What an incredible match. Absolutely incredible.
Starts off quick. Inside the first four minutes, Cooper opens up the scoring off of a beautiful set piece/defensive breakdown. Diego Chara scores a stunner from outside the box in the 9th. And just as Sounders and Timbers fans could catch their collective breath, Valeri scores one of the toughest goals I’ve ever seen. Not even 10 minutes later, Martins threads a pass to Dempsey off of a turnover, and Dempsey scores his first goal against Portland. Within the first half an hour, this game has seen 4 evenly spread goals.
The script takes a turn. In the 55th minute, Chara scores his second in an absolutely CRACKING shot from way outside. Chara scores more goals in one game than he has in his entire MLS career. And, oh wait, Urruti curls a beautiful shot past Stefan Frei to make it 4-2! And this game is barely two-thirds over! Portland looks to be taking the 3 points back to the bank.
That isn’t it. Neagle comes on for Cooper, a tactical substation that lit a fire under the collective Sounder ass. A couple more shots were fired, Paparatto NEARLY scores, but Yedlin’s face saves the day. Martins receives a wonderful pass off of a good run from Dempsey, but heads it above the bar. Neagle receives a ball on the right, crosses it into the box, Martins taps it to Dempsey and it’s 4-3 with less than 5 minutes plus stoppage to go. Just a minute later, Yedlin dashes into the box and gets taken down from behind. Penalty kick to the Sounders. Dempsey steps up, and buries it. 4-4. Dempsey has scored a hat trick against Portland.
What an incredible game. I WANT to say, from a neutral perspective, that this is one of the best MLS games ever. And I think it is. It’s hard to be neutral from a Sounders perspective, because man oh man, WHAT A GAME. Chara with two blasts from outside the box and Dempsey scores a freaking hat trick. What a day. SSTID.
Someone take Dempsey out for a steak dinner. Or a weekend of fishing. The man deserves it.