Former Cal Poly standout goalkeeper Wade Hamilton made his Portland Timbers debut Wednesday night during a 1-0 loss against the L.A. Galaxy.
More than 18,000 spectators were in attendance at Portland’s Providence Park for Hamilton’s first game, a round-of-16 match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The two-time Big West Conference Goalkeeper of the Year started and played all 90 minutes in place of injured starter Jake Gleeson.
Hamilton recorded two saves, and the lone goal conceded came off the foot of midfielder Paul Mendiola in the fifth minute. Hamilton told reporters after the game he grew up playing with several members of the Galaxy, including Mendiola, Jack McBean and Dave Romney.
“It was good seeing them out there, playing against them and they’ve been doing well,” Hamilton said. “It was great to see them out there.”
Hamilton was one of a program-record three Mustangs selected during the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, along with midfielder Chase Minter (No. 21 to the Columbus Crew FC) and defender Kip Colvey (No. 49 to the San Jose Earthquakes).
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Hamilton has spent most of the season playing with the Timbers 2, Portland’s reserve squad that competes in the United Soccer League.
It was unclear how long Hamilton would remain in Portland’s starting lineup, or if Gleeson would return for the team’s July 4 game against the Colorado Rapids.
Hamitlon said he felt “a little bit of butterflies” before Wednesday’s match but leaned on a series of good training sessions leading into the game to settle his nerves.
“There’s work that needs to be done,” Hamilton said. “That is what I will take away from it.”