Sounders down Timbers 3-2 in MLS rivalry match

Fredy Montero scored two goals and Osvaldo Alonso added the game

winner on a penalty kick to give the Seattle Sounders FC a 3-2

victory over the Portland Timbers on Sunday in the second match

between the two Major League Soccer rivals.

The teams played to a 1-1 draw at Qwest Field back in May when

they met in the season’s first game of the so-called Cascadia Cup

rivalry.

The Sounders (9-4-8) are undefeated in eight straight matches.

They were coming off a scoreless draw against the Los Angeles

Galaxy last Monday.

Down twice in the heated match, the Sounders hung on until

Alonso’s penalty kick in the 83rd minute.

“This was as exciting an atmosphere as I’ve played in Portland,”

veteran Seattle forward Roger Levesque said. “With the game going

as it did with us going down a goal and then getting it back, then

going down again and fighting back, it just kept building and

creating that drama and the good guys come out in the end.”

The Timbers (5-9-3) are winless in seven straight games. After a

scoreless first half, Portland went ahead early in the second on an

own goal and added another from Jorge Perlaza.

“I think offensively we played well,” Timbers coach John Spencer

said. “Defensively we let ourselves down as a team.”

The fan-created Cascadia Cup is contested by the three MLS clubs

in the Pacific Northwest, the Sounders, Timbers, and the Vancouver

Whitecaps.

The opening match between the teams back in May was played in a

constant, driving rain, but opened with a spectacular fan display,

known in soccer as a tifo, made of banners that nearly shrouded an

entire end of Qwest Field.

Sunday’s match, in contrast, was played under sunny skies. Not

to be outdone, the Timbers Army supporters group created a

spectacular tifo that stretched from the field to the top of

Jeld-Wen Field that proclaimed Portland the “King of Clubs.”

A sellout crowd of 18,627 attended the match.

Portland has embraced the Timbers’ leap to MLS this year, but

there was added excitement for the match against the Sounders. Even

the city’s iconic Voodoo Doughnuts got into the spirit of the

rivalry, creating a special Sounders voodoo doughnut that squirted

red jelly when stabbed with a pretzel.

The Timbers allotted 500 tickets for Sounders’ fans, many of

whom are aligned with the Emerald City Supporters group. They were

relegated to the southern corner of Jeld-Wen Field, but they

represented well in the hostile environment.

“The fans are amazing. They come here from Seattle and support,”

Montero said. “We were down, we kept playing hard, we tied the game

two times and fortunately for us that penalty kick for Ozzie, and

we win. “

The Sounders had the first two real chances in the early going.

In the 27th minute, Mauro Rosales missed an opportunity to pass to

Montero who was cutting back in front of Portland goalkeeper Troy

Perkins.

A minute later, Montero’s kick from the top of the box went just

left of the post – and Perkins’ outstretched arms.

Portland thwarted a breakaway by Levesque in the 32nd

minute.

Levesque is roundly disliked by Portland fans. They hold a

grudge for a perceived cheap hit on a Portland player in 2004 when

both teams played in the USL, and remain bitter about his goal just

48 seconds into a U.S. Open Cup match against the Timbers in 2009.

In celebration, Levesque mocked Portland by pretending to be a tree

chopped down by a teammate.

But despite Seattle’s best efforts, it was the Timbers who

ultimately went ahead first on an own goal. Kalif Alhassan fed to

Perlaza in front of the net and the ball deflected off Seattle

defender Jeff Park and past Kasey Keller.

The Sounders evened it in the 57th minute on Montero’s free kick

after a hard tackle by Portland midfielder James Marcelin. Montero

doffed his jersey after the goal, which sailed untouched over the

line of defenders and out of reach by Perkins.

Portland went up 2-1 when Diego Chara perfectly fed Perlaza for

an angled goal from inside the box in the 69th minute. The

celebration was short-lived when Rosales centered the ball to

Montero, who beat Perkins in the 74th minute.

Alonso’s penalty kick came in the 83rd minute after Portland

defender Eric Brunner was handed a red card for tackling in the

penalty box.

“Disappointed,” Brunner said. “I felt like I let the team down.

Giving up a penalty kick for a game-winning goal, it’s not a good

feeling.”

The Sounders wore black arm bands during the match in honor of

former player Mark Peterson, who died on Thursday.

Portland captain Jack Jewsbury was selected to the MLS All-Star

First XI, the group voted into line for the MLS All-Star Game

against Manchester United on July 27. But the honor, announced at

halftime Sunday, was bittersweet because of the loss.

“At the end of the day we have to pick our heads up,” Jewsbury

said. “It’s halfway through the season. There’s a lot of games left

and a lot of points to get.”

The intense rivalry between the Sounders and Timbers was born in

the mid-70s, when both teams were part of the old North American

Soccer League.

The Cascadia Cup was introduced in 2004 when all three teams

were part of the United Soccer Leagues First Division. Fans pooled

their money to buy the 2-foot tall trophy, which goes to the team

that finishes with the best record in head-to-head matches between

the trio, based on a points system.

The rivalry took on greater significance this season when both

Vancouver and Portland joined MLS as expansion teams.

The Sounders also played the Vancouver Whitecaps earlier this

season, playing to a 2-all draw.