In the first match of MLS’ continuation of regular season play, Sounders FC (3-1-2, 11 points) returned to action with a resounding 3-0 win at Portland (3-2-1, 10 points) on Saturday evening at Providence Park. Raúl Ruidíaz scored twice and added an assist as the Rave Green earned their third consecutive road win over the Timbers, who most recently won the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando. In a storied rivalry dating back to 1975 in the North American Soccer League, Seattle is now 54-40-14 all-time against its Oregon rival, including a 12-8-6 record since the rivalry advanced to MLS in 2011.
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: https://sndrs.com/wwcjc
PHOTOS - IMAGES FOR MEDIA USE: https://sndrs.com/k2xya
VIDEO - BRIAN SCHMETZER POST-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE: https://sndrs.com/qh7kc
VIDEO - KELVIN LEERDAM & STEFAN FREI POST-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE: https://sndrs.com/qx5ev
After over 70 minutes of scoreless play, Ruidíaz put Seattle on the board in the 72nd minute, meeting a low cross from Joevin Jones at the near post for a one-touch finish at a sharp angle, hitting the crossbar before bouncing off the back of Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark into the net. The Peruvian made it 2-0 in the 83rd minute, catching the home side off-guard after a goal kick and chipping a shot over Clark, his fourth goal of the season. Kelvin Leerdam scored Seattle’s third goal two minutes later, with substitute Will Bruin setting the play up with a dangerous pass to Ruidíaz near the penalty spot. The striker held off a Portland defender and laid a ball off to an on-rushing Leerdam, who blasted into the net.
Tonight’s match began a stretch of six games through September 10, kicking off the first phase of the league’s resumption of play following the MLS is Back Tournament. After Portland, Sounders FC faces a quick turnaround, heading to Los Angeles for a showdown with the Galaxy on Wednesday, August 26 (8:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Amazon Prime Video, Univision) before hosting LAFC on Sunday, August 30 (7:00 p.m. PT / FS1).
- In addition to being the first match for both sides following the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, tonight’s contest at Providence Park marked the 108th all-time matchup between Seattle and Portland (all competitions). In a storied rivalry dating back to 1975 in the North American Soccer League, Seattle is now 54-40-14 all-time against its Oregon rival. Since the rivalry advanced to MLS in 2011, Sounders FC is 12-8-6 in regular-season action against the Timbers, including a 5-6-3 record in the Rose City.
- The evening’s 3-0 win marks a number of firsts for Sounders FC in its MLS-era rivalry with the Timbers. The Rave Green have now won their last three consecutive regular-season matches at Portland (8/26/18, 8/23/19, 8/23/20) for the first time in the MLS era of both clubs, and the three-goal margin of victory marks the first time in the MLS era that Seattle has beaten Portland by such a margin as the visiting team, and only the second time Seattle has won by a three-goal margin against Portland either home or away, having recorded a 3-0 victory at CenturyLink Field on October 7, 2012.
- No yellow or red cards were issued to either team tonight, marking the first such MLS regular-season matchup between Seattle and Portland since May 14, 2011.
- With his brace tonight, Peruvian forward Raúl Ruidíaz bagged his third and fourth strikes of 2020, marking 26 regular-season goals since signing for the Rave Green in the summer of 2018. In both regular season and postseason action, the striker has 33 total tallies – with seven goals against Portland in his six meetings, both regular and postseason, since joining Seattle.
- In ordinary times, Sunday’s match would count toward the Cascadia Cup standings, the annual trophy that is awarded to the best-performing club of the regular season in the rivalry between Sounders FC, Portland and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Cascadia Cup formally started in 2004 by the biggest supporters groups for each of the three clubs: Emerald City Supporters (Seattle), Timbers Army (Portland) and the Vancouver Southsiders (Whitecaps). The competition began when all three teams were members of the USL First Division and involves all three clubs, save for 2009 and 2010, when it was between the Timbers and Whitecaps due to Seattle moving to MLS. In 2011, all three sides were in the MLS for the first time and the competition has existed in top division since then. Earlier this year, the Cascadia Cup Council decided that 2020 matches not played in front of supporters won’t count towards Cascadia Cup standings.
- Tonight’s match at Providence Park marked a return to the field by Brazilian midfielder João Paulo, who last featured for Seattle on March 7 in a 1-1 draw vs. Columbus Crew SC. Suffering a right quad strain surrounding the MLS is Back Tournament in July, the recent midfield addition did not feature in the club’s four matches in Orlando. Brought in from the Brazilian topflight back in January – where he made over 300 appearances across all competitions – the 29-year-old is a versatile two-way player that became the club’s 15th Designated Player signing in club history. Including tonight’s match, he now has five total appearances for Seattle in all competitions this year (all starts).
- Forward Will Bruin recorded his first assist of the season on Kelvin Leerdam’s goal after coming on as a substitute. It marked Bruin’s first MLS regular season appearance since suffering a torn ACL in 2019. The 30-year-old MLS veteran scored as a sub in his first action of 2020 against LAFC in the MLS is Back Tournament, but because it was a Knockout Stage match it does not count toward regular season statistics.
- With captain Nicolás Lodeiro having his own injury struggles back at the start of the season, tonight’s match marked the first time that current Designated Payers João Paulo, Raúl Ruidíaz and Lodeiro have been on the field at the same time since being on the roster together.
- With an assist on Ruidíaz’s first strike, Lodeiro now has 50 career assists in MLS regular-season play, the most in club history and ninth among active MLS players.
- With Xavier Arreaga missing in central defense tonight due to a quad strain, defender Shane O’Neill made his third regular-season start for the Rave Green. O’Neill paired with Yeimar Gómez Andrade for the first time in central defense, with the Colombian defender making a return from injury of his own, having suffered a left hamstring strain in the MLS is Back Tournament. In his first season with the Rave Green, Gómez Andrade has made four appearances (all starts). Tonight’s match was his first game since July 14 vs. Chicago, where he suffered the hamstring injury.
- Tonight’s match began a stretch of six games through September 10, kicking off the first phase of the league’s resumption of play following the MLS is Back Tournament. After Portland, Sounders FC faces a quick turnaround, heading to Los Angeles for a showdown with the Galaxy on Wednesday, August 26 (8:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Amazon Prime Video, Univision) before hosting LAFC on Sunday, August 30 (7:00 p.m. PT / FS1).
Seattle Sounders FC 3 – Portland Timbers 0
Sunday, August 23, 2020
Venue: Providence Park
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistants: Jeff Hosking, Mike Rottersman
Fourth Official: Timothy Ford
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic
Attendance: Closed Door
Weather: 74 degrees and clear
SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz (Joevin Jones, Nicolás Lodeiro) 72’
SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz 83’
SEA – Kelvin Leerdam (Raúl Ruidíaz, Will Bruin) 85’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Shane O’Neill, Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Joevin Jones (Will Bruin 81’); Gustav Svensson, João Paulo (Nouhou 74’), Cristian Roldan (Alex Roldan 87’), Nicolás Lodeiro, Jordan Morris (Handwalla Bwana 81’); Raúl Ruidíaz (Miguel Ibarra 87’)
Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Josh Atencio, Ethan Dobbelaere, Justin Dhillon
Total shots: 10 (Ruidíaz, 5)
Shots on goal: 6 (Ruidíaz, 3)
Fouls: 10 (Jones, 3)
Offside: 1 (Ruidiaz, 1)
Corner-kicks: 6 (João Paulo, 3)
Saves: 5 (Frei, 5)
Portland Timbers – Steve Clark; Chris Duvall, Larrys Mabiala, Bill Tuiloma, Jorge Villafana (Tomas Conechny 87’); Diego Chara, Eryk Williamson (Felipe Mora 73’), Marvin Loria (Andy Polo 60’), Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco (Cristhian Paredes 87’); Jeremy Ebobisse (Jaroslaw Niezgoda 73’)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Julio Cascante, Pablo Bonilla, Renzo Zambrano
Total shots: 12 (Blanco/Loria, 3)
Shots on goal: 5 (Blanco, 2)
Fouls: 8 (Duvall, 2)
Offside: 3 (Three players, 1)
Corner-kicks: 8 (Valeri, 6)
Saves: 3 (Clark, 3)