High tension, but a mere point - USA TODAY Sports
After controlling the first couple dozen minutes of the match the Seattle Sounders manage only a draw against Portland in the first match of the 2013 Cascadia Cup.
In a match that will last in Seattle Sounders fans memories more for the first appearance of Obafemi Martins than the result, the result was a mere draw against Portland Timbers squad that used constant pressure and a barrage of offense to press Seattle despite being on the road. Steve Zakuani created a great opportunity in the 13th minute that Eddie Johnson slid into the goal, but the 1-nil lead would not hold the Timbers back and Rodney Wallace completed their comeback with a 91st minute game
winner tying goal. The midfield battle was too close with Portland holding a slight edge. Sigi Schmid countered this by going offensive with his first two subs despite the one goal lead. Mauro Rosales entered for Sammy Ochoa in the 61st minute and Martins replaced Mario Martinez in the 70th. Seattle's attack picked up but it left them open to Portland's midfield generated attack. That attack came from defender Andre Jean-Baptiste with a great chip and mid-defender Rodney Wallace's finish. Sounders FC stood a bit flat footed on the finish either stunned or hoping for a call in their favor. That tying goal lead Seattle to resume attacking, but it would not be enough. Seattle would not create a dangerous chance in an extra time that felt too short for what they needed. Unlike past matches where chances showed up like pennies on the road side, tonight Seattle's chance creation was relative barren. Creative play resulting in shots was all too rare. Self created shots were too often off-target. If this were a road draw from winning position it could feel like victory. Instead it is a draw from a cautious plan despite the lead and the talent advantage. It is the draw that feels like a loss. One point from two MLS matches played is not a positive start to the 2013 season, but there are plenty of reasons to think that the team that Sigi has now is not team that will make a late Fall run. For now regular season play takes the back seat to history. Playing like this at home will mean that tales will not be told about the 2013 Sounders.