TACOMA, WASH. - In its first-ever competitive match in Tacoma, Seattle Sounders FC played a tight game against archrival Portland in the Fourth Round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, falling 2-1 in front of a soldout crowd of 6,280 at Cheney Stadium. Víctor Rodríguez bagged a free-kick goal at the close of first half play, leveling the match going into the intermission, giving him three goals this season across all competitions. The oldest continuous soccer competition in the United States and the third-longest domestic cup competition globally, the Open Cup is available to all United States Soccer Federation (USSF) affiliated teams. With its four Open Cup titles, Sounders FC is tied with the Chicago Fire for the most titles among MLS clubs.
Portland came out of the gates with poise to begin the match, as First Team regulars and new Designated Player signing Brian Fernández gave the Timbers the lead in the sixth minute of play, with the assist coming from captain Diego Valeri.
Sounders FC - missing 10 players to various forms of international competitions with their respective national teams - fielded a mixed bag of veteran players and young contributors. Seasoned Spanish international Rodríguez earned a free-kick in a central position just outside of Portland's 18-yard-box, with the crafty winger converting his own deadball attempt just moments later. The goal came in the 44th minute, sending the match into halftime with both sides holding a goal each.
The Timbers found their go-ahead goal in the 50th minute, as Jeremy Ebobisse swerved in a cross from the left flank, finding the feet of Fernández, who slotted the ball calmly past Seattle goalkeeper Bryan Meredith, giving the visitors a 2-1 lead.
Of note for Seattle, tonight marked midfielder Danny Leyva's first-ever Sounders FC start in his young career. Last week in Montreal, Leyva made his MLS debut as a substitute in the 82nd minute, becoming the third-youngest player in league history to appear in a match. At 16 years and 31 days, Leyva trails only Freddy Adu (14 years, 306 days) and Alphonso Davies (15 years, 257 days).
Tonight's match marked Sounders FC's first-ever competitive contest in Tacoma. The Rave Green are no stranger to Cheney Stadium, which has been home to the club's USL side, Tacoma Defiance, since 2018, and further welcomed NWSL club Reign FC beginning this season. Nevertheless, tonight was the first occasion that a competitive match in any competition has been played in Tacoma by a Sounders FC First Team squad.
The Rave Green resume MLS play on Saturday, June 29 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rrey 1360 AM).
- Sounders FC is now 23-6-4 all-time in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play, including a 19-2-1 mark at home.
- Dating back to 1975, Seattle and Portland have now met 105 times across all leagues and competitions, with Seattle holding a 52-39-14 advantage.
- Víctor Rodríguez scored his third goal of the season across all competitions, marking his second consecutive match with a goal. He scored Seattle's lone goal in a 2-1 loss at Montreal last Wednesday.
- Danny Leyva made his first-ever Sounders FC start in his young career. Last week in Montreal, Leyva made his MLS debut as a substitute in the 82nd minute, becoming the third-youngest player in league history to appear in a match. At 16 years and 31 days, Leyva trails only Freddy Adu (14 years, 306 days) and Alphonso Davies (15 years, 257 days).
- Bryan Meredith started in goal for Seattle, marking his first appearance for the First Team this season and his fifth all-time for Sounders FC in Open Cup play.
Seattle Sounders FC 1 - Portland Timbers 2
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Venue: Cheney Stadium
Referee: Alec Chilowicz
Assistants: Baboucarr Jallow, Cameron Siler
Fourth Official: Chipalo Street
Weather: 84 degrees and partly sunny
POR - Brian Fernandez (Sebastian Blanco) 6'
SEA - Víctor Rodríguez 44'
POR - Brian Fernandez (Jeremy Ebobisse, Diego Valeri) 50'
SEA - Alex Roldan (caution) 30'
SEA - Will Bruin (caution) 45'+2'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Bryan Meredith; Kelvin Leerdam, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Jonathan Campbell, Nouhou (Shandon Hopeau 84'); Danny Leyva, Alex Roldan, Harry Shipp, Víctor Rodríguez (Brad Smith 81'), Handwalla Bwana (Henry Wingo 58'); Will Bruin - captain
Substitutes not used: Stefan Frei, Alec Diaz, Danny Robles, Josh Atencio
Total shots: 24 (Rodríguez, 6)
Shots on goal: 8 (Rodríguez, 3)
Fouls: 7 (Nouhou/A. Roldan, 2)
Offside: 1 (Bruin, 1)
Corner-kicks: 10 (Rodríguez, 6)
Saves: 4 (Meredith, 4)
Portland Timbers - Steve Clark; Jorge Moreira, Larrys Mabiala, Julio Cascante, Zarek Valentin; Diego Chara, Renzo Zambrano (Cristhian Paredes 75'), Sebastian Blanco, Diego Valeri - captain (Tomas Conechny 90'); Brian Fernandez (Claude Dielna 86'), Jeremy Ebobisse
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Dairon Asprilla, Foster Langsdorf, Moudou Jadama
Total shots: 13 (Fernandez, 4)
Shots on goal: 6 (Fernandez, 3)
Fouls: 15 (Chara, 4)
Offside: 2 (Fernandez/Valeri, 1)
Corner-kicks: 5 (Valeri, 5)
Saves: 7 (Clark, 7)