Sunday’s game against the Portland Timbers (9-10-8 41 pts) in Portland was always going to to be a recipe for disaster before the game time whistle blew for the Seattle Sounders (9-13-4 31pts). Two days before your rubber match with your biggest rival you find out that your best player has been diagnosed with a medical condition and is sidelined indefinitely. You dominated your opponent 3-1 just seven days earlier.
With revenge, payback and pride against a heavy hearted opponent, the Portland Timbers went at their rivals with reckless abandonment.The Timbers sent midfielders Darlington Nagbe and Lucas Melano wide on the flanks to create space in the middle for center midfielder Diego Valeri.
Given time and space in the middle, Valerie had his option to look for the speedy midfielders barreling down the field towards the Seattle goal or striker Fernando Adi who was posted in the Seattle goal box.
The result was three Portland goals in a span of 13 minutes as the Seattle defense was stretched and undermanned. Right back Vytautas Adriuskevicius put the home side up after just 16 minutes of play with a right footed off a corner kick by Jack Jewsbury.
Fernado Adi made it 2-0 five minutes later and Lucas Melano completed the goal scoring barrage eight minutes later to give the home side the 3-0 lead after just 29 minutes of play. The Sounders inability to regroup and get a foot hold in the game cost them one more time as Steven Taylor made it 4-0 one minute before half time.
“I am trying to thing whether I should just say they played really well or was it something we did wrong, I accept the blame for the first half,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said after the game. “Its my job to make sure the team is prepared and that did not happen, give credit where credit is due, Portland came out and scored the timely goal on the set piece, that kinda started us reeling backwards a bit.
The Sounders restored some pride and respectability when Andre Ivanschitz and Jordan Morris had back to back goals ten minutes into the second and the deficit was cut to 4-2. While the Sounders had a couple other looks at the Portland goal they where never able to get any closer than the two goal margin.
Center back Roman Torres came in for Brad Evans who switched to right back for Tyrone Mears at halftime to see his first action in 11 months for the Sounders since suffering an ACL injury last September.
With the win the Timbers stay four points ahead of the Sounders in the race for the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.