Late Wallace header earns Timbers a tie in Seattle

SoundersTimbers (JaneGPhotography)

Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG.Photography

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, Wash. – The Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders are still hunting for elusive first wins after a 90th-minute equalizer from late Portland substitute Rodney Wallace Saturday night left the longtime rivals tied at 1-1.

A poorly-marked Wallace got on the end of a floated lob into the box from defender Andrew Baptiste and sent a clean header past goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.

“Obviously we were 1-0 down and my whole thing was just coming into the game and trying to make a difference, trying to make a play,” said Wallace.

The Timbers trailed 1-0 for most of the night, unable to generate quality looks or combination play despite controlling possession and out-shooting their opponent for the third straight week.

But Wallace’s header in front of the 40,250 in attendance at CenturyLink Field allowed the Timbers (0-1-2) to salvage an important point on the road and left the Sounders (0-1-1) with just a single point from back-to-back season-opening home matches against two of last season’s weakest road teams.

“It wasn’t pretty,” acknowledged Portland head coach Caleb Porter, “but they dug deep, they battled, they fought, never gave up, never quit. In the end, to score that goal, it was fair because they were rewarded for their effort.”

Eddie Johnson opened the scoring in just the 13th minute, tapping in a far-post cross from Steve Zakuani on the counter. An ugly midfield giveaway from Diego Chara left Zakuani with the ball at his feet and a sea of FieldTurf before him.

“I thought the first 20, 25 minutes were good,” said Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid. “I thought we stretched them and I thought we created some chances, got our goal, as well. After that, I think we let them into the game a little bit. I think our play was a little bit too slow. Our movement to the ball was too slow.”

For the Sounders, it was also a bittersweet end to a week that saw them bounce Tigres UANL from CONCACAF Champions League and a match that saw them unveil new acquisition Obafemi Martins.

Martins came on in the 70th minute and showed flashes of the quality that led the Sounders to doggedly pursue him for nearly a month despite ample evidence Spanish side Levante UD had no interest in parting with him.

“It’s difficult for him having just flown in and so forth,” said Schmid. “We wanted to give him the opportunity, he wanted the opportunity, as well, because his mind, his spirit, his soul is here, and he wants us to succeed and be successful.”

The atmosphere at CenturyLink Field for a rivalry match certainly didn’t escape Martins’ notice.

“I’m going to say these are some of the best fans. You know, I’ve been playing for a lot of clubs. But it’s different here. They’re friendlier, and they really support the team, which is good. And I like that.”

Here are the match highlights:

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30 Responses to Late Wallace header earns Timbers a tie in Seattle

  1. A says:

    It’s amazing that Obafemi comes on the pitch and the difference in class is immediately clear as day. He just flew around the world and within 24 hours played in a professional soccer game.

    That ball he played in after blowing by the defender and megging him was so perfect. If only Eddie Jonhson had good football IQ… but alas.

    Portland was screwed on that penalty call. AGAIN.

    • Samurai says:

      Yes, had “EJ” kept running it would’ve been a 2-0 lead for the Sounders, but the Portland Timbers made them pay.

    • NaranjaFanatic says:

      I think in a lot of matches a penalty would have been called but in this case I believe the correct call was made (although probably by accident). I can’t believe how unmarked Wallace was on the header though. There may have been fans in their seats who were closer to Wallace than any Seattle defenders. Unbelievable. It brought back horrid visions of Bobby Boswell watching Santos attackers from a distance down in Torreon last week.

    • baropbop says:

      He had as many turn overs as completed passes. That one cross really wasn’t that special. I think he will be strong, but tk suggest that he dominated is ridiculous. Im trying to remember if he even had a shot on goal…..

      • Chupacabra says:

        +1

        Anyone who thinks Martins is going to dominate in this league and singlehandedly win the MLS Cup is setting themselves up for a letdown. Martins was part of the Newcastle squad that got relegated, after all.

  2. A says:

    Martins’ class was immediately noticeable. Certainly the most skilled player on the pitch the moment he stepped on.

  3. Samurai says:

    Seattle still winless, this is what happens when you don’t close out games. The nerds let Portland hang around to long, and dominate the possession.

    • Travis says:

      theyve played two league games…not a huge deal they havent won yet.

      • Samurai says:

        Yea, but the nerds have been overhyping their team so much for this season. In both losses they mentally broke down on defense at the tail end of games. You cannot be MLS champs playing like this, a common trrait of Sigi’s Seattle squad.

        • petedx says:

          I wouldn’t call a 35th minute goal breaking down at the end of the game, as was the case against Montreal. But your previous non-sequitur conclusions on streamers somehow representing a larger problem in american culture, is probably a sign I shouldn’t bother pointing that out

          • Samurai says:

            I haven’t lived in America long, but I see that often among American soccer fans and it looks annoying, trashy, and childlish. Near the end of halfs (first or second) Seattle seem to relax to much and become lazy american which you cannot afford to do at any given time if your serious about winning matches, I understand things don’t always turn out nicely, but if your serious about winning games you don’t let up in your aggression offensively or defensively. A team must stay balanced and focused.

            • eddie says:

              Yeah, you said it correctly from your first statement. You haven’t been in America long, so try being a little reserve in your judgement. You may find yourself offending a lot of Americans and not making friends.

              You’re clueless regarding the work rate of Americans, never make generalizations. Immigrants have no business in this country unless they can contribute to society. Most don’t and have too much to say and provide very little. Where are you from?

              • Samurai says:

                I’am a European.

              • Jamie Z. says:

                Whoa, Eddie. Let’s lay off on the xenophobia a bit, will you? Of course, since you ARE American, you’re entitled to spout off all you want, right?

                Welcome to the States, Samurai.

              • A says:

                “Immigrants have no business in this country unless they can contribute to society. Most don’t and have too much to say and provide very little. Where are you from?”

                Really? REALLY?

                Most immigrants are extremely hard working, good people with families to support.

                Many work low wage, difficult jobs contributing far more than many Americans.

            • eddie says:

              Jamie Z, Samurai and A,

              The point is more of the criticism of Americans and their sports. Americans are stopping this kind of behavior, it’s unacceptable.

              If you don’t like America, then leave. It’s simple. No one is forcing you to be here or or watch our sports. Stop watching the MLS if you don’t like what you see.

              Samurai and A obviously think Americans are lazy and immigrants somehow have made America better. Nothing is further from the true. Haven’t you learned that it’s not acceptable to speak disparagingly toward your host country. A bit of respect is deserved for the efforts these great young men put forth in our league. They’re doing a fantastic job and the league is improving each season. Learn to respect the MLS and America. Americans are not lazy.

              • Jamie Z. says:

                “The point is more of the criticism of Americans and their sports. Americans are stopping this kind of behavior, it’s unacceptable.”

                No, the issue at hand is your bigoted response to another person’s opinion — a response that is completely out of proportion to the original expressed opinion and just as completely inappropriate. And what does that sentence even mean, by the way? “Americans are stopping this kind of behavior?” What, is there some new ‘League Against The Defamation Or Any Perceived Slight Against American Sports By Someone Who Was Not Born And Raised Here’ that I haven’t yet heard of? Shut up.

                “Samurai and A obviously think…immigrants somehow have made America better. Nothing is further from the true. ”

                “Nothing is further from the TRUE!” You despicable xenophobe. The only thing that could make that statement more ridiculous and hypocritical is if you had closed with, “And if u cant speek english, than leeve.” Immigrants have not made our country better? Unless you are one of the few remaining members of our nearly-extinct indigenous population, you have absolutely no platform for saying that. Unless of course there’s an arbitrary cut-off point in your mind when immigration went from “okay, and pretty much what our country is built upon” and “a disease that threatens the livelihood and well-being of honest Americans like me.” The 1880s, maybe? 1905?

                Excuse me, everyone, if my response has been a bit vitriolic, but jackasses like Eddie make me angry. Jackasses like Eddie are the reason I sometimes hesitate to identify myself as an American when I live or travel abroad — the reason I have made a conscientious point to travel, see the world, and expand my global horizons as an American, and to strive to be an ambassador for the positive aspects of American culture. There’s a brilliant Mark Twain quote that comes to mind when I encounter people with attitudes like Eddie’s, and I’m going to post it because I think he could stand to learn from it: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

                It’s one thing to be a proud American, and another thing all together to be a closed-minded and insular xenophobe who perceives any (trivial) opinion that
                doesn’t line up with their narrow, myopic world view to be an assault against his personal identity. Grow up, Eddie.

    • eddie says:

      Jamie Z,

      Yeah, please spare us your adolescent anger. Do yourself a favor and learn what a bigot really is. Stop your amateur surmising of my ideas. You have no clue where I’ve traveled or lived young man. Flabby simple mentality is mere waste.

      I happen to be married to a Morrocan Christian women and I’ve traveled all over Europe and Africa. I have first hand experience of those who come here for the benefit of good and those who have other ideas that don’t benefit anyone. Your anger should never show when attempting to articulate an argument, which you have failed miserably.

      What a shame, talk about a hypocrite. You hesitate to identify yourself as an American. Look at your own fallacies Jamie, don’t blame others because of your own dislike of America. You can leave, if you don’t like America. Blame yourself and you should be ashamed to hide your own national identity, perhaps you’re not really American? That in itself proves the point of disrespect for our nation. The argument is over as far as I’m concern.

      Four letter worlds only show the inept ability of yours to convey viable meaning. You need to learn to convey clear, calm, meaningful thoughts of a mature fashion. Lastly I’ve met some great people who are from North Africa, Europe and they really respect America, they love our culture. I’ve also met some who have no regard or respect of our culture nor customs. They think everything should operate and work as though they’re back in there homeland. This is not Africa, Europe or some other part of the world. These type of people are harmful to our society. They don’t come here, “as you said with an open mind.” They come here to control everyone else thinking or think they can say whatever they want without it being contested and that’s unacceptable. To bring this back on topic, they want want the MLS to be exactly like the EPL and we’re not in England or some other part of the world. Our league is still growing and with growth comes hardships, mistakes that hopefully we’ll learn from. You have severely failed to realize this point, or refuse to accept.

      I’m not close minded, otherwise I wouldn’t be married to an immigrant. I will not accept assumptions of disrespect about America, just because someone is new to the country.

  4. Sean says:

    Where are all the Rodney Wallace haters now? Too many TA sheep. Respect to Calab Porter for having the stones to sub out your protege Nagbe for Wallace.

    • Chance says:

      I’m usually the first to call Wallace a goat (and usually do fairly often) but he lost his man and found the optimistic cross from AJB beautifully. In last nights game he was a hero

  5. Travis says:

    Just not good enough from Seattle after the goal, they had that game by the throat for the first 20 min and then let off. Thought Jean-Baptiste should have been sent off when he stopped EJs one on one but there was a number of questionable calls all around. Martins looked like class in his limited time, once him and EJ build a rapport they could become a serious force. Zakuani also looked solid during his time on the pitch, although he needs to develop more moves than just speed

    • Joe Cooney says:

      It did look dicey for AJB there, but it wasn’t clear possession, more just a touch by him and it was so close to the 18 that I think last man would have been super harsh.

      Anybody else notice – or is it just my Timbers tinted glasses – that it seemed Seattle was just cutting the Timbers down again and again and it took Alonso getting the card for Stott to actually do something about it? It was seriously bizarre that it just kept happening because as all Flounders fans led me to believe that to a man they were more talented and skilled. Huh, maybe I’ve never played soccer or I just don’t get my scarf from a Bank of America or whatever giveaway.

      • Travis says:

        I honestly thought the ref missed a number of cards both ways, I know we complain about refs getting card happy but there was way to many fouls called compared to the amount of yellows. I was actually a bit surprised by how many challenges Alonso put in after his yellow, I know it is his game but he was tempting fate a bit much.

  6. Corp Exec. says:

    Portland Won!!

  7. AzTeXan says:

    If Portland could play Seattle every game they would never lose and if Seattle never played Portland or a playoff game neither would they.

  8. baropbop says:

    Portland is clearly outmanned….but I have to admit, they looked well coached

  9. atd says:

    DeAndre Yedlin played great for 85 minutes, then got caught ball-watching on the equalizer. Growing pains.

    • Joe Cooney says:

      I was surprised that Tyrann Mathieu made the swift transition to preparing for the NFL draft to playing right back for Shittle. Who knew?

      Seriously dude, whack that thing down! Haha, but nothing as gnarly as RSL’s Velasquez I believe. I love soccer, but truly the most follicularly challenged athletes.

  10. Eric says:

    I thought the timing of the martins substitution was really odd. It toatay disrupted the rhythm of the match which, at that time, was really good back and forth.

  11. Joseph says:

    I could see Sigi’s day with this Sounders outfit coming to an end here in the next year. Dude’s like the Marty Schottenheimer of MLS.

    And this Nagbe kid…have you ever seen a player in MLS with more talent who actually seems too scared to use it? My goodness kid, use the skills God gave you and take the ball to friggin’ goal and shoot it.