Los Angeles Soccer: Walter Restrepo
June, 5, 2011
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Tristan Bowen's return to action after two months away with an ankle injury brought him a new position, a new set of challenges and, best of all, a goal. An important one, too.
The 20-year-old attacker from Van Nuys headed home a Mariano Trujillo feed Sunday as Chivas USA, down to 10 men for more than an hour, rallied for a 3-3 MLS Reserve League draw with the Portland Timbers at Home Depot Center's Track and Field Stadium.
The strike trimmed the Timbers' advantage to 3-2 in the 63rd minute, and Victor Estupiņan scored from another Trujillo pass five minutes later to deliver a share of the points.
Bowen, who has be sidelined with a sprained ankle since the first week of April, was on the game-day roster Saturday, for the 1-0 victory over the Timbers in MLS play, for the first time since March 26. He played 68 minutes Sunday atop the midfield diamond, just behind Estupiņan and fellow forward Chris Cortez.
“It felt good, getting in there and getting a run with the guys,” said Bowen, who came to Chivas in an offseason trade from the Galaxy. “I was a little bit gassed in the first half, but I caught my second wind going into the second half.”
By then Chivas was down a man -- Cortez, who scored the first goal, was ejected after punching Timbers defender Eric Brunner in the 28th minute -- and behind, 2-1. Eddie Johnson's second goal of the game, two minutes into the second half, made that 3-1.
“We fought hard,” Bowen said. “We went down a man early in the game. It's nothing we don't practice in our regular sessions, so it was more of another exercise.”
So was Bowen's move to central midfield. He's played up top and on the flank and said he was “a bit surprised” when asked to take on the role. Chivas head coach Robin Fraser said it was a move with Bowen's future in mind.
“It's important for Tristan [to be back],” Fraser said, “and he played more in the middle of the field, and he had to make more decisions and that sort of thing, which is important in his growth. I thought he did well.”