Clark Phillips, Nick Hamer in Playoffs With Timbers U-23
PORTLAND, Ore. - A pair of Gonzaga University players - forward Clark Phillips and midfielder Nick Hamer - will be in action when the Portland Timbers U-23s begin post-season play Sunday as they play host to the Kitsap Pumas in the divisional round of the Premier Development League (PDL) playoffs at Gladstone High School in Gladstone, Ore. at 6:30 p.m.
Phillips, a sophomore-to-be for the Bulldogs this fall, scored four goals for eight points in 15 matches, while Hamer, a late addition to the roster, played in one match and had an assist.
Phillips first goal of the season came in a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 as the Timbers got off to a 4-0 start in PDL play. He also scored the first goal in a 4-1 win over the North Sound Seawolves FC and in the regular-season finale he game the Timbers a 2-0 lead against Vancouver in a 2-1 victory.
Hamer's assist came on the match-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over the Washington Crossfire late in the season as the Timbers clinched a playoff berth.
The Timbers U-23s closed out their 2012 regular season with a 3-0 win over Washington on Wednesday. With a record of 10-4-2 (32 pts), Portland finished the regular season in second place in the PDL's Northwest Division. The Timbers U-23s and Pumas finished the regular season with identical 10-4-2 records, but Portland claimed second place as a result of PDL tiebreakers.
The Timbers U-23s, who won the PDL championship in 2010, make their third trip to the postseason since joining the league in 2009.
Portland and Kitsap played each other three times during the 2012 regular season, splitting the season series at 1-1-1. The Pumas benefitted from a late goal in a 1-0 win over the Timbers U-23s in their last meeting on July 8, with forward Ben Truax scoring in the 87th minute. In their first matchup of the season, the Timbers U-23s received a brace from midfielder Steven Evans in a 4-0 win over the Pumas at JELD-WEN Field on May 24. The two teams played to a 2-2 draw at Bremerton Memorial Stadium on June 9, with Phillips and Erik Hurtado scoring in the draw on the road.
Sunday's match will mark the second postseason meeting between the Timbers U-23s and Pumas. The two division rivals squared off in the 2010 Western Conference finals on Aug. 1, 2010, with the Timbers U-23s earning a 2-1 win on their way to winning the league title that season. Sunday's match features' the PDL's last two league champions, with Kitsap having won the league crown in 2011.
The winner of Sunday's contest will advance to the Western Conference semifinals, where they will compete for the conference championship. The Western Conference semifinals will feature two teams from the PDL's Northwest Division and two from the Southwest Division; match dates and a location will be announced at a later date.