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Sounders vs Portland Timbers, 2016 recap: Seattle falls 3-1 to Timbers at Providence Park

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Seattle fought hard, but Portland’s counterattack proved to be too much for the visitors

Mike Russell Foto

It was always going to be a tough afternoon for Seattle in Portland, especially given the lack of Clint Dempsey, who relishes matches like this. Nelson Valdez started up top alongside Jordan Morris, and Tyrone Mears came back into the lineup for Oniel Fisher—the rest of the lineup was unchanged from Wednesday’s 5-0 win over FC Dallas. In what was naturally a raucous Portland atmosphere, the Sounders couldn’t make it happen and fell 3-1 to their Cascadia rivals.

The first half was emblematic of these derby matches, with challenges and chances flying from both sides. Jordan Morris had a golden opportunity to put the Sounders up early, but the awkward spin on the ball made his shot fly wide. The half continued to go back and forth, though the Timbers managed to get the better of the chances for much of it. Stefan Frei was forced to make some saves a few times, while the Sounders didn’t really trouble Jake Gleeson. Right near the end of the half, the deadlock was finally broken when Diego Valeri burst past Mears and Alonso and teed up his shot right into the net.

The second half started with a vengeance for Seattle, as the Sounders charged into the Timbers half with a purpose and earned themselves 3 corners in nearly as many minutes. But they couldn’t get anything from those corners, and after the third the Timbers flew down the pitch and got the ball to Valeri, who managed to shrug off Joevin Jones and curl it into the net from a seemingly impossible angle. Not long after that, though, the Sounders finally capitalized on their endless corner kicks as Chad Marshall headed the ball into the net the cut the Timbers’ lead in half. But the celebrations didn’t last long for Seattle, as that vicious Timbers counterattack surged down the pitch after a failed corner kick for the Sounders. Fanendo Adi latched onto a pass in the box and beat Chad Marshall, firing it past Stefan Frei to put the game out of reach for the visitors.