The Seattle Sounders defeated the Portland Timbers in a wild 6-2 affair on Sunday night at Providence Park in Portland, Ore.
Fredy Montero opened the scoring in the 13th minute when he poked home an initial cross from Alex Roldan that goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic spilled near the goal line. The Sounders doubled their lead in the 29th minute when Montero struck again on a left-footed curler from outside the box after an interception and driving run from João Paulo.
Portland pulled one back in the 32nd minute when Sebastián Blanco broke free on the left side of the box and his shot was deflected off Shane O’Neill and found the back of the net.
Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland stood on his head in the first half, making six saves, several of them fantastic, to thwart a plethora of Timbers attempts.
The Timbers equalized in the 52nd minute when George Fochive scored a half-volley off an initial save from Cleveland.
Seattle re-took the lead just three minutes later when Raúl Ruidíaz scored his 12th goal of the season on a screamer of a free kick on the edge of the box. Ruidíaz recorded a brace of his own in the 72nd minute when he cleaned up a spilled save from Ivacic off a Lodeiro free kick to retake sole possession of the MLS Golden Boot lead.
Jimmy Medranda scored an MLS Goal of the Year candidate in the 77th minute when he unleashed a left-footed volley directly off a João Paulo corner kick. João Paulo is now second in MLS with eight assists this season.
New acquisition Nicolas Benezet made his Sounders debut in the 87th minute when he checked in for João Paulo. He opened his account in the fourth minute of stoppage time on a breakaway to seal a historic evening.
Seattle’s six goals was the most the club has scored away from home since a 6-2 win over Chivas USA in August 2012.
The Sounders have two more tough road tests this week, first going to FC Dallas on Wednesday (5:30 p.m. PT; Q13 FOX, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM) before going to Columbus in a 2020 MLS Cup rematch against Crew SC on Saturday (2:30 p.m. PT; FOX, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
Montero punished Portland again for his fifth and sixth goals of the season. The original Sounder scored the match-winner in the two teams’ first match in May and came up clutch with a first-half brace. Ruidíaz, meanwhile, now has 10 goals in 10 career matches against the Timbers, the most against any team in MLS. He also tied Rave Green legend Roger Levesque for most career goals against Portland.
Despite allowing two goals, Cleveland was peppered all evening and came up with seven massive saves, including six in the first half. Stefan Frei’s backup was playing in his 13th consecutive match and was one of the major reasons for Seattle’s success.
Lodeiro got his third run-out since coming back from a lengthy knee injury, coming on at halftime for Kelyn Rowe. Lodeiro’s increased involvement is a huge development, as the Sounders gear up for another postseason run. His name won’t show up on the score sheet on Sunday, but his presence and the Sounders’ second-half onslaught is no coincidence.