The Sounders FC moved back ahead of FC Dallas and took control of their own destiny in the Cascadia Cup with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field on Sunday. Fredy Montero scored twice and Osvaldo Alonso added another on a penalty kick to lift the sounders to 9-4-8 (35 points), while Portland fell to 5-9-3 (18 points).
The Sounders were in control for the majority of the match, but had two lucky bounces go the way of the Timbers and found themselves trailing 2-1 in the 69th minute. Lamar Neagle entered the match in the 66th minute and gave the Sounders the speed they needed to come back and put away the struggling Timbers.
Montero earned MLS Player of the Week honors for his two-goal performance. He nearly had a third, too, when he banged a header on frame late in the match, but the ball was swatted off the line by Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins. He really was a gem on the field, creating havoc for the Timbers and a dynamic scoring option for Seattle.
Neagle created a similar type of havoc on the left wing, terrorizing Portland right back Steve Purdy for the final 24 minutes of the match. He got after long balls played forward and across to him on several occasions, and he set up Montero’s second goal with a great ball across the box to Mauro Rosales and Alonso’s PK when he outran Portland defender Eric Brunner and drew the penalty.
What We Learned
An In-Form Montero Is A Scary Thing – Montero often goes on streaks where he can’t miss the net. In this match, he looked like he might be approaching one of those streaks. With just one goal in the previous ten matches, he’s needed a breakout performance like this and it would fit with his history to go on a tear about now.
There Can Only Be One King of Cascadia – The win lifted the Sounders to the top of the race for the Cascadia Cup. With five points through three matches, they are ahead of Portland (one point in two matches) and Vancouver (one point in one match) and have an opportunity to earn the fan-driven trophy with a win over the Whitecaps on September 24.
Next In Line
The Sounders host the Colorado Rapids (6-5-9, 27 points) at CenturyLink Field on Saturday, but first host the LA Galaxy in the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on Wednesday at Starfire. They are now unbeaten in their last eight matches in MLS play and nine matches when the US Open Cup is included.