Montero, Johnson goals help Seattle rout Portland

Eddie Johnson (Getty)

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, Wash. – The Seattle Sounders capitalized on an electric atmosphere and a Portland Timbers' own goal Sunday night at CenturyLink Field, topping their fierce Interstate 5 rivals 3-0 to assume third place in the Western Conference.

In a nationally-televised match before a franchise-record 66,452 fans, Seattle (14-7-10) controlled play from the start, earning three corner kicks in the first 10 minutes and creating chances through both build-up play and quick counter-attacks.

It was enough to make Sounders' coach Sigi Schmid emotional after the match.

"I said to (assistant coach Brian Schmetzer), 'This is what heaven must feel like.' In my imagination of heaven, this is it: Packed house, beating Portland by three, fans going crazy. You can't get better than this."

If Schmid was in heaven, he got there with a little help from the Timbers.

In the 25th minute, mounting Seattle pressure yielded the evening's first goal when officials credited Mamadou "Futty" Danso with an own-goal after he fought Fredy Montero to get on the end of a sharp one-touch pass from Adam Johansson. On replay it appeared the ball ricocheted off Danso and into the net.

Just three minutes later a beautiful Brad Evans cross found Eddie Johnson completely unmarked in the penalty area. Johnson easily scored past a helpless Donovan Ricketts for his 14th goal of the season and the 2-0 lead.

Johnson credited the goal to improving chemistry with his new teammates.

"I think we're starting to gel," Johnson said, "especially Fredy and I. I think we're combining more, and we're starting to build that relationship that Sigi talked about at the beginning of the year."

Only Rickett's fingertip save on a 32nd-minute Montero long-distance rocket kept the score 2-0 at the half.

"We were playing pretty well," said Portland coach Gavin Wilkinson, "then we went through a 10-minute spell there where we scored an own goal and then never recovered. It was a shame because there was some decent football being played until that point and we dug a big, big hole for ourselves. The back line lost its shape and we were lucky not to be down 3-0 at the half."

Montero put the game away in the 62nd minute, sliding to toe-in a ball a diving Jack Jewsbury tried to clear across the face of the goal. Initially ruled Portland's second own-goal of the match, officials later credited the goal to Montero—his career best 13th of the season.

"They beat us to a lot of balls," said Portland defender David Horst. "They beat us to a lot of balls in our own box and scored. We're not going to win games when we play like that."

In a rivalry that dates back to 1975, the Timbers (7-16-9) had occasional moments, but a lack of vision and imagination killed numerous half-chances. With only one away game remaining, the Timbers—now 0-12-4 away from the friendly confines of Jeld-Wen Field—are threatening to become just the fifth team in league history to go winless on the road.

For the Sounders, the win is just their second league victory since August, a stretch that saw the struggle to a 1-1-3 league record and slip from Supporters' Shield contender to fourth in the Western Conference.

The result also means the Cascadia Cup hinges on Portland's' Oct. 21 trip to Vancouver. Portland would win the fan-sponsored competition with a victory, while a Vancouver win or a tie would make Seattle repeat champions.

Regardless of the Cup's outcome, it was a special night in Seattle for Schmid, who starred in an enornmous tifo displayed before the game.

"I felt very honored the fans did that," Schmid said as his voice broke a little. "It was a little bit emotional for me. But I was really proud of that. This club has been the best thing that's happened to me in soccer, and I'm thankful every day that I'm here."

Notes

  • The Sounders next play on Oct. 17, hosting Real Salt Lake in a matchup rife with playoff implications. Seattle trails Salt Lake by three points for second-place in the Western Conference with three matches to play and a game in-hand.
  • Portland is off until traveling to Vancouver to play the Whitecaps on Oct. 21
  • Seattle defender Leo Gonzalez left the match late with what Schmid said the team initially believes to be a slight hamstring strain.

 

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25 Responses to Montero, Johnson goals help Seattle rout Portland

  1. Ciscokid says:

    Uh, guys…ROUT Portland.

    Love my sounders but still some defensive breakdowns that a better team (RSL?) would have punished us for. Still some work to do, but beating Portland is never bad.

  2. maschu says:

    Ricketts’ tip of Montero’s curler onto the frame deserves some props. But otherwise, Portland is in a dark place.

  3. OneLegged says:

    Route Portland? Sounds like a crappy road.

  4. Big Chil says:

    It’s Tea Party English. America’s future.

  5. Big Chil says:

    It’s Tea Party English. America’s future.

  6. JRP says:

    Can’t wait to see my RSL go up against the Sounders. Should be a killer match.

  7. shelsilverstein says:

    rout, not route

  8. Hopper says:

    66,452 people are eligible for free haircuts.

  9. boom says:

    and tacos

  10. wildchild says:

    PORTLAND TIMBERS you suck.

  11. Kevin says:

    Where are all the Portland fans now? They didn’t even sell out their allotted tickets. Only had 1200 fans. Better luck next year guys.

  12. Mario in QT says:

    Have’nt liked Johnson for a while now but the goal he scored was pretty nice. Volleyed it to the side of the goalie off a short turf bounce. I was truly surprised. He also played like a striker, not just passing the ball back to his midfield. Has he improved so much?

  13. elgringorico says:

    As a neutral, I kind of wish the goals were a little bit more “joga bonito” so we could use these highlights as to show the world what soccer in the US is really all about! 66k and the tifo were both unreal.

  14. Charles says:

    Sounder’s fan the was there. Portland fans were unbelievable, as usual. Among 66,000+, you still knew they were great.

  15. Charles says:

    Or “Sounders’ fan that was there.”

  16. JJ says:

    The best part of the goal was the taunt afterwards.

  17. Andy in Atlanta says:

    He was always decent but people never let him be… He went to Europe and was unlucky not to get chances with clubs… When he was at Aris he got his confidence only for Fulham to block and 800k bid for him so he could rot on the bench and go out on loan to Preston…

    Eddie can succeed with the right nurturing and the right club atmosphere and he now has confidence.

    I always maintained this and got loads of crap from it… he is coming good now..

  18. WK says:

    Funny, I would have thought Sigi’s idea of heaven would have had a lot more schnitzel in it.

  19. Chupacabra says:

    You will never see joga bonito on plastic grass.

  20. WK says:

    No way, that’s a pure lack of class and respect for your opponent and EJ courting bad karma- again. He taunted SJ in the open cup win and then lost it for Seattle against SKC all by himself. Use to be a big EJ fan, but no more.

  21. elgringorico says:

    True, but I mostly mean I wish there weren’t 2 own goals

  22. Travis says:

    you still are on about that? after like two years? let it go already

  23. nate says:

    The 66K figure is a total joke. I’m sure they “sold” that many, but there were several thousand empty seats. Still, a great atmosphere. Too bad Portland couldn’t rise to the occasion and be a little more competitive. A solid performance from Gspurning removed any chance of it getting interesting.

  24. Georgie says:

    OR 66,452 was the actual number in attendance. They didn’t say Seattle sold out the 72k capacity stadium, so those “several thousand empty seats” was the difference. I think 66k is pretty impressive, and I think most people would agree with me.