Photo courtesy of Portland Timbers 2
PORTLAND, Ore. – In the first matchup between expansion Reno 1868 FC and the Portland Timbers 2, it was former T2 midfielder Seth Casiple who led the way for Reno’s 2-0 victory on Saturday at Providence Park. Casiple’s 55th-minute strike toward the far left post put 1868 FC on the score sheet, and Luis Felipe added an insurance goal in the 82nd minute as Reno returned to its winning ways. Reno had seen its seven-game (5-0-2) unbeaten streak end earlier in Week 14 when the club fell 2-1 to Real Monarchs SLC on Monday. Reno improves to 6-4-3 (21 points) overall and 2-3-1 on the road. Portland falls to 1-13-1 (4 points) overall and 0-7-1 at home.
55’ – RNO – Seth Casiple
82’ – RNO – Luis Felipe (Brian Brown)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Reno midfielder Seth Casiple logged 31 games in the previous two seasons with the Timbers 2. On Saturday, he sent a bit of a message against his former club when he scored a beautiful curling goal early in the second half to give Reno a 1-0 lead. The setup came from Brent Richards – also formerly of T2. Casiple won the battle against his defender, and then carved a shot toward the far left post for his second tally of the season. Luis Felipe put the match out of reach in the 82nd minute as Reno played a deep ball to Brian Brown on the right side, dropped it off to Felipe and he finished for his second goal of the year.
2. Portland goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh has proven time and time again to be a vital part of this T2 side when called upon. Reno was at full throttle in its attack, and McIntosh was forced to come up big several times in the opening half. McIntosh sacrificed his body in the 13th minute when Reno’s Chris Wehan sprung from midfield and shot from the right side of the box. Wehan was denied again in the 23rd minute on a free kick just outside the top of the box, as McIntosh made a massive diving save to his right to concede a corner kick. Even during Reno’s multiple offside sequences, McIntosh was coming up with some stops even though they won’t make the score sheet. Looking back at that half as a whole, Portland probably felt fortunate to not be down a goal at the break.
3. Looking at some of the other T2 notables, the biggest defensive block from the match came from Michael Amick in the 15th minute as Portland withstood a hectic stretch in which Jimmy Ockford probably thought he had the game’s opening goal with a close-range shot from the right of the box. Amick managed to get in Ockford’s way to keep 1868 FC off the score sheet. Elsewhere on the pitch, Jeremy Ebobisse made just his third start with T2 this season. The U.S. U20 national teamer, who recently competed at the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup, was lingering around the net on the occasions when T2 worked into the offensive third. He had a 52nd-minute, lunging header that went a little wide left of the frame – one of his closer chances – but was unable to break through the 1868 FC defense and was subbed out in the 59th minute.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Seth Casiple, Reno 1868 FC – The former Timbers 2 midfielder fittingly found the back of the net in his Portland return, and it proved to be the winner.
Portland Timbers 2 at Orange County SC – July 1, 8 p.m. ET, Orange County Great Park
Reno 1868 FC vs. LA Galaxy II – July 3, 10:30 p.m. ET, Greater Nevada Field