Diego Valeri knocked in a pair of goals on either side of intermission and Fanendo Adi blunted a Seattle comeback with a tally in the 64th minute as the Portland Timbers rolled past the Sounders 3-1 Sunday afternoon in front of 21,144 at Providence Park. The Sounders, missing suspended Clint Dempsey, fell to 6-11-2 (ninth out of 10 in the Western Conference with 20 points) and remain winless this year in Cascadia Cup competition.
Valeri took a pass in the 44th minute that Lucas Melano threaded through two Seattle defenders and dropped the ball into the right corner of the net for a 1-0 lead that held through intermission. With Seattle’s Joevin Jones draped all over him in the 50th minute, Valeri stunningly curled the ball past Jones on the end line and over goalie Stefan Frei’s head for a 2-o lead.
Chad Marshall countered for the Sounders with a header in the 59th minute, his third goal of the season, but Adi answered five minutes later with a shot that sealed Portland’s win, its second in a row over Seattle at Providence Park.
“I thought we had some opportunities, but they caught us on the counter a couple of times,” said Seattle coach Sigi Schmid. “Valeri’s goal right after halftime was an incredible shot. We didn’t do enough to to stop their counter. We got back in it 2-1 and then gave up another one (goal). The timing of their goals really hurt us, but I was pleased with the effort we gave.”
“We got caught on the counter on two of their goals,” added Seattle midfielder Cristian Roldan. “We had our chances and could have tied it, but the shots just didn’t go through. Our mentality was there today. It’s just unfortunate the way the goals went. We fought and battled but it just wasn’t our day.”
The Sounders, coming off a 5-0 win over Dallas FC but missing Dempsey, who received a red card in that match, are 0-2 in Cascadia play (also lost 1-0 to Vancouver March 19) and 7-4-5 all-time vs. the Timbers (7-6-8, 29 points), including 2-4-4 at Providence Park.
In addition to taking 12 corner kicks, Seattle created a number of prime scoring chances that went awry. Leading scorer Jordan Morris had a good shot at the right post blocked in the 13th minute and missed a wide-open chance in front of the Portland net in the 16th. In the 42nd minute, Andreas Ivanschitz narrowly missed wide right. Nelson Valdez followed with a huge chance in the 53rd that he failed to convert.
Portland could have added at least two more goals, but Melano blew a wide-open shot in the 12th minute and Frei denied Adi with a one-handed stop in the second half.
Seattle’s Ozzie Alonso received a yellow card in the 66th minute (he took down Darlington Nagbe from behind) that will force him to miss Sunday’s match at Sporting Kansas City.
Dempsey was named Sunday to the MLS All-Star roster, his third consecutive mid-season selection. Dempsey has been an All-Star six times. MLS All-Stars will take on Arsenal of the English Premier League July 28 in San Jose.
The Sounders play a quarterfinal match in the U.S. Open Cup at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Los Angeles against the Galaxy. Seattle returns to MLS action at noon Sunday at Sporting Kansas City.