SEATTLE, WASH. - In a pivotal match during the home stretch of the 2019 regular season, Seattle Sounders FC (12-8-7, 43 points) defeated archrival Portland Timbers (11-11-4, 37 points) by a final score of 2-1 in Friday night primetime action at Providence Park. In front of 25,218 fans in the Rose City and national television audience via ESPN, Seattle gutted out a much-needed win, securing the 2019 Cascadia Cup in the process. For the Rave Green, it's the first time the club has secured back-to-back Cascadia Cup victories in more than a decade, with Seattle having earned last year's regional trophy that is contested by Sounders FC, Portland and Vancouver each season. Seattle last won consecutive Cascadia Cups in 2006 and 2007 in the club's USL era. Tonight also marked Seattle's first back-to-back MLS regular season wins in Portland after beating the Timbers 1-0 on August 26, 2018.
Seattle drew first blood in Friday's Cascadia Cup-deciding clash through Cristian Roldan, as teammate Jordan Morris made a signature slashing run down the left flank, playing a dangerous ball through Portland's six-yard-box, allowing for Roldan to pounce onto the loose ball following a handful of deflections. Coming in the 22nd minute of play, the strike was Roldan's fourth goal of the year in 23 matches played throughout 2019.
Fresh out of the gates at halftime, Seattle's leading scorer Raúl Rudíaz bagged his 10th goal of 2019, as Morris once again played the role of creator from the left wing. The Mercer Island native squared a ball for the Peruvian striker after beating Portland fullback Zarek Valentin with a bursting run. Ruidíaz did not waste the opportunity, scoring his 20th MLS regular season goal in just 27 total starts.
Portland got back into the match in the 54th minute, as captain Diego Valeri took aim with free kick from the top of Seattle's 18-yard-box, with the attempt deflecting off a Rave Green defender to make the score 2-1. For the Argentine, the goal was his seventh of 2019.
Brian Schmetzer's side returns home to CenturyLink Field on Sunday, September 1, as the Rave Green play their second match against the LA Galaxy inside of three weeks. Seattle previously played the Galaxy to a 2-2 draw on August 17. Kickoff for next Sunday's match is slated for 3:30 p.m. PT, with FS1 providing coverage in front of a nationally televised audience. Including the Galaxy match, Sounders FC has just seven regular-season matches remaining as the club vies for an 11th-consecutive postseason berth, which would be an MLS league record. Currently Seattle occupies second place in the Western Conference standings, just one point ahead of third-place Minnesota and two points ahead of the Galaxy.
- With tonight's result, Sounders FC sits in second place in the Western Conference with 43 points (12-8-7). Seattle is now 18 points behind Supporters' Shield-leading LAFC and one point ahead of third-place Minnesota United FC.
- Tonight's victory won the 2019 Cascadia Cup for Seattle, marking the first time the club has secured back-to-back Cascadia Cup victories in more than a decade, with Seattle having earned last year's regional trophy that is contested by Sounders FC, Portland and Vancouver each season. Seattle last won consecutive Cascadia Cups in 2006 and 2007 in the club's USL era.
- Seattle now owns a 53-40-14 mark against Portland across all competitions dating back to 1975. Tonight marked Sounders FC's first back-to-back MLS regular season wins in Portland after beating the Timbers 1-0 on August 26, 2018.
- Ruidíaz scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season, matching his total from the 2018 campaign. Including playoffs, he has now tallied five goals in his last four matches against Portland. Ruidíaz's assist was his second of 2019, surpassing his total of one last season.
- Roldan's goal was his first since he scored in consecutive matches on May 4 at Minnesota and May 11 vs. Houston. He has four goals in 2019, matching the second-highest single-season total of his career, behind only his six in 2017.
- Morris has now recorded three goals and three assists in his last six games. His assist tonight was his career-high fifth of the season, besting his previous high of four that he recorded in his rookie season of 2016. Morris is now tied for second on the team in assists and he ranks second in goals with seven.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 - Portland Timbers 1
Friday, August 23, 2019
Venue: Providence Park
Referee: Jair Marrugo
Assistants: Jeff Hosking, Jose Da Silva
Fourth Official: Lukasz Szpala
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic
Weather: 75 degrees and partly cloudy
SEA - Cristian Roldan (Raúl Ruidíaz) 22'
SEA - Raúl Ruidíaz (Jordan Morris) 47'
POR - Diego Valeri 54'
SEA - Kelvin Leerdam (caution) 53'
SEA - Joevin Jones (caution) 65'
SEA - Saad Abdul-Salaam (caution) 84'
SEA - Stefan Frei (caution) 90'+1'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam (Saad Abdul-Salaam 74'), Kim Kee-hee, Xavier Arreaga, Joevin Jones (Emanuel Cecchini 77'); Gustav Svensson, Jordy Delem, Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro, Jordan Morris (Brad Smith 66'); Raúl Ruidíaz
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Luis Silva, Harry Shipp, Handwalla Bwana
Total shots: 11 (Ruidíaz, 5)
Shots on goal: 4 (Ruidíaz, 3)
Fouls: 6 (Six players, 1)
Offside: 2 (Leerdam/Morris, 1)
Corner-kicks: 5 (Lodeiro, 4)
Saves: 5 (Frei, 5)
Portland Timbers - Steve Clark; Zarek Valentin, Julio Cascante (Andy Polo 79'), Bill Tuiloma, Jorge Villafana; Diego Chara, Cristhian Paredes (Tomas Conechny 72'), Marvin Loria (Jeremy Ebobisse HT), Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco; Brian Fernandez
Substitutes not used: Kendall McIntosh, Claude Dielna, Andres Flores, Renzo Zambrano
Total shots: 20 (Valeri, 4)
Shots on goal: 6 (Valeri, 2)
Fouls: 13 (Paredes, 3)
Offside: 1 (Fernandez, 1)
Corner-kicks: 10 (Valeri, 8)
Saves: 2 (Clark, 2)