The greatness of homegrown soccer

The U-23 Portland Timbers put on a show at the Clash at the Border

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Brent Richards returned home Friday, and scored a goal for the Portland Timbers U-23 men's soccer team. The Abbotsford Mariners, of British Columbia, Canada, defeated the Timbers 2-1, at Doc Harris Stadium in Camas.

Clash at the Border weekend in Camas featured a return to greatness for Camas High School graduates Brent Richards and Nick Palodichuk.

A total of 2,453 soccer fans packed Doc Harris Stadium Friday night, to see Richards, Palodichuk and the U-23 Portland Timbers take on the Abbotsford Mariners of British Columbia, Canada.

Richards netted a penalty kick goal for the Timbers in the 37th minute, before Abbotsford bounced back to win the game by the score of 2-1. Palodichuk was the first one to congratulate Richards after his goal.

“That goal brought back memories from freshman year, when we would always get the ball to Brent and he would score,” Palodichuk said. “It was great seeing everybody here, and getting a chance to play in this new stadium. It kind of felt like being home again.”

Richards said it felt just like old times, except the stadium is bigger and the turf is brand new.

“This is my first time on the field since high school,” Richards said. “I think everybody on the team is impressed. I know I’m impressed. It’s top notch.

“It was nice to have the community behind me tonight,” he added. “It makes me glad to know I came from this environment, where soccer is such a big deal. Everybody is rooting for you. It’s really nice.”

Soccer festivities in Camas, Washougal and Vancouver continued into Sunday. On that day, four teams from the Washington Soccer Academy in Camas reached the finals of the Clash at the Border tournament, and three of them captured championships.

The WSA Strikers shutout the LC Volcano SC Blast 3-0 to finish first place in the U-18 girls silver bracket. The Strikers are Tori Slaven, Alyse Erickson, Alex Dombek, Cait Pudlitzke, Kendra Cochran, Ashley Sturza, Sydney Allen, Jessica Kelly, Brittany Hickey, Rebecca Dallasta, Mika Norrish, Merisa LaPier, Courtney Loewen, McKenzie Good, Emily McCracken, Amanda Kern, Kaitlyn Langdale and Lauren Gavett.

The WSA Falcons clinched the boys U-14 gold championship by beating the VUSA Timbers 9-0. The Falcons are Colstin Donaldson, Farid Araya, Patrick Gaines, Ryan Grimm, Jarid Schoenlein, Jackson Voeller, Jake Gould, Daniel Holman, Shadd Dawson, Carlos Mejia, Justin Beatty, Kyle McCartney, Juan Inzunza, Quentin Lebeau, Enrique Alquicira and Robbie Horenstein.

The WSA Galaxy 99 gained a 3-2 victory over the NK Asteroids to win the boys U-12 title. The Galaxy are Vlad Vitalaru, Alex Crowson, Alex Lopez, Andrew Houghton, Alex Palacios, Ben Cooke, Ryan Golb, Jeremy Wodesky, Kaden Kidd, Nelson Lord, Ethan Aton, Nick Erickson, Ryan Benhke and Tanner Thorson.

The WSA Valor settled for second place in the girls U-14 gold bracket. The Valor are Alexis Dettling, Alexis Williams, Ashley Lindstrom, Rylee McDonald, Jessica Gerichs, Maddie Gerichs, Madison Woodson, Madisen Fredricks, Katie Desimone, Mikaela Winston, Sarah Davidson, Sarah Yang, Amanda Shi, Candaules Low, Cassidy Moe, Kallee Nguyen and Hailey Meyer.