PORTLAND, Ore. – The Sounders FC went to Jeld-Wen Field on Saturday with the aim of making sure their supporters didn’t have to hand the Cascadia Cup over to the Timbers.
The Timbers needed a win over the Sounders to hoist the trophy for the first time when Seattle, Portland and the Vancouver Whitecaps have competed for the fan-created cup.
With a goal from Fredy Montero the Sounders managed a 1-1 road draw to ensure their fans could keep the Cascadia Cup in their possession, all the while keeping pace with the San Jose Earthquakes at 13-6-9 (48 points) on the season.
“I think at the end of the day 1-1 is a fair result,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “For our team it’s good that we still were able to secure a point in the standpoint of the Cascadia Cup. That’s still all open for us right now, so that’s good.”
Seattle got the best of the Timbers for most of the first half, as Osvaldo Alonso dominated the midfield and had the Sounders FC’s two best chances.
In the 10th minute, he hit a volley from the top of the box that missed just wideand in the 14th minute he missed high with a half-volley from distance.
Portland’s best chance came off a rocket off the foot of Franck Songo’o, but Michael Gspurning was up to the task, punching it away for the first of his two saves in the match.
After all the excitement of the rivalry match, the two teams went into halftime scoreless.
In the second half, the Sounders were able to take advantage of a bit of disarray for the Timbers after an injury to goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
In the 51st minute, Andy Rose sent a cross in from the left side looking for Montero and Eddie Johnson on runs through the box. Ricketts sprung off his line to punch the ball clear and collided with Johnson. After a long stoppage, he remained in the match, but only long enough for Joe Bendik to prepare to replace him in the 57th minute.
Just seconds after Bendik checked in to the match, Montero tested the first-year keeper.
Gspurning sent a free kick from 18-to-18 and it bounced to Montero, who collected it and sent a shot into the top corner of the net for his 12th goal of the season.
“I thought it was a great goal,” Schmid said. “At first when he hit it, I thought it had gone over the goal. The individual ability to turn and hit that and volley it takes a lot of skill.”
The lead wouldn’t last though, as Portland found the equalizer in the 78th minute. Jack Jewsbury swung in a corner kick from the right side and Rodney Wallace rose for the header. Gspurning dove to his right to make the stop, colliding with Leo Gonzalez on the play. In the collision, the ball spilled into the corner of the net and Wallace was credited with the goal to tie it up at 1-1.
“We just gave away too many corner kicks and gave them a little bit of dominance in the game. When you give away that many corners eventually you get chances,” Schmid said.
Both teams had stoppage-time opportunities, but Bright Dike hit the post and Alonso had his shot saved by Bendik and the match finished in a 1-1 draw.
The Sounders played the match without midfielders Mauro Rosales and Christian Tiffert, as both were resting injuries. After the match Schmid said he hoped to have both available when the Sounders meet the San Jose Earthquakes next week.
With the draw, the Sounders are now unbeaten in their last five matches at 3-0-2 heading into a busy week that will see them travel to Honduras to meet Marathon in the CONCACAF Champions League before hosting the Earthquakes on Saturday at CenturyLink Field. However, Johnson will not be available for the match after receiving a caution in the 26th minute against Portland, causing him to be suspended for yellow card accumulation.
Sounders FC – Fredy Montero (Michael Gspurning) 57.
Timbers – Rodney Wallace (Jack Jewsbury) 78.
Sounders FC – Eddie Johnson (caution) 26; Mario Martinez (caution) 79.
Timbers – None.
Sounders FC – Michael Gspurning, Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Brad Evans (Marc Burch 78), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose, Steve Zakuani (Mario Martinez 70), Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero.
Timbers – Donovan Ricketts (Joe Bendik 57), Kosuke Kimura,Hanyer Mosquera, David Horst, Rodney Wallace, Darlington Nagbe, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Sal Zizzo (Kalif Alhassan 83), Bright Dike, Franck Songo'o (Danny Mwanga 72).
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