The San Jose Earthquakes dropped their second consecutive match to open the 2013 Reserve League season, as a Michael Nanchoff brace was enough to give the Portland Timbers a 2-1 victory at JELD-WEN Field. Honduran midfielder Walter Martinez scored the lone goal for San Jose, as the Earthquakes lost twice in two nights on a less than memorable visit to Portland.
The Earthquakes welcomed Steven Beitashour back to action Monday evening, as the 2012 MLS All-Star defender made his first appearance for the club in 2013. Beitashour had surgery in the offseason to repair a sports hernia, but his recovery had been slow. Beitashour was subbed out after 45 minutes, but he showed very well in his stint on the field. The fourth year professional is likely to take the next step and resume his right back role in the Earthquakes first team starting line-up next weekend at home against the Timbers.
The Timbers took an early lead after miscommunication between goalkeeper David Bingham and midfielder Abu Tommy led to a turnover just outside the Quakes area. Pouncing on the loose ball, Nanchoff stroked a wonderful shot past Bingham into the goal located just below the Timbers Army end.
The Earthquakes equalized after creating a turnover of their own deep in the Portland defensive third. After stepping in front of a weak back pass sent central from the right touchline, Mike Fucito turned and initiated the play that led to the San Jose goal. Accepting a return pass from Sam Garza, Fucito squared the ball to Martinez, who took a touch and sent a blistering 25 yard shot to the far post that eluded Timbers goalkeeper Milos Kocic.
Prior to the end of the first half, the Earthquakes experienced some bad news when Bingham pulled up lame after attempting a clearance on a ball deep in his penalty area. The Generation Adidas 'keeper immediately crumpled to the ground right at the byline and clutched his left knee. He was immediately subbed out for Evan Newton and a Quakes trainer assisted him back to the locker room for treatment.
After entering the break tied at one goal apiece, the two teams returned to the field to start the second half on a cold and damp night in downtown Portland. Less than 5 minutes in, the Timbers grabbed the lead for good when a long free kick from Nanchoff eluded the defensive wall and skipped past Newton at the far post.
With an edge in possession following their taking a 2-1 lead, the Timbers and goalkeeper Kocic were effective in staving off any and all Quakes attempts to get back into the game. San Jose dropped to 0-2-0 to start the 2013 MLS Reserve League western division season.