Timbers catapult into first-place after victory over Sounders

KalifAlhassanPortlandTimbers1-SeattleSounders (AP)

By MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore.- National team call-ups and injuries did little to damper the hatred and rivalry between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders during their match Sunday night at Jeld-Wen Field.

And at the end of a physical 90 minutes that saw numerous confrontations, an injury-time strike off the crossbar, and an ejection, the Timbers stood on top of their rivals, 1-0.

Kalif Alhassan scored the lone goal just moments before halftime while Seattle’s Osvaldo Alonso was sent off in the second half. Sounders substitute Steve Zakuani looked to save his side in stoppage time, but his deflected shot found the crossbar.

Between the playoff implications, the intense play, and deafening fan support provided by the Timbers Army and a large number of Sounders supporters, the match went beyond the usual fervor, according to Timbers captain Will Johnson.

“That was the most intense atmosphere I’ve ever played in,” Johnson said.

As sometimes happens in rivalry matches, the soccer wasn’t always the finest, but Timbers head coach Caleb Porter and his squad didn’t mind the physical nature of the Cascadia Cup match.

“We’re up for a fight, if there needs to be a fight, I have no problem with that. We aren’t going to back down,” Porter said.

The victory moved Portland (13-5-14, 53 points) into the top spot in the Western Conference with two games remaining in the regular season and handed Seattle (15-11-6, 51 points) its third straight defeat.

While Porter said his “heart was in his stomach” during the final minutes, he had a premonition about the result.

“There are times when you just know you’re going to win. It was just one of those days,” Porter said. “We knew we were going to win the game.”

Alhassan put the Timbers on the board just before halftime, when he calmly slotted home a loose ball after a poor DeAndre Yedlin clearance and sent Jeld-Wen Field into pandemonium. Alhassan, who was getting the start due to Diego Valeri’s adductor injury, made the most of his opportunity and tallied his third goal in his last nine matches. The three-goal outburst comes after the Ghanaian midfielder went 34 league games without a goal.

“He seems to get big goals in these big games for us. He’s evolving as a player,” Johnson said. “He’s becoming a more complete player and he’s still from time-to-time able to get something very special in the box and you can’t put a price on a guy who can finish like that in the box.”

Clint Dempsey received first start in eight matches due to his injured hamstring. The American International almost scored his first Sounders goal when his 14th-minute header beat Ricketts but found only the the crossbar. Dempsey was hampered by a shoulder injury throughout the match and received medical attention twice in the first half.

The match took a turn in the Timbers favor when Sounders defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado fouled Darlington Nagbe. Immediately after the play, Osvaldo Alonso and Will Johnson came together with video evidence suggesting that Alonso elbowed Johnson. The elbow earned Alonso a red card and left the Sounders down to ten men for the final 16 minutes of the match.

“(It was) two guys competing, going at it and in the referee’s eyes, he crossed the line,” Johnson said.

Alonso’s ejection was the culmination of a highly physical match that saw Dempsey fouled on numerous occasions by Portland and Seattle being dealt multiple yellow cards for fouls on the Timbers midfield players.

“If you want to play football, we can play football. If you want to get physical, we can get physical,” Ricketts said. “We just play whatever the game brings to us. Sometimes it’s about playing good football, sometimes it’s about fighting like it was tonight.”

While Seattle did rattle the woodwork twice, Seattle struggled in the middle of the field against Diego Chara and Will Johnson. The shutout was the fourth consecutive at home for the Timbers and gave Ricketts his 12th clean sheet of the season. The Jamaican International did have a coy smile on his face when talking about the woodwork post-match.

“I know if I don’t save it, my crossbar will save me,” Ricketts said.

Next up for Portland is a home match with Real Salt Lake, who trails Portland by one point in the Western Conference standings. A Timbers victory would guarantee them a top-three seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Seattle, meanwhile, will travel to FC Dallas and hope to put to rest its worst losing streak since 2010.

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133 Responses to Timbers catapult into first-place after victory over Sounders

  1. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Seattle’s imploding. I did not see that coming. Portland is gathering steam. That one I did see coming.

    Fights, tackles, bodies flying, balls hitting posts, loud fans, chain saws, saves, passion, arguments… soccer in America baby!

  2. KHANNNNN says:

    Can only imagine how the league office and/or discipline committee responds to what–as many pundits pointed out–was one of the most disgraceful and unprofessional shows by any team in league history.

    You had a player red carded for throwing an intentional elbow who then went after a referee–and several players grabbing referees and screaming in their faces. And players shoving Portland players trying to get in between them. And then other players chasing down the lineman and screaming in his face some very inappropriate things.

    That only Clint Dempsey was carded for that show of unprofessionalism is quite shocking. Granted he was also visibly chasing down the lineman and wagging his finger in his face while yelling at him.

    As I remember, contact with a referee is a yellow or red based on the type. Will we see a string of cards in retrospect?

    • RB says:

      It is an excellent question…

    • Me says:

      Oh give it a rest. The officiating was standard MLS fare tonight – inconsistent. They got the card on Alonso right, but the officials let Portland get away with multiple dangerous challenges that should have been yellows – think the tackle that resulted in Dempsey’s shoulder injury and Johnson sticking a leg into Moffat late into the first half.

      • KHANNNNN says:

        Give what a rest?

        They grabbed referees. They physically touched referees while screaming at them. This isn’t about hard tackles.

        They broke one of the only sacred rules. You don’t touch officials. Ever. Period.

        • Me says:

          The game for out of hand because of poor officiating, which in the end benefited the home team. This is standard across the board for MLS. There are already posts about this on other sites that cover the league.

      • Paul Atkinson says:

        I think you’re only partly right. Portland did get away with multiple dangerous challenges…but so did Seattle. On the whole I thought the refereeing was very permissive but relatively even.

        The big difference in the game was that while Dempsey and Nagbe (and, to a lesser extent, Alhassan) were all targeted for…how about “especially physical play,” the Timbers kept their cool and the Sounders lost theirs.

        Sigi was quite up-front, declaring before the match that he expected his team to make it a physical game. Then, when it was, they lost the mental game as well as the one on the scoreboard.

      • beachbum says:

        no, Grajedo reffed games always seem to be like this

        • Horsewhistle says:

          Such a declarative response with no content. His games are always nationally televised rivalry weekend matchups? Maybe you should voice your concerns to the scheduler. The wheels have been coming off Seattle since the Colorado loss and the team lost their composure already down a goal and then a man. I only expect to hear more declarative scape goating from this particular fan base.

  3. Beto says:

    Wow!

    The last two weeks of the season have some good matchups.

  4. louis z says:

    Someone needs to change the batteries on Dempsey, he looks way to slow.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      He looks like a guy with no real preseason, coming off a hamstring injury who got hurt 12 minutes into the game.

      I mean, sprinting around like a gazelle was never his game, but really, there are reasons he looks out of sorts.

      • SBI Reader says:

        I would only partially agree with that. If you really go back and look at all his minutes, he as pulled off some pretty snazzy stuff, hit the cross bar, hit Kyle Beckerman’s head. He really is unlucky not to have about three goals now. The other issue really has to do with the midfield. Neagle makes a horrible left mid and between Moffat, Caskey, Rose and sometimes Rosales. There has been little creativity and lots of giveaways in the midfield. Poor play all around does not make Dempsey any better.
        You can even see it with Martins as he has had to come back to midfield just to get the ball almost every game he has played.

  5. John says:

    Is Klinsmann going to have to have a “motivation” moment with Dempsey at some point? Considering he was probably never too happy with the move to start with. Now as this adjustment period seems to be dragging on. I not saying he should or shouldn’t but just knowing Klinsmann I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t wearing the captains arm band the next time he is called in.

  6. Deno says:

    Dempsey is a has-been. $8 million dollars for a washed up name that the MLS paid for? He’s worthless. Hopefully we can loan him out before the playoffs.

    • Me says:

      If he’s that poor you won’t be able to loan him out. He will be fine next Match, but hasn’t readjusted to MLS.

  7. byob el paso tx says:

    God, these rivalry games r boring in MLS with all respect to MLS fans. Seattle has no tactics, no game and they just play kick ball many MLS teams, and i think they neeed a new coach and players. As for timbers, not bad for their budget, new coach and wanna play like barcelona. Hopefully MLS teams play better in non rivalry games and rivalry games. As for galaxy, impact,timbers and red bull, that do play different soccer, keep it up.
    As for MLS parity, please raise the parity in order to see better soccer in America. For instance, if mourinho comes to coach in MLS or bielsa, they would not be able to reach their potential as a coach, because of the parity involved in the salary cap, free agency and MLS stupid rules. So how in the world, do we want MLS to improve tactically and skills wise, when the coaches in MLS all have the same ideas and every game is the same thing. Please MLS, this is not the nba,mlb, nfl where all the teams play alike, soccer is a WORLD sport with different tactics and skills.

    • KHANNNNN says:

      Contrary to popular opinion–Jose Mourinho is a very poor coach when he doesn’t have the league’s top payroll. He creates a superteam that implodes after a season or two when he’s canned.

      See: Porto. Chelsea first time. Real Madrid this time.

    • Jason says:

      Impact play soccer?? I guess putting 10 behind the ball and hope DiVaio doesn’t get called for offsides is playing soccer.

    • Oculus says:

      This game was far from boring. Just because a game ends 1-0, does not make a game boring. Parity is why people like myself love MLS, because unlike the rest of the leagues in the game, 1-2 teams can’t when the trophy every year. Also how do all teams in the NFL, NBA,MLB and NHL play alike? You sound like a idiot.

  8. GregZ says:

    Seattle would have tied the game if Portland had a real field. The late second half shot took a deflection and rocketed up off of the turf to bounce off the post. If the game was played on GRASS like it should be that ball would have gone in under the bar for a goal.

    • RB says:

      That’s pretty rich: a complaint in favor of Seattle that somebody else’s field wasn’t good up to snuff! smh

    • Neruda says:

      Seattle plays on a similar surface. No one team has an advantage when the two play. Let’s not start with the “if only,s” and woulda shouldas about the bounce of the ball in soccer or any sport.

  9. KHANNNNN says:

    Even further–I can almost guarantee Mauro Rosales is suspended multiple games.

    He left the bench to berate an official. I mean honestly, who is running that team? It certainly isn’t the cheeseburgler.

    • Bird says:

      Cheeseburgler is good, however he always reminds me of Wimpy from Popeye. You know the dude that is always eating burgers in the old popeye cartoon?….maybe its just me.

  10. ex_sweeper says:

    It appears that Will Johnson will beat out Steven Lenhart this year for the “Most Annoying MLS Player” award. What on earth does he say to his opponents to earn verbal or physical retaliation from players as different as Osvaldo Alonso and Alan Gordon? Did he train in the Marco Materazzi school of provocation?

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      Will Johnson is annoying, and he was trying to provoke a reaction by bumping the visibly fired-up Alonso (which doesn’t excuse Ozzie taking the bait). And he embellished just enough to get the call.

      But he has a long, long way to go before he approaches Lenhart, a man who single handedly stopped me from rooting for the Quakes. If he’s the heart and soul of a team, then I’m moving on…. I am a fan at large…

      • ex_sweeper says:

        Lenhart is less annoying this year than reckless and flat-out dangerous to everyone around him. But let’s not get off on a tangent….

      • Neruda says:

        I just saw the highlight but bumping into your opponent doesn’t make one annoying. Hell if that were the case Clint d is the most annoying American player. He’s always giving little shoves and bumps when things get heated. Will j out works everyone and but he’s cool under pressure. Alonso has his reputation and has cost Seattle on many occasions. I would rather have johnson any day over Alonso. I wish it was will j and not Alonso that could play for the US.

        • Me says:

          Johnson was clearly talking to Alonso. Likely whatever he said contributed to the reaction.

          • wario says:

            Has any ref ever reversed a decision when an entire team verbally assaults them?

          • Twomilerule says:

            W.Johnson is clearly talking to Alonso after he had been tackled after the whistle and a yellow card tackle on Nagbe. Alonso’s elbow was the last reaction in a chain of events that lead to Seattle losing their poise in the field of play.
            First, was Yeldin throwing his leg in front of Harrington. Yeldin embellishes an injury after not getting the call. Yeldin sprints down the sideline and angrily checks Nagbe with an elbow to the chin and neck out of bounds. Ref makes no call on what should have a yellow to Yeldin. Shortly after Hurtado takes Nagbe’s feet again and ref finally gives yellow. The play continues where Alonso takes Will Johnson down and elbow is given.
            Seattle chain of events; embellishment, non yellow foul, yellow foul, non yellow after whistle foul, and red card elbow to face. Sounders try to reverse chain of events like nothing happened? If ref gives Yeldin yellow the match does not get out of hand but waits for the next obvious yellow infraction.
            By the way did Nagbe react once to any of his hard tackles? Any finger pointing? Shoving? Talk any junk?

      • panchomiguelmoralesdeconejo says:

        Galaxy Tony in Quakeland has a nice ring to it….Come away from the Dark Side Tony.

    • Limey says:

      I think Johnson behaves that way because he’s perpetually angry, Lenhart does it because he has very little talent so he just throws himself around.

      • burnsbabe says:

        It’s not anger, it’s gamesmanship. He gets fired up to get the rest of the team fired up too. Go watch some film and you’ll see that Will operates that way all the time. Smack talk is a part of the game. If you’re going to react to it by physically assalting someone, you’ve got problems.

      • Soccerhorn says:

        +1

        • Soccerhorn says:

          by +1 I mean “+1 to Limey’s ‘lack of talent’ comment, not Burnsbabe’s ‘gamesmanship’ comment.”

  11. Neruda says:

    The RSL timbers game will decide the west between the two teams. They both have chivas for the last game. Both teams will beat chivas so RSL has to win in order to take the west. Portland needs at least a tie to top the west by a point.

    Then there’s Seattle and they won’t get six points from the last two. They have Dallas and la but they will tie or lose against at least one of them. The lesson here is games in hand only help if your team doesn’t implode.

  12. Shimano says:

    It’s starting to look like the Dempsey deal is a completely waste of money. He thought he could walk right in and own the league. he was wrong. MLS was wrong.
    …and what’s with Yedlin? dude needs to stop it with the hair thing and concentrate on playing. You ain’t Neymar, dude.

    • Junior says:

      He couldn’t hack it in the Premier League so he took a cash grab. He just isn’t very good. He’s not very fast, he’s not a good athlete, he quits as soon as he loses the ball, his defense is non-existant, his tattoos are only ok, his television commercials are not even funny, he is kind of ugly, his rap music is not that good, and his place of origin is a crap hole. I hope Klinsmann gets wise and replaces him with someone more deserving that does not have these flaws.

      • RB says:

        Place of origin as a consideration when judging someone’s qualities…

        OK then!

      • Sammy says:

        Who did you have in mind? I don’t think Wondolwowski has any of the flaws that you mentioned.

      • Soccerhorn says:

        Dempsey finished third in Premier League player of the year voting at the end of the 2011/2012 season, and second in goals, and had 11 in all comps last year for Spurs. Tell me again about the “couldn’t hack it” thing? Hate all you want, but his performance for seattle so far this year says more about the MLS than it does about Dempsey.

  13. AH says:

    Any time I get to watch Dempsey play for Seattle he embarrasses himself. Last time he made a mockery of the game by trying to play a cross behind his plant leg.

    This time he’s got his finger almost in the linesman’s eye protesting a justified red card.

    Lot of money so far for nagging injuries and what seems to be an “I’m too good for this league” effort when he is on the field.

    Granted, he was unlucky not to have scored today and was injured while out there, but it hasn’t looked great so far. I have found myself not liking him during this stint but I do hope he turns it around because he’s one of the best players U.S. Soccer has ever produced and the national team will certainly be worse off if he’s not in top form come next summer.

    • beachbum says:

      the mid season DP transfer guys have a target on their backs and imo don not realize how tough physically this league is when they step out there mid season, and they pay for that.

  14. Zimzo says:

    Will Johnson took a dive. I hope they review it and he gets at least a 3 match ban.

    • Ian says:

      Take away the embellishment and it was still an elbow to the jaw.

    • KHANNNNN says:

      I… mean.. I mean how does a functioning human being actually post a comment like this?

      Seriously. Did you need help turning on the computer? What kind of warped reality do you live in?

    • Ah says:

      He got elbowed in the face and dropped to a knee for a few seconds. No rolling around or anything. Not a dive at all. Seemed like a natural reaction to getting elbowed in the face.

    • Limey says:

      Trying to have two wrongs make a right? Honestly his reaction was way better than a dive and was certainly intentional. The fact remains you put make that motion with your elbow its likely you are getting a red card. No elbow motion, no red card simple as that.

  15. Travis says:

    This ref was a joke throughout the game. Alonso certainly deserved the red but Johnson clearly sold it which is ironic considering the Portland owner acts as if his team never does that. The fact that Portland did not get a yellow at all is laughable, Chara should have had one as early as the 12th minute. The ref also missed a ton of hand balls on both teams and played some odd advantages. Also there should have been way more than 5 minutes of stoppage, the red card alone took about 3 minutes and then was at least one injury. Then he stopped it at exactly 5 minutes in ET which there had been quite a bit of time wasting.

    Good win for Portland, at least Seattle played better than they have the last couple of games. Still in a bad way heading into the playoffs.

    • beachbum says:

      he always calls games like this, or better, does not call games like this. whistle swallower and games get rough. Chara earned yellow on his takedown of Clint that injured his shoulder; Clint beat him, was off, and Chara chunked him. Alonso’s red was right, but the game had escalated into wrestling already because that ref always seems to allow it

      • whoop-whoop says:

        Yyyyyup.

        And this is precisely the type of match a ref needs to be aware of the extra tension and motivation involved and set the tone very early on what will and will not be tolerated. The rivalry, the atmosphere, what was at stake, it was entirely predictable that both teams would come out aggressive……….. you can bet if you give an early inch and players will take an extra yard. Refereeing was consistent, will give him that…. unfortunately it was consistently poor and very passive.

    • Daniel says:

      Yeah it was hilarious when Will was writhing on the ground… oh wait.

      • Travis says:

        If you dont think Johnson sold that elbow at all you are not paying attention, he made sure the ref would notice. Alonso deserved what he got though, stupid of him

  16. Bac says:

    This hatred is starting to sound like a broken record.
    Why some of you are creaming and dreaming about the demise of Clint Dempsey is unbelievable.
    Set aside his pedigree and success for the usmnt, set aside the fact that he carried us through initial qualifying until Jozy started contributing….

    Here’s a news flash….

    Clint Dempsey is NOT Seattle’s problem.
    That team looks terrible. Zero midfield play ( and tonight they sub their best playmaker early in the 2 2nd half?)
    Unorganized defense
    A team that looks woefully under coached…
    They are imploding at the wrong time…
    Deuce ain’t up to speed yet, but he is not their problem

    Stop the hatred- go away

    • Ah says:

      He may not be the problem but his re entry to the league hasn’t exactly been glorious, has it?

      • Travis says:

        A lot of DPs really struggle when they join halfway through the year. I expected him to be better of course but I think the real time to judge him is next year.

      • Bac says:

        @ AH- completely agree, it as not been glorious. It has been frustrating. He had no preseason and is not in form, and thats his fault, I dont defend that. Hes had multiple injuries, which usually comes from not being in game shape, and I dont defend that. So yes you are correct.

        However the point of my post was twofold
        One is that I cant believe the level of hate being thrown his way, Im in shock to tell you the truth. Just look at the comments, they arent bad, most are downright nasty- same kinda fans that were cheering when Matt Shaub got injured today. And within 5 minutes of my post, theres more hatred written, and insults thrown at me….
        And the second is that Seattle looks terrible and and right now the have a lot more issues than a new DP.. but you dont see hardly any posts about the Sounders, they are mostly directed specifically at Deuce

        The guy has been a winner and the face of American Soccer for several years, a gritty player that basically carried our USMNT through most of qualifying… I could go on and on…
        And yet almost ovenight some people have turned on him like he was John Harkes, or Benedict Arnold…
        and WHY???

        Thats what gets me, these posts arent criticism.. they are downright nasty insults…the level of sudden hatred for a player that has meant so much… its beyond perplexing

        whatever..

        • Jaspm says:

          Who is Matt Shaub? I’ve forgotten about him already.

        • Shimano says:

          When the MLS fixes the league by buying a 9 million dollar player and undeservedly gives it to a team you can expect people to have strong feeling about certain player and certain team.
          When that team is the Sounders with their “we invented everything” attitude you can expect those strong feeling to be negative.
          …and to think Dempsey and his shitty play deserves a free pass because of what he has done for the NT is just plain stupid. he gets plaid to perform ALL OF THE TIME..

        • Neruda says:

          It hasn’t been great for duece in the Seattle kit but all fans of other western conference teams should be relishing this. Seattle has a ballooning payroll with DPs that haven’t yet clicked together. This is good for my team and provides great comedy value.

          Now when Dempsey gets fit and comes in for the yanks and consistently contributes nothing than we can say this is a player on the decline. Until then this Seattle team is pure entertainment from ej’s pay me, honey badger and his forgetting that soccer is played with lots of body parts but elbows aren’t one and the DPs who are as fragile dale chihuly glass. Don’t forget cuddly old sigi.

          • mike says:

            Woah, Schaub has been alot worse for the texans than Dempsey has been for the sounders.

            4 straight games with pick 6′s and a couple of those absolutely killing the texans…. that’ll make people turn on your pretty fast..

            Not that many believed he would ever take us to the Superbowl anyways… but he has shown us a new level of awful

        • TheTrialist says:

          Nobody is more down on the Sounders than I am. That team is an absolute train wreck. But the blame lies entirely with Sigi, Henderson, and Hanauer for building a team whose parts fit together so poorly. I’m staying up late tonight in the hopes that the Sounders will issue a press release at 2:30 in the morning announcing they fired Sigi at the airport. Wanting Sigi fired is NOT absurd.

          What IS absurd is the Dempsey hate. The guy played 75 minutes tonight with a separated shoulder, in a hostile environment, for one of the most poorly coached and poorly constructed, teams in the league. He was also coming off a hamstring injury. He was a warrior. He’ll be fine, especially once he’s had a proper training cap with a coaching staff that knows what to do with him.

          • Mike says:

            I find Dempsey’s performance enjoyable only because I think the entire way he came into the league was laughable. That’s more about MLS having to deal with the reality vs. the hype that they created.

            That being said, 75 minutes with a separated shoulder shows two things: He is a warrior, and should be respected for that. Sigi is an idiot. He should have pulled him regardless of his protestations. As the coach, it’s his job to put his team in the best position to win – a one armed player, regardless of quality, is not an asset to their team.

    • Tombo says:

      Clint Dempsey is a glass ballerina primadonna. He can’t handle the physicality of a man’s league. He should lose the fancy pants and hit the gym but that’s probably not going to happen because of his ego. He’s a drag on Seattle and I’m sure the same will be true for the USMNT. Maybe he’ll consider retirement at the end of next year. Its pretty clear he is not aging well and it’s all down hill from here.

      • josh says:

        “He can’t handle the physicality of a man’s league.”

        He needs to man up like a manly man!

        Geez…

    • keepersweeper says:

      Did you seriously just write “creaming and dreaming”? Please go write your erotic slash punditry elsewhere. This really isn’t the place for it.

    • RB says:

      “This hatred is starting to sound like a broken record.”

      True, and I don’t get the reaction, either.

      Then again, the Seattle brag and swagger routine has been going on WAY longer than that Dempsey reaction you say sounds like a broken record, and all without the Sounders ever winning anything more than a US Open Cup to justify it. (Because to paraphrase the great Dizzy Dean, it’s only not bragging if you actually do it, you know.) So maybe there’s a connection there…

      • Bac says:

        Maybe so RB.. but if that were the case wouldnt it make sense to see all the garbage being thrown at the team? After all, they look like crap, I mean they look totally out of sorts. And in that case I think every bit of criticism would be justified.. but some of the ridiculous stuff..
        Just not my cup of tea

        • RB says:

          Not sure I follow that so clearly, but just trying to see it from the both sides and suggest a possible reason or motivation for what you’re describing. It’s also along the lines of what Neruda is saying above.

          Then, too, it maybe worth remembering that many people around the country not from or for Seattle see the club as having unfairly benefited from the help of the league in getting Dempsey in the first place. Not saying that is totally accurate, but that it did look that way to many, which could further help to explain the reaction you’re describing now.

          • West of the Cascades says:

            That’s a lot of it for me (besides living in Portland and reflexively hating Seattle) … the fact that MLS paid the transfer fee rather than the club irks the living daylights out of me. So the Sounders have set themselves up for the hatred they’re getting — they got a special advantage that no other club (except perhaps LA) has gotten and have a (theoretically) star-filled lineup as a result … and when they crash and burn, it makes everyone else in the league happy. No one wants to see Dempsey injured, but we sure do want to see him fail at the club level.

            • Bac says:

              Ok West, now that is a much more sound and constructive statement regarding this situation that is not a hatred filled personal attack.. but reading most of your peers’ comments don’t seem to reflect an ounce of maturity, logic, or respect for what the guy has meant to the game for this country. So I respect your response and comments.

    • Smith says:

      Boo hooo

    • AdamFromMich says:

      The Clint hatred/defense argument is going fine without me, so I’ll just discuss your comments regarding the rest of the team.

      Other than Alonso and Rosales, I don’t remember who started in midfield — and I only remember Rosales because he was subbed out so early (he was invisible otherwise). Oh, now I remember Moffat also started, although the most memorable thing about him last night was his beard. The Sounders defense is a shambles: not just disorganized, but also slow. Finally, a couple of the players who have received National team attention lately (Alonso and Yedlin) have not been doing that well. Alonso is a good player, but not good enough to wrestle with Cuba over. Yedlin just needs to forget the National team talk and learn how to play defense.

      As far as Sigi goes, I think it’s too early to judge him, but if I was a Sounders fan I might have a different perspective.

  17. Pingunça says:

    RSL will show these clown physical next week.

    Wait for Porters tears

    • Neruda says:

      I hope but RSL can’t lose their cool and has to play better after the break than they did against the sounders. I hope it doesn’t get overly physical because that’s not RSLs game. This next match will decide who wins the west and perhaps the supported shield. It’s a big game.

      • Bandeeto says:

        I hope things don’t get too physical. Calls usually go in the favor of home team when that happens. Id MUCH rather Portland and RSL try to out football eachother. Would be a great game to watch, and I truly believe RSLs soccer is best in the league… except after a by week RSL often has consistency issues.

  18. wario says:

    Has any ref ever reversed a decision when an entire team verbally assaults them?

    • PD says:

      once. during a cricket match in 1873…
      once is all it takes.

      • Soccerhorn says:

        Do they have referees in cricket? I thought they were all so gentlemanly they just patted each other on the back and did whatever was most sporting.

        • Limey says:

          Umpires, they are so gentlemanly that the ‘Umps’ hold the players sweaters for them and the players have to ask ‘How is he’ to get a decision. Real men playing a real game with no ‘continental’ gamesmanship influences.

    • Limey says:

      I hope the league hands out some big punishments for all that. It’s time to start holding the offender accountable, I actually felt sorry for the AR.

  19. AzTeXan says:

    Tough day for Seattle sports. First the Chiefs beat the Seahawks crowd noise record. Then Dempsey gets hurt, they lose to Portland and hand the Cascadia Cup to Vancouver. Crikey, the NBA season can’t get here fast enough. These poor souls need some Sonics basketball so they can sooth their aching hearths with some sweet sweet Durant/Westbrook magic.

    • petedx says:

      Hey don’t forget Oregon destroying a pathetic U W the other day. They could have used an Alonso elbow or two to fire them up.

    • Smith says:

      Let’s not forget that Portlandia is now hipper than you are and that the Mariners perpetually stink.

  20. Mueller says:

    I hope the standings stay the same. It would be fun to see LA-Seattle in the Western Finals.

  21. biff says:

    Two thoughts from someone who is not a Seattle or a Portland fan.

    1. Alonso’s red card was 100% deserved. That was a clear and vicious elbow punch to the throat. Hard to judge on video how forceful at was, but even if it was a soft, which we do not know, it made contact and that is all that counts.

    2. Caleb Porter has shown steely determination to rebound from the Olympics debacle and proved that he has what it takes to be a top soccer coach. Even though he does not speak German, he now has to be considered one of the front-runners to replace Klinsmann. He can have a second year coaching Portland in 2014 to gain ever more professional experience and/or next year as an assistant to Klinsmann and then take over the USMNT on Jan. 1, 2015, the day after Klinsmann’s contract ends.

    • RB says:

      And you think the position will be open to someone other than Klinsmann then because…

      ?

      • Kosh says:

        Oh, RB, you see this is biff we are talking about here. In biff’s world JK is always doing something “foolish”, or “stupid” everyday. In biff’s world we cannot replace Klinsmann fast enough.

        • biff says:

          No, Kosh, I am glad to see JK take us through WC 2014 and then a few victory laps. But I do believe one cycle is enough and he should step down and pursue new opportunities, leaving the door open for a new and fresh perspective. And I am beginning to think Caleb Porter is the man.

          • panchomiguelmoralesdeconejo says:

            Amen to the 1 Cycle.
            Still not sold on Porter as a replacement.

          • Kosh says:

            I know it didn’t work so well with The Bruce and Bob Bradley but Spain seems to be doing OK with their two-term guy. I like what JK is doing and I like his vision. If it takes 2 cycles to solidify then I am all for it.

            I like Porter but then we all felt the same way about Kris. I seriously doubt that Porter is ready for the big game right now. I think he will be but the 2018 cycle will come too soon for him.

      • biff says:

        Because after we win the World Cup Klinsmann will apparently collect, if news reports are correct, a $10.5 million bonus , so he will be able to retire. Does anyone know what sort of bonus inducements Bob Bradley had in his USMNT contract?

        • RB says:

          You do know that Klinsmann just the other day said that he would love to continue into the next cycle and that they had only just started the foundation of what they want to grow, right? You nevertheless think that he really just wants to grab the bonus and get out?

          (And you may recall from his answer about whether the US might win the 2014 World Cup that he does not seem inclined to just give the response people want to hear…)

    • HoBo says:

      Porter, really………….. you want our National team playing like thi, just physical. Sorry but Klinsman may be around a little longer than that.

    • dan says:

      Caleb Porter has not won a trophy yet at the professional level. Please… let the guy mature into a professional coach before touting him as the next national team coach!

      • biff says:

        Oh yeah, I forgot about all that coaching experience Jurgen had and trophies he had won as a professional coach before he was given a lucrative contract to coach the USMNT :-)

        But seriously…

        Caleb Porter has been working as a coach for the past 13 years since 2000, while Klinsmann before he took the USMNT job had coached Germany for less than 2 years and FC Bayern for about nine months before he was fired. Porter already is a good and young coach and he is learning fast and he will be even better by January 1, 2015. And I bet you he will not demand a clause in his contact for a $10.5 million bonus if the USMNT wins World Cup 2018.

    • Adi from Oregon says:

      From someone who is a TIMBERS fan, Alonso should have received a Y card since his elbow action was more of a push than an attempt to hit WJ. Then WJ should have gotten a Y card for pushing him in the back to initiate this confrontation followed by his big ACT of being hurt.

      • Daniel says:

        Are you a legally blind Timbers fan, or just a troll? Shutup.

      • Limey says:

        You should study the Laws of the Game, that was about as clear of a straight Red Card call as you will see. It really didn’t look like he threw the elbow hard but it doesn’t matter, and neither does how Johnson responded. Alonzo threw or faked an elbow to his throat, Red Card simple as that.
        Honestly there is little to pick between those two, they are both niggly, mean baiting players who try to rile their competitors, I wouldn’t have either of them on my team.

        • Thunderbear says:

          I’d love to have both of them on my team. In fact I bet any coach in the league would say exactly the same thing.

  22. Philip says:

    Small point, but can you really call Ricketts “a Jamaican international” when he’s not called up to the team? Maybe “former Jamaican international” is more accurate. Hard to believe Jamaica has a better keeper though.

    • RB says:

      By this argument, wouldn’t we also now need to call Dempsey a former US international? And certainly we should have been calling Donovan that for some time prior to his return in the Gold Cup.

      Doesn’t seem all that helpful an approach…

    • Brian says:

      He featured in 4 games with Jamacia this year. He isn’t called in every time but he is still getting some games.

    • PD says:

      I believe think he chose club over country this go around of FIFA matches because he knew where he was going to make the biggest difference… on another note, I thought I had read somewhere that he’s retiring from international play now… anyone?

    • Mike Donovan says:

      I consider Ricketts a current Jamaican International because the reason he wasn’t called into camp was due to injury (broken right thumb). Similar to how Dempsey wasn’t called in due to injury, but he is still considered an American International. At least that’s what I think.

  23. RBNY says:

    I couldn’t believe the amount of hand ball infringements missed by the ref last night. The match looked like It was actually Blazers vs Sonics out there.

  24. Ian says:

    Sigi needs to go. It looks like he’s lost control of his team.

  25. Gary says:

    Wondowlowski doesn’t dive.

  26. AcidBurn says:

    Caleb Porter is so hot right now.

  27. Shiver me timbers says:

    This just in…..
    Will Johnson is a baiting little PUNK. Ask Alonzo, ask Gordon.

    • PDXBear says:

      Oh, there’s two gamers who play straight up. Right. You would think that professionals would not fall for those tactics. It’s part of the game. Get over it.

      • divers suck says:

        So you condone punks like Will Johnson, Kah (or whatever the thugs name is) and Diego Chara? Typical Portland……They deserved the win because they scored 1 goal, they by no means out played Seattle like they should have in lieu of recent form. I just lost respect for them for playing like punks when they didn’t need to.

        • petedx says:

          Wait was it a Portland player that threw an elbow? Was it half the Timbers players that then surrounded the ref including players leaving the bench?

        • DomDdom says:

          If Alonso had taken me out like a b*tch 5 seconds after the stoppage of play, (which looked like some crazy intent to injure) he’d have gotten a lot more than an ear full/chest bump. If anything Will Johnson is kinda a wuss as I think he should have come out swinging to take Alonso’s head off. Alonso is nothing more than a hack and thug. Everyone throughout the league seems to see that, other than Seattle customers. Hurtado’s foul which led to the whole dustup was far worse than any of those challenges on Deuce too.

          As a neutral observer, Seattle (the players, management and especially fans) have absolutely nobody to blame but themselves, also congrats to Vancouver for collecting the Cascadia cup. Well deserved after the last couple results.

          Seattle, do us all a favor and just shut your entitled little mouths and accept that you dish as much or more than you get on the pitch.

  28. Phantom says:

    How does one “damper” the hatred? Do you mean “dampen”?

    Ives — does anyone other than you proofread their articles for the site? Dan Karell’s are horrible for this kind of thing as well.

  29. K-Town says:

    Ives – I’m lovin you right now for pointing out how games in hand don’t mean SH!T last week in regards to Seatte’s chase for Supporter’s Shield. So many people were talking like it was a given that Seattle would grab it after their prior two hot months. This applies to Montreal last month too. In a parity driven league, points per game and games in hand don’t mean ish. You are one of the few objective reporters left. I love your unbiased straight talk. Keep keepin it real Ives.

  30. Jake says:

    Will Johnson pulled a Joel Campbell. He needs a ban.

    • RB says:

      There is no reasonable comparison to be made between Johnson last night and what Campbell did in that qualifier.

  31. Limey says:

    Honestly I’m starting to feel badly for The Deuce, he has proved he is a pretty good player. I’m sure he left Spurs because even though he could not have done more to prove his worth last year, he was going to be used sparingly this year with all the new talent they brought in.

    He may have moved to MLS too soon a la Beckham but he will figure it out and be a big star in the league for years to come. The only thing i don’t get is the playing on turf thing, that will shorten his career and result in more lost time due to injuries.

    I suggest he calls Landycakes and gets himself of to Cambodia in the winter, I know its weird, but it works.