SEATTLE – A 4th-minute tally from Cristian Roldan was all the Seattle Sounders needed in their derby clash with the Portland Timbers at CenturyLink Field on Saturday afternoon, as the Rave Green rode the third-year midfielder’s early goal to a 1-0 victory over their Cascadia Cup rivals.
It was the second-straight 1-0 home triumph for Seattle, which also topped Real Salt Lake by the same scoreline last weekend. Saturday’s victory also gave the Sounders their first result of the season in Cascadia Cup play, moving them into a three-way tie with the Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps with three points on the season.
The Sounders got the match off to a roaring start after Chad Marshall flicked a header of a Nicolas Lodeiro corner kick in the direction of Roldan, who was waiting directly in front of the Portland goal. The 21-year-old midfielder deflected Marshall’s feed off his own head and into the net, giving the Sounders the early 1-0 lead, his second career goal against Portland.
The Timbers would settle down following the goal and controlled much of the possession for the rest of the half but couldn’t quite manage to equalize before the break. Defender Liam Ridgewell had perhaps their best look just before the halftime whistle after he leaked free at the far post off a corner kick and had a look on goal, but the English center back couldn’t quite corral the feed and the 1-0 scoreline would hold at the break.
Neither side managed to break through in the second half, allowing the Sounders to hold on for their fourth win of 2017. The Timbers thought they had a case for a handball in the box after a shot from Darlington Nagbe appeared to deflect off Marshall’s arm, but referee Mark Geiger ruled that it was inadvertent and chose not to award Portland a chance at what would have been an equalizing penalty kick.
The Sounders moved to 4-5-4 and 16 points on the season with the result and got their second-straight victory coming off a road trip that saw Seattle drop results to the Chicago Fire and Sporting Kansas City. Seattle now have a short turnaround for their next match, which will see them hit the road for a Wednesday evening bout with Columbus Crew SC at MAPFRE Stadium.