In his first game back from an MLS-issued, two-game suspension, Clint Dempsey scored two late goals (85′, 87′) and recorded a hat trick, helping the Sounders cap a wild comeback and salvage a 4-4 tie against the Timbers Saturday at Portland’s Providence Park.
The draw pushed the Sounders to 2-2-1 in an MLS season still in its infancy, kept the Timbers undefeated in their previous 18 home matches (11-0-7) and winless for the season (0-2-3). It also gave each team a point in the round-robin Cascadia Cup.
Early in the second half, the Timbers took a 4-2 lead with goals from Diego Chara (55′) and Maximiliano Urruti (57′). They appeared primed to to cruise to victory until Dempsey scored from the center of the box in the 85th minute, guiding it past backup Portland goalkeeper Andrew Weber. About a minute later, D DeAndre Yedlin was fouled in the penalty area by Portland M Ben Zemanski.
Dempsey’s ensuing penalty kick found the bottom left corner of the net and the Sounders held off a few late Timbers chances to avoid yielding the lead during the four minutes of stoppage time. With eight combined goals, the final tied the highest scoring match in Sounders history.
In the third minute, Sounders F Kenny Cooper opened the scoring against his former team by converting a corner from D Jalil Anibaba. In the ninth minute, Chara tied the game with a goal from just outside the box, then M Diego Valeri followed in the 14th minute with a score to give Portland a 2-1 advantage.
Dempsey tied the game at two in the 24th minute with a left-footed strike.
It was an MLS career day for Dempsey. After a faltering start to his Seattle career, he became the fifth player in Sounders history to record a hat trick and pushed his season goal total to four. And the Sounders regained some footing against the Timbers, who ousted the Sounders from the playoffs last fall.