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Timbers vs. Sounders: Highlights, stats, quotes

Caleb Porter is, indeed, delusional.

There really is nothing quite like going on the road to not only beat your biggest rival, but to do so soundly. The Seattle Sounders' 4-2 win over the Portland Timbers wasn't just a big win over a big rival, though, it was also extremely important for this team's psyche.

While the Sounders may have been saying all the right things when making comparisons to last year, there's plenty of evidence that they were at least aware of the chatter outside the locker room. Brad Evans talked about it, Sigi Schmid talked about it and so did others. The Sounders needed this win if for no other reason than to flip the narrative.

We also got to see the Sounders return to the kind of form that put them in such good position in the first place. Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey were finally linking up again, combining for three goals and two assists, and the Sounders created plenty of chances.

No matter what Caleb Porter insists, the Sounders were the better team in this game. For a guy who once talked about being able to "put your hand up the statistics puppet and make it say whatever you want", he seems to go to that well a lot when it suits him. He said he was surprised it was 2-0 at the half, which only makes sense if he thought it could have been worse.

Porter's delusions aside, the Sounders also moved back into the Cascadia Cup lead. As long as the Whitecaps don't beat the Timbers in both their final meetings, the Sounders would reclaim the cup with a multi-goal win over Vancouver.

Scoring Summary:

SEA- Obafemi Martins (Brad Evans, DeAndre Yedlin) 17'
SEA- Clint Dempsey (Obafemi Martins) 34'
SEA- Chad Barrett (Clint Dempsey) 70'
POR- Fanendo Adi (Rodney Wallace) 74'
SEA- Obafemi Martins (Gonzalo Pineda) 76'
POR- Fanendo Adi (Steve Zakuani) 90+1

Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei, DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez, Brad Evans (captain) (Lamar Neagle 78'), Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda, Marco Pappa (Chad Barrett 63'), Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey (Andy Rose 80')

Substitutes Not Used: Marcus Hahnemann, Kenny Cooper, Michael Azira, Jalil Anibaba

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Dempsey, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (2 tied at 2); FOULS: 15 (Marshall, 3); OFFSIDE: 1 (Dempsey, 1; CORNER KICKS: 3 (Pappa, 1); SAVES: 4 (Frei, 1).

Portland Timbers - Donovan Ricketts, Danny O'Rourke, Norberto Paparatto, Liam Ridgewell, Michael Harrington, Will Johnson, Gaston Fernandez (Rodney Wallace 67'), Diego Chara, Valeri, Maximiliano Urruti (Fanendo Adi 71'), Darlington Nagbe (Steve Zakuani 80')

Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Weber, Jack Jewsbury, Pa Modou Kah, Ben Zemanski

TOTAL SHOTS: 21 (Valeri, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Fernandez, 2); FOULS: 12 (2 tied at 3); OFFSIDE: 5 Wallace, 2); CORNER KICKS: 13 (Valeri, 8); SAVES: 2 (Ricketts, 2).

Misconduct Summary:POR- Liam Ridgwell (caution) 23'POR- Norberto Paparatto (caution) 38'SEA- Chad Marshall (caution) 46'SEA- Zach Scott (caution) 53'SEA- Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 61'POR- Maximiliano Urruti (caution) 64'

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: Kevin Klinger, Mike Rottersman
4th Official: Tayler Ploeger
Attendance: 20,814
Weather: Mostly Sunny and 80 Degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

Seattle Sounders FC Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC head coach Sigi SchmidGeneral thoughts on the match:"Our team went out there with an attitude that we wanted to make a statement today. We talked about that yesterday and today, that we wanted to make this a statement game. This was not last year, was not déjà vu. I thought we started off the game really well. I thought we were good the first 20 minutes. Once we got into the lead, they're a team that's obviously fighting for their playoff lives, so they started to throw everything at us. We scored a good goal on the counter, against the run, but we knew we would get counter opportunities. That was something we were planning for. Obviously they kept the pressure on in the second half, again because they're a desperate team and they're looking for things. We did a good job of finishing a couple counter attacking opportunities and some good combinations. I'm very pleased with our attitude and the result today."

On relaying instructions to his team after going up 2-0:
"We were just saying to sit. They were getting chances because sometimes our two midfielders would both go forward and [Gastón] Fernández cheats; he doesn't defend. So he just sits in that hole and we had to make sure that someone would be aware of him there because we didn't want our center back stepping up that high."

On whether the match seemed extra physical:
"It's always going to be an intense game. I think Ozzie's [Osvaldo Alonso] yellow [card], I don't know, I haven't seen the replay, but I don't think Ozzie touches him. I think the guy embellishes the whole thing and then he gets up and sprints off. That, to me, is bad because you're doing that to a fellow professional. But I'm sure there were some cards that were deserved for sure on both sides, in terms of tackles. It's always going to be a physical game, but you hate to see players embellish and try to draw cards on people."

On Obafemi Martins getting back to scoring goals:"It's really important for Oba. It's also important for Clint [Dempsey] to get on the board. The combinations were good. We had talked about making sure we get wide a little bit. The first goal came from a great combination between [Brad] Evans and [DeAndre] Yedlin and Evans got behind and that low, hard cross. We've been talking about that. The second goal, I think Oba had the assist on that one to Dempsey. The second goal, what people don't realize, is Dempsey made an 80-yard run to get into the box on that thing. He was at least 15 yards behind the center circle. That's just tremendous effort and awareness and commitment. That was good. Getting Oba on the board for the second one, where he dribbles through is obviously a good goal for him. Dempsey sets up [Chad] Barrett who comes in, continues to score goals for us. Those are all good things. Strikers love scoring goals."

On where this victory ranks in terms of away victories for him:
"This one's near the top. This one's definitely near the top. It's a good feeling just because of everything that's been going on. You look right now, we went through a five-game stretch beginning on Houston where we played five games in 14 days. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in that stretch we went 3-1-1. We beat Chicago as well in the Open Cup and everybody was talking about how we've only won two of our last five in the league or two of our last six in the league. We're 3-1-1 in our last five games in a 14-day stretch. I think that's what our team is. Sometimes the Open Cup victories don't get included in that stuff. I always love it when you guys write this, I'm going to pick on you guys right now. I love it when you guys write this, when there's an offseason and you say the guy in March hasn't scored a goal since October. Well, you know, it's tough to score a goal when you're on break. For me, that's what I look at. That's what we talked about as a team and that's why we said ‘Stay positive' after the last game. Sometimes those things happen. The attitude of our team is good."

On whether today's lineup was his first-choice selection:
"I don't know what's a first-choice lineup because you always have little aches and little injuries. Obviously getting Pineda back is helpful to our team. I thought he played a good game. He probably played where some guys might not have played with his ankle injury, but he's a competitor and once the adrenaline flows, I'm sure he's pretty sore right now. It's a lineup we were very happy putting on the field today."

On what it means to score eight goals this season in Portland:"Obviously, they're a good team. I don't want to take anything away from their team. They're a quality team. We've played them four times this year and we've been able to score goals. They've scored seven goals on us as well. It's important that we score goals on the other side. We've been able to exploit counter opportunities. We've been able to exploit seams at times and I think we've done a good job of collective defending when they're attacking us."

Seattle Sounders FC forward Obafemi Martins
On scoring his first goals in more than two months:
"Just doing the same thing. Training, game. I've brought everything to the game and we deserved it today because we did very well today, played very well today. We scored great goals."

On what went right today that hasn't been going right for the team recently:
"Nothing is going on. It's a game. Winning, losing, we're always there. Whenever we lose, we always continue. Even whenever we draw, as well, we always continue to win. We did it today and we deserve the three points. We played very well and we're taking the three points home."

On if today's result was a statement:
"We just want to play and try to win games. That's what we did today. We're looking forward to the next game."

On all the moves leading up to his goal in the second half:
"I can't really remember. I guess I had a little bit of luck. I nearly slipped, but still with a little bit of luck I was on my feet and tried to push the ball in front of me. I end up seeing the ball in front of me and ended up scoring it."

On his awareness of the fans in the crowd:
"The fans, they've been great. They've been supporting and everything, even when we're not doing well, losing and everything. They're still there, supporting us. We have to make them proud and we did that today. Hope they're happy now and we have to continue to do our best."

Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Brad Evans
On whether the quality of the goals means anything extra in a result like this:
"No. Like I've said all along, we're going to keep this last stretch games as even keel as we can. We know we're going to have ups and downs, good plays, bad plays, but I was really happy with the way we came out today, especially at the finish of a long stretch of games and really put in the work. Winning all the 50/50s in the first half and it's one of those where you go to sleep last night and you don't expect to win a game here 4-2. I know they probably feel the same way. There's no way that they woke up this morning and thought ‘We're going to lose this game 4-2.' It is what it is and we came out and finished our chances. Just a good team performance."

On how good it feels to win in Portland:
"Obviously anytime you get a win away from home, especially coming off a loss in San Jose and then what felt like a little bit of a loss in the tie against San Jose at home. Like I said, a good way to end the trip and a good three points for us."

On whether any of Seattle's goals were especially important in changing the game:
"If you go back and look at Clint [Dempsey]'s run in the second goal, that's just pure determination, heart and grit. That's what we want from all of our players. At the end of a stretch of games and, obviously, he didn't start last game and he had a couple days off, so he's feeling fresh. He booked it there. I think guys feed off of that. When everybody puts in that little bit extra, the results tend to go your way."

On not being overwhelmed by the extra intensity of a Cascadia clash:
"Today we fed off that and everything kind of went our way in the first half. Maybe there were a few suspect calls or maybe they could have gotten a PK to change the momentum in the first half. Sometimes things go your way. At the end of a road trip, playing away from home, in this rivalry game, you have to give a little bit extra and everybody did today. That's feeding off emotions. Coming into the stadium, hearing their fans yell at you, hearing our fans yell for us. No matter what you say, you get the butterflies, you get the tingling feeling and that's when you know you're in for a good game. You feed off that in a positive way and today we did."

Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey
On whether this result means more based on Seattle's recent results:
"It's always good to win. There's a good feeling around the team. We've been a little bit down in terms of our energy with not getting the right results, but getting a win like today definitely lifts the spirits and hopefully we can push on and go on a run."

On his run to score Seattle's second goal:
"It was a great ball from Oba. When he's on the ball, you just have to make good movement to get on it. He played a good ball and I was able to score on that one, but also on the one where I hit the post, he played another good ball as well. Not only does he score goals, but he creates opportunities for others and I thought he played really well today."

On whether Seattle was thinking about the loss in the playoffs last year coming into this match:
"No. It's a new season. We've played against them three times now. I mean I've played against them three times. Two times away from home and once at home. We've played well against them this season."

On what statement a win like this makes:
"It's a long season. In big games, you want to step up and play well. I thought we did that today. It's not just doing it here and there. It's doing it on a consistent basis and that's what got us up the table early in the season. Just that consistency and hopefully we can get back to that."

On if playing in Portland fuels his game:

"When you play against rivals you want to step up in those types of games. I was happy to get, more importantly than the goal, the assist on the game-winning goal from Chad [Barrett] and play a part in trying to help the team win. That's the most important thing and it's good to play well against your rivals."

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
On what he tells the team after a loss like today:"I told them I needed some time to watch the game and dissect what just happened. Congratulations to Seattle. They took their chances well. Obviously, they have great players, a great team, a good coach and they were deserved winners today."

On the backline's performance today:
"Again, one of the reasons I want to watch the game is Seattle deserved to win, but I know it was a lot closer game than the score indicated. It would be easy for me spin that, but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is the score. We didn't do well enough to get the result. We outshot them, we out-possessed them and we had more corners. The difference in the first half was Clint [Dempsey] and Oba [Obafemi Martins] finding two goals and that's what they are paid to do and they did it. I thought we were the better team in the first half, but in the end all that matters is the scoreline. We didn't manage situations defensively very well today. There were a lot of chances that they created that shouldn't have been chances. But again I want to watch the tape to offer reflections to my group and to obviously figure out what we need to do next week to correct those things."

On what the team was doing well in the first half that reflected the performance:
"It was hard to believe that at halftime we were down 2-0 the way we played. I thought we came out well. It was an even game. We hit the post, they hit the post, it's 19 minutes in and it's going kind of how you think it's going to go when you are playing a good team. It's back and forth. I thought we started well. The mentality was good. Both teams were feeling each other out. Then all the sudden we are up the field and out of nowhere they're behind us and it's a cross and the ball is in the back of the net. Again, that's why Martins and Dempsey are two of the best guys in the league because they found two goals. They didn't have very many chances in that first half. I thought we had more, I thought we had the better of it, yet we are down 2-0. In saying that, I don't think we managed either of those two situations very well, and they punished us. It seemed like every chance they got today was in the back of the net. We had a ton and somehow couldn't seem find the frame enough. It was a bit of a strange game. I don't think the score is indicative of how the game and flow went, but at the end of the day it comes down to how many you put in the net. They put four in and we didn't do well enough to deserve the result."

On missing out on the chance to take over fifth position in the Western Conference against their rival:"I've now given 25 team talks and going into this game it felt like the easiest one I had to give because there is so much motivation. Rivalry game, we are two points off the red line and the opportunity to go above the red line. We're at home. I thought we were up for it. I thought we played well in the first half, yet we're down 2-0 because of mistakes. That's what's disappointing. It's kind of the same old story. You play well enough to win, the stats tell a story in a soccer game, but ultimately moral victories aren't what we are looking for at this stage; we've got to get three points. I'd take less possession, less shots and less corners if we got three points today."

On the importance of the upcoming match at Vancouver next week:"It's a massive game. It's looking like it's going to come down to us, Vancouver, Colorado, maybe San Jose creeps in for that fifth spot. Right now four teams - Salt Lake, LA, Seattle and Dallas - that pack is sort of running away. You never know, one of those four may stumble, but we need points. Right now, Vancouver is two points ahead of us so it's a chance to get above them with a result. Even if we had won this game, we would have had to turn around and get a good result against them otherwise we are right back below them again. For me, what's most disappointing in this game is the score line. We're not used to being in games where we lose 4-2. I have to figure out how to correct what happened today so we can get a better resultnext Saturday."

Portland Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell
General thoughts on the match:

"We wanted to get that win to make sure we moved above the red line, but sadly we didn't get that done. We've got to try, as much as we can, and forget about it and move onto the next game because it's going to be a vital one for our season."

On his responsibility to the defense and getting into the playoffs:
"Big responsibility. I've come in and I want to make the playoffs and make [it above] that red line. I take it personal. I'm sure everyone can tell how disappointed everyone is and we've got to try and put it right."

On what went wrong in the defense against Seattle:

"A couple of their goals were counter-attack goals and sloppy from ourselves because one thing we knew was that they were going to try and pounce on us because we were trying to get at them. Just have to be mindful of that and try and cut it out for the next game."

On facing the combination of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins:
"Oba was looking to stretch and he's done that his whole career. So, I think it's something we've got to narrow down on and we've a lot to do. A bit more professionalism to not make a foul on the byline and just the fine little moments that good players like [Clint] Dempsey and Oba will score. Something we have to try and cut out of the game and stop those errors."

On if today's result was the first dose of adversity in his Timbers career:
"Definitely. You can only tell how good the team is when you're down and people think that they're not going to make the playoffs and not going to make the red line. We know we're a good team and today's not going to change that. Have to bounce back next week and make sure we do."

On whether today's defensive performance was an anomaly for the current backline:
"It was just one. It's gone very well. You come up against two class strikers and a very good team. We've got to try and manage that better. The only way we can get better is working on it during the week and making sure we cut them out for next week and the nine remaining games we have left."

Portland Timbers forward Fanendo Adi

On the battle towards moving into a playoff position:
"Sometimes these kinds of games come true and as a team you just have to give your best. Of course we gave up very important goals in the first half as well. Made a lot of mistakes, but as a team we lose together and win together."

On what went wrong in the first half that led to Seattle's two goals:
"Seattle just waited for us. We kept playing the ball and they let us into their half and when they got the ball, they just played on the counter. That's just what they did and all the goals came on the counter. In the first half, it was the same situation. When we allowed the first goal, we were looking to go out there and get a goal back. So when you're under pressure and you're trying to get a goal back, you open all the space."

On whether at halftime there was belief the team could still get into the game:
"Sure. We had a chat in the locker room at halftime. We still believed in ourselves that we could do it. We went out there to get one goal back as early as possible, but we couldn't get it back early."

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