Mwanga & Gordon Represent Beavers Well In MLS Match-Up
July 5, 2012
Note: Scroll to bottom for video of Mwanga's goal.
CORVALLIS, Ore. - As many prepared their Independence Day feasts earlier this week, Oregon State men's soccer alumni Danny Mwanga (2008-09) and Alan Gordon (2001-02) were showcasing their own offensive fireworks at JELD-WEN Field on Tuesday evening, as Mwanga's Portland Timbers defeated Gordon's San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1, in front of over 20,000 rabid members of the Timbers Army.
Both strikers put home marks for their squad, Mwanga in the 29th minute and Gordon in the 74th, as Portland handed the Earthquakes, the top team in Major League Soccer (MLS) with 36 points, their first loss since May 27 and ended San Jose's three-game winning streak.
This marked the first MLS game in nearly five years that featured goals by two former Oregon State men's soccer players. On September 1, 2007 Gordon, then playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy, and Robbie Findley (2003-06) of Real Salt Lake each scored in a 2-1 victory for Findley's side at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles.
Mwanga, the hometown hero making his first start at JELD-WEN after coming over in a recent trade with Philadelphia, received a Franck Songo'o cross from the right wing as he fought for position just outside the box and used a deft touch of his right boot to chip the ball into the back of the goal for his first score of the season and for Portland.
"It's a big relief," Mwanga told reporters after the match. "It's my first goal of the season, and first one for the Portland Timbers, so it's huge. It feels good to do it, and hopefully I'm going to keep that feeling going to the next game against Salt Lake."
With Portland holding a 2-0 lead late in the second half, Gordon redirected a long shot by Marvin Chavez past Troy Perkins to cut the lead to a single goal and make the final score 2-1. It was Gordon's sixth goal of the season, tied for ninth in all of MLS.
"I think it was more of a reaction, the ball came shooting through and I got my foot on it," Gordon said of his score after the contest. "It was good to get the goal, I thought we were going to get the second one like we have been all season. You have to give credit to [the Timbers] and the crowd was amazing and behind them all the way, with that they earned their three points today."
Gordon and Mwanga are second and third, respectively, in single-season history at Oregon State for both points and goals. In 2002, Gordon tallied 34 points on 15 goals and four assists, while in 2009 Mwanga scored 14 times and assisted on two others to total 30 points. They are tied for second in Beaver history with six multi-goal games apiece.
This year's Beaver squad begins its 2012 campaign when it welcomes the Timbers to Corvallis for an exhibition match on August 11 at 4 p.m.
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