Sights, Sounds and Notes from Sounders 2-1 win over Timbers

The Sounders pulled of a wild, wacky win over the Timbers Sunday at Providence Field. The win kept the Rave Green atop the Western Conference  standings.

In a classically heated Cascadia showdown at Providence Park, Seattle Sounders FC (3-0-1, 10 points) took down the Portland Timbers (1-3-0, 3 points), with Raúl Ruidíaz and Fredy Montero supplying two second-half goals. With the result, Seattle moves back atop both the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Western Conference standings with 10 total points from the club’s first four games. Today’s match at Providence marked the 112th all-time meeting between Seattle and Portland, the most matchups between two professional sides in U.S. soccer history dating back to 1975. Seattle leads the series with a record of 55-42-15, including a 13-10-7 mark in MLS regular-season play.

In an eventful second-half sequence, Portland was awarded a penalty in the 54th minute when referee Chris Penso made his ruling following a Shane O’Neill foul on Jeremy Ebobisse inside the area. Timbers captain Diego Valeri stepped forward for the penalty attempt, but Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei made the stop, only for the Timbers to be awarded another opportunity after Seattle encroached on the first shot. Valeri took aim once again, but hit the post and was unable to claim his own rebound after Frei did not touch the shot.

Seattle counterpunched following Portland’s two failed penalty attempts, as Ruidíaz earned a penalty of his own and converted the attempt in the 63rd minute, good for the Peruvian’s fifth strike of 2021. The tally was also Ruidíaz’s fifth goal against the Timbers in seven regular-season matches, tied for second all-time among Seattle players in MLS play against Portland. 

Montero doubled the lead in the 79th minute, heading in a free kick from João Paulo for his second goal of the season. Taking a set piece from about 30 yards out, the Brazilian sent a dangerous, curving ball into the area, where Montero rose to meet it with his head and pounded it into the back of the net. Montero now has 49 MLS regular-season goals and 62 all-competitions goals for Sounders FC, both club records. It was the second assist of the season for João Paulo, and seventh in MLS play since coming to Seattle prior to the 2020 season.

The Timbers pulled one back late in second half stoppage time, as Bill Tuiloma scored from distance on a free kick, bending his shot from 25 yards away around Seattle’s wall and inside the near post. It was just the second goal allowed this year by Sounders FC, both coming direct from free kicks.

The Sounders  now prepare for a busy stretch over the course of the next week. First up, Sounders FC remains on the road with a midweek matchup in San Jose, as the Rave Green prepare to face the Earthquakes on Wednesday, May 12 (7:30 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM). The club then returns home to Lumen Field for another key Western Conference showdown with Los Angeles FC on Sunday, May 16 (6:30 p.m. PT / FS1, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).

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