FULL-TIME: In what will go down as one of the more frustrating games of the season, the Sounders fell 2-1 to the Portland Timbers. The loss was the Sounders’ first at home of the season and snapped a 13-match unbeaten streak at CenturyLink Field. They definitely had their opportunities for a better result, but finished just one of their 14 shots from inside the penalty area. Brian Fernandez scored both of the Timbers’ goals, including one less than a minute after Raúl Ruidíaz had equalized.
SOUNDERS 1, TIMBERS 2: Before a replay of the previous goal had even been shown in the stadium, the Timbers recaptured the lead on another Brian Fernandez goal. It came on a cross from Sebastian Blanco that allowed Fernandez to split the Sounders’ centerbacks. Stefan Frei was able to deflect the shot, but not enough to keep it out of the goal.
SOUNDERS 1, TIMBERS 1: Roman Torres put in a hopeful ball over the top that Raúl Ruidíaz managed to get to first. He easily rounded Steve Clark and put it into an empty net.
Here was Ruidiaz's goal if anyone cares to relive the 4 seconds it was tied pic.twitter.com/7rKLjFuRq9— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) July 22, 2019
HALFTIME: The Sounders had plenty of chances to score, but could not find the back of the net and went into halftime trailing 1-0. It was the first time they’d gone into halftime behind at home since April 24, a game they ultimately tied the San Jose Earthquakes 2-2.
SOUNDERS 0, TIMBERS 1: After several close calls on both ends, the Timbers struck first in the 21st minute. Right back Jorge Moreira made a nice move on the wing to open up space near the edge of the penalty area and fired off a shot that Frei deflected off the crossbar. The rebound came right to Brian Fernandez who was able to hit it first time into an empty net.
Just really bad all around here. 1-0 PDX pic.twitter.com/ZMxOkXbH4o— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) July 22, 2019
LINEUPS: The Sounders will use the same lineup in back-to-back games for the first time since April 13. If there’s any controversy in Brian Schmetzer’s selection, it’s the lack of attacking options he’s given himself off the bench. Every player at his disposal could plausibly be considered a defender and the only potential offensive upgrade is Joevin Jones, as both of the team’s backup forwards were left off the lineup sheet.
The Timbers will counter with a lineup that is mostly unchanged from their Thursday match against Orlando City. Giovanni Savarese has opted to make just two changes, inserting Jeremy Ebobisse and Julio Cascante.
It’s the Seattle Sounders vs the Portland Timbers. A rivalry that needs no introduction or hype. In a league that is constantly evolving and looking for the hottest new thing, this matchup between Seattle and Portland remains the same.
Absences: Injury, international duty and suspension
Out: Will Bruin (torn ACL) and Victor Rodriguez (left hamstring strain)
International Duty: N/A
Out: Marco Farfan (left knee injury)
Questionable: Larrys Mabiala (left thigh injury), Jeff Attinella (right shoulder injury), Modou Jadama (right lower leg injury), Jorge Villafaña (left thigh injury), Aljaz Ivacic (back injury)
International Duty: N/A
REFEREE: Drew Fischer
AR1: Jeremy Hanson
AR2: Matthew Nelson
4th: Alejandro Mariscal
VAR: Tim Ford
AVAR: Kevin Klinger
Keys to the Game:
- The Sounders need to shut down Brian Fernandez. The problem with that is that isn’t easy. Fernandez has 6 goals and 1 assist in just under 600 minutes since he’s come to MLS. He’s quite good. It’s a big challenge for whoever starts at CB for Seattle.
- Offensively, the Timbers are a bit one dimensional. They love to play in transition, and we’ve seen teams gum that up when they play at home. The Sounders will not play like that at home, so the fullbacks and the defensive mids need to make sure to not get caught out of possession.
- Seattle got their attacking mojo back last week against a woeful Atlanta United. They were unlucky to not score more. Hopefully they’ve got some of that left in the tank for Portland.
How to Watch
Match date/time: July 21st at 6:30pm
Venue: CenturyLink Field
Local Radio: 950 KJR-AM Seattle (Johnson, Webber)
Local Spanish Radio: El Rey 1360 AM (Rodriguez, Maqueda, Tapia)
Local Spanish TV: KUNS-TV Univision-Seattle
Highlights will be posted as the match progresses.
This is Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers; watch with us
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