Visiting Sounders blow past the Timbers

SeattleSoundersObafemiMartinsCelebrate1-PortlandTimbers (USATodaySportsImages)

Photo by USA Today Sports Images

By MIKE DONOVAN 

PORTLAND, Ore.- Despite coming into the match with three losses in their last five league matches, the Seattle Sounders made a statement Sunday afternoon as they trounced the Portland Timbers in front of 20,814 at Providence Park.

Led by the lethal combination of Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey, Seattle tore its way through Portland’s back line in the 4-2 victory over Portland. Martins led the way with two goals with Clint Dempsey and substitute Chad Barrett also scoring. Fanendo Adi scored twice late for Portland.

The match could prove huge for the Sounders as they try to prove that last season’s late swoon is not going to happen again in 2014.

“Our team went out there with an attitude, we wanted to make a statement,” Schmid said. “We wanted to make this a statement game. This is not last year, this is not deja vu.”

Martins saved his best moves for Seattle’s final goal, when the Nigerian DP maneuvered his way around four Portland defenders before finding himself alone on goal. He easily slotted the ball around Donovan Ricketts before celebrating with his teammates in front of the traveling Sounders supporters section. The goal was the final dagger in Seattle’s dismantling of the Timbers defense.

The last tally ended a three-goal-in-six-minute stretch that started in the 70th minute when an unmarked Chad Barrett rocketed a shot past a helpless Ricketts to give Seattle a 3-0 lead.  Substitue Fanendo Adi answered minutes later and scored when he fired home a Rodney Wallace cross. Adi added his second goal of the match in stoppage time, but it was much too late for the Timbers.

Adi’s goals had little effect on the Sounders romp. Seattle went into the halftime locker room with a two-goal advantage due to a fantastic individual effort by Dempsey. The American international beat Michael Harrington in a full-field footrace and Martins found him just in time to beat an onrushing Ricketts. The goal was Dempsey’s club-leading 10th of the season and set a tone for the rest of his teammates.

“If you go back and watch Clint’s run, that’s just pure determination, heart, and grit. That’s what we want from all of our players,” Sounders captain Brad Evans said. “He booked it there. I think we all looked at that and said holy (bleep), what a run. I think the guys feed off of that. When everybody puts in that little bit extra, things tend to go your way.”

That goal continued a hot run-of-form for Dempsey against Portland this season. He finishes the three-game regular season series against the Timbers with five goals scored and an assist to go along with two victories and a draw.

“When you play against rivals, you want to step up in those type of games,” Dempsey said. “It’s good to play against your rivals.”

Multiple Seattle goals came on the counterattack as the Sounders sliced their way through the Portland defense. That was part of the game plan, according to Schmid.

“We knew we were going to get counter opportunities, that was something we were planning for. Obviously, they kept the pressure on in the second half, again, because they were a desperate team,” Schmid said.

Martins opened the scoring inside 19 minutes when he put the finishing touch on a 14-pass sequence that included Evans racing his way past Liam Ridgewell before crossing the ball to the feet of Martins. The MLS all-star finished the match with two goals and an assist.

“Not only does he score goals, he creates opportunities for others. I thought he played really well today,” Dempsey said.

Since the two teams first met in the NASL in 1975 , the Sounders had never scored four goals in Portland in a league match prior to this season. And now they have accomplished that feat twice in 2014. Even Evans didn’t imagine the dominant scoreline in Sunday’s match.

“It was one of those where you go to sleep last night and you don’t expect to win a game here 4-2,” Evans said. “We came out and finished our chances, it was just a good performance.”

Despite firing 21 shots and outpossessing Seattle for the match, even Caleb Porter knew Portland didn’t deserve a result.

“At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the score and the result. We didn’t do well enough to get the result,” Porter said.

With the victory, the Sounders (14-7-3, 45 points) move out of a first-place tie with Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas and into sole possession of the Western Conference lead. Meanwhile, Portland (7-8-10, 31 points) is still on the outside looking in as they sit in sixth place in the Western Conference. The loss officially eliminates Portland from the Cascadia Cup race with Seattle and Vancouver left to battle it out for the trophy.

Here are the match highlights:

 

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14 Responses to Visiting Sounders blow past the Timbers

  1. reignman says:

    Easily the best performance by Seattle since before the WC, if Martins + Dempsey click Seattle is really dangerous. Also pretty crazy the impact Barrett has had this year so far, really good impact off the bench in a lot of games

  2. Ring ding says:

    Porter ball is loserball

  3. Tony in Quakeland says:

    If the ref called either of the two handballs in the box in the first half, this might have been a different game.

    • lassidawg says:

      You hae a legit argument on the CD, but I am not so sure about Marshall’s. Then again the ref could have easily red card the PT CB for the Elbow to Marshall’s head. There are always call both ways that could have changed the game

  4. Nic D "the TX 2 Stepper" says:

    Seattle is looking good!

    Not sure what to make of Porter? His team plays with style. He makes good subs. The team looks set up properly against most all opponents. Not sure why they can’t win.

    I guess getting a top level scorer would help. Maybe that’s what they have been missing?

    • not to be a nag says:

      The fact that I have as many MLS goals to my name as Nagbe does to his this season might be a factor.

      • not to be a nag .2 says:

        The fact that Nagbe is fouled WAY more than anyone else in the league might be a factor in the no goals. And they are usually take downs from behind that should be yellows.

        Porter is just plain stubborn for using a bunch of small attacking players and not playing Adi more. They need more width and more crosses with someone who can do something on the end of them instead of forcing everything through the middle.

        • James says:

          The problem is Adi just can’t seem to play well consistently. Sometimes he’s brilliant, but often he’s invisible for much of the game.

  5. Limey says:

    You know you’re bad when Chad Barrett scores on you.

    • James says:

      Barrett has quietly put together a very solid season, and he’s on a roll the last two weeks. His pick up has been proved to be a nice piece of business.

    • SteveE says:

      Then there must be a few bad teams out there, he does have 7 this year

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Chad Barret is horrible. But he has been productive this yr.

      • Ivan says:

        Let’s be clear about Barrett. He does certain things very well at the MLS level. He is a 30-minute player. He runs channels very well and puts pressure on tiring defenders. He hustles for loose balls and is an accomplished poacher around the goalmouth.

        Used for any functions in addition to these, Barrett is not helpful. Used specifically for these functions and for nothing more, he is a highly effective role player. Sigi has limited Barrett’s playing time, and limited his role, and thereby has gotten the most out of him.

        Barrett has been anything but “horrible.” He has been a potent weapon on a team that has plenty of potent weapons. That’s because he knows his role and is happy to play it.

    • Michael V. says:

      You seem to be implying that Chad Barret isn’t a very good player. Which is odd, considering that apart from Dempsey and Oba he has been the Sounders most dangerous attacker so far this season.