As we continue our celebration of the best moments between Seattle Reign FC and the Portland Thorns, and the Seattle Sounders versus the Portland Timbers, today we celebrate the players who came up big with their heads.
While header goals are always exciting, last-minute goals of this kind electrify crowds. In 2017, that came in the form of a stoppage time equalizer on the road in Portland. Clint Dempsey takes immense pleasure in scoring against the Timbers. He did it again last June on a Roman Torres cross, allowing the Sounders to escape Providence Park with a point despite playing the entire second half down a man after Brad Evans was sent off in the 44th minute. Just listen to how loud those traveling Seattle supporters get after the 94th minute goal!
Another Sounders player who, though still young, has already established himself as a threat on set pieces against Portland is our adopted son, Cristian Roldan. He is not necessarily someone you would pick in a lineup as a consistent scoring threat with his head due to his size, but Seattle supporters have learned that there’s not much Roldan can’t do. There was this perfectly executed corner kick in 2016, where Roldan headed in a flick from Brad Evans en route to a 3-1 Sounders win at home.
And there was this header in 2017, which was the lone goal in a 1-0 Sounders victory. Despite being held, and in only the 4th minute of the match, Roldan finishes it with a cool, calm flick into goal. Portland Timbers defender Zarek Valentin was so impressed, he gave Roldan a hug to finish off the play.
Seattle Reign FC
It was a lively home match in 2015, with World Cup stars returning to play and Seattle facing the Thorns for the second time in just four days after defeating their Cascadia rivals on the road. The Rose City Riveters brought a loud, raucous group to Memorial Stadium, and they were hungry for revenge. Just moments into the second half, however, right as the Riveters were chanting “dodgy keeper,” Bev Yanez and Kim Little combined to do this. Perfect timing. The Reign would go on to win 3-0, pushing the Thorns further out of a playoff position and securing the top spot on the league table.
Nahomi Kawasumi was a spark in 2014 when she joined Reign FC. Fans knew by the summer that Naho was a lethal shooter and a pinpoint crosser. But at just 5’ 2” she wasn’t really seen as someone who scored many goals with her head. On this glorious day in July, Naho proved us wrong. This was one of five (5!) goals Reign FC scored against Portland in this match. Let’s also celebrate that pinpoint Little service. So pretty.
Our Recap: Reign Dismantle Thorns 5-0, Get Mojo Back
Day 1: Crucial 1-0 victories