Sounders run away with late second-half surge, beat Timbers 2-0

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Clint Dempsey, Marco Pappa score second-half goals.

The Cascadia Cup may not end up in Seattle, but right now that's of little import. Clint Dempsey scored in his first game back from World Cup duty and Marco Pappa added an insurance goal as the Seattle Sounders dominated the second half and beat the Portland Timbers 2-0 on Sunday in front of 64,207 fans.

The first half was pretty dire, with both teams looking a lot like they had played 120 minutes just a few days earlier, which of course they had.

But the Sounders came out firing in the second half and really took off shortly after Obafemi Martins replaced Chad Barrett in the 52nd minute. Martins did not get onto the scoresheet but injected some speed and energy into a match that had been mostly lacking.

The Sounders starters created numerous chances, but Donovan Ricketts managed to turn the vast majority away until Dempsey got on the end of a Gonzalo Pineda cross in the 71st minute. The sequence had started with Ricketts making a pair of point-blank saves but the Timbers couldn't quite clear and were caught when Will Johnson failed to push the line and allow Dempsey to remain onside. Dempsey's flying volley easily beat Ricketts.

The chances kept coming with Lamar Neagle hitting a shot off the post and Ricketts coming up big a couple more times. But Pappa finally put the match away when Neagle slid a ball to him on the right side. Pappa was completely unmarked and hit it through a few Timbers defenders to beat Ricketts.

The Sounders improved to 12-4-2 and moved to 38 points, 10 clear of their closest competitor in the West and seven clear in the Supporters' Shield race.

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