzie gets it at his feet, but he slips before he can do anything dangerous.
44th—OC corner coming, their first. Clowes sends it in and Weber punches it away.
45th—Wallace JUST MISSES after some nice buildup. Powell with a low cross into box that Orlando watched go past. Wallace gets his foot on it, but his shot dribbles just wide. So close to all but putting this one away.
HALFTIME: Timbers lead 2-0. Fernandez strikes twice and the Timbers are playing like it's men against boys...because it is.
Stats: Timbers out-shot OC 9-3, six of those on goal. Equal in fouls at 6, and Portland had five corners to OC's one.
SECOND HALF: And we're back at it! Timbers headed toward their Army, which is chanting "DODGY KEEPER" as is their custom.
48th—Nanchoff dribbles into the box and has one, but it's immediately blocked.
52nd—Timbers with a corner after Alhassan knocks a shot that Gomez is forced to leap and knock over the line. Corner comes in, but nothing doing.
54th—Nanchoff finds a pocket and gets a pass from Alhassan. Nanchoff turns and fires a shot from the top of the box, but it sails on him.
56th—Timbers' first sub: Peay is on for Powell. The Washington Husky makes his debut in green.
57th—Nanchoff sends one into the box for Fernandez, but he collides with Gomez instead. Both are down, but only one is a professional getting paid to be here. Fernandez now back on his feet, Gomez still down. Trainer coming out.
59th—Gomez stays in and it'll be a corner for Portland. Nanchoff sends it in for Wallace, who gets a head on it, but it's over the bar.
61st—Nanchoff sends another cross-ish ball into the box, but Gomez rushes ahead to cut it off.
62nd—Timbers with a couple corners in a row, the second earned on a Wallace run down the West sideline. The ensuing corner is sent in long, but Peay chases it down. Portland totally controlling this half.
66th—Another Timbers corner, another long ball played over McKenzie's head that Peay chases down. Wallace ruling the left side the past few minutes.
68th—TIMBERS GOAL! It's Peay with a goal in his debut! Nice little low, right-footer after a perfectly placed slotted pass from Urruti. Timbers lead 3-0.
71st—Timbers sub: Fochive on for Fernandez. Fochive's debut as a Timber.
74th—Portland still pressing. And they NEARLY NET ONE as Peay sends a ball through the box for Wallace, but Wallace can't get a foot on it. Wouldn't have had to get much there. Wallace puts his head in his hands, because that would've been an easy goal had that ball not surprised him.
77th—Timbers net one as Wallace finds Alhassan streaking down the middle of the field, but he's call offside. No goal.
80th—Last sub for Portland: Tshuma on for Wallace. Timbers' first-round pick this offseason.
81st—Alhassan runs down the East side and fires a cross for Urruti, but Gomez comes off his line to grab it first.
82nd—The ball finds Jewsbury after a scramble in the box, and he blasts from distance. But his shot is deflected wide. Harrington ends up with it and cracks one from distance, but it goes sailing into the wall.
86th—Free kick from distance and Weber knocks it down. The ball falls to Johnson, who has a shot, but it's well wide right of the goal.
87th—Urruti in the box and strikes one, but it's deflected over the line. Corner coming...it comes in and Gomez knocks it away. Falls to Alhassan, and his shot is deflected over the bar. Another corner coming.
88th—Short corner, and Alhassan dribbles in the box. Great solo effort by Alhassan, who shoots, but Gomez is there to knock it down.
89th—Fochive has one from 25 yards out, but it's over the bar.
90th—Peay battles two OCs in the corner for a bit before it goes over the line. TA applauds his effort.
FULL TIME: Timbers win 3-0. The pros outclassed the amateurs, as they should. Timbers advance to the fifth round of the USOC.
CALEB PORTER'S POSTGAME PRESSER: