The Seattle Sounders are back-to-back Cascadia Cup champions, beating the Portland Timbers 2-1 at Providence Park on Friday night.
Seattle and Portland traded chances to start the second half before the Rave Green broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute. Jordan Morris, who came flying out of the gates as a left winger, pushed the ball through Zarek Valentin’s legs before driving the ball across goal, which Cristian Roldan duly slotted home.
Portland appeared motivated after falling behind early, with the attacking midfielders and outsiders peppering Seattle’s center backs with crosses. The Rave Green managed to repel their bitter rival, taking a lead into the halftime break.
The Sounders doubled their advantage mere minutes into the second half, as Morris once again set up the chance. Seattle’s homegrown attacker drove past Valentin in the 47th minute and cut the ball back for Raúl Ruidíaz, who confidently smashed the ball into the top corner of the goal.
Portland pulled one back through a deflected Diego Valeri free kick in the 54th minute, making for a nervy second half. But the Sounders fought and clawed their way to a 2-1 victory on the road, securing the Cascadia Cup and picking up three massive points.
good times in portLand, oregon pic.twitter.com/dgoyCpy1vn— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) August 24, 2019
CONSECUTIVE CASCADIA CUPS
For the second straight year, the Seattle Sounders are champions of Cascadia. And for the second straight year, they lifted the Cascadia Cup in front of their traveling supporters. In 2018, they secured the regional trophy in a road match against the Vancouver Whitecaps. On Friday night, they repeated as Kings of Cascadia with a gutsy 2-1 win at Providence Park, exacting a bit of revenge for Portland’s victory at CenturyLink Field back on July 21.
MORRIS THE WINGER
A striker for much of his life, Morris has adapted his playing style this season in order to thrive out on the wing. His performance on Friday night, in which he repeatedly drove out the Timbers’ outside backs before whipping in dangerous crosses, demonstrated that his transformation has been a success. Seattle’s Homegrown winger set up both goals in the victory, and now has three goals and four assists in his last seven starts.
Beating Portland at their stadium was always going to require every player on the squad to put their best foot forward. With Cascadia Cup on the line, the boys stepped up.
Gustav Svensson was immense in midfield, snuffing out dangerous plays before they could gain momentum and supplying composure in possession. Nicolás Lodeiro put in a talismanic, two-way shift, covering every inch of the field and dictating tempo. Ruidíaz stepped up with a world-class finish, and outside backs Kelvin Leerdam and Joevin Jones kept Portland’s dangerous wide players at bay. Morris dominated his wing, while Roldan added a goal to his all-action performance in the win. Additionally, center back Xavier Arreaga made two clutch, intelligent interventions in the open field to deny Portland’s danger man up top, Brian Fernández.