Cascadia Cup: Sounders Erase Two Deficits, Beat Timbers 3-2

After twice falling behind in the second half, Sounders ride two Fredy Montero goals to victory

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Portland Timbers Vs. Seattle Sounders: Two Fredy Montero Equalizers Lead Way To Victory

The Seattle Sounders erased two second-half deficits, got two equalizing goals from Fredy Montero and beat the Portland Timbers 3-2 on an Osvaldo Alonso penalty in the 86th minute. The Timbers had twice taken leads on shots that deflected off Sounders defenders, but those leads were both erased within nine minutes.

The two goals represented a season-high for Montero, who came into the game with just three goals. He nearly equaled his season total on a header, but Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins made the initial save and was able to keep the rebound from crossing the line.

At that point, though, it was too little too late. Alonso had already given the Sounders the lead when he converted a penalty that followed Lamar Neagle being fouled in the area. Perkins, who made at least three impressive saves, guessed right, but was unable to get to Alonso's shot. The penalty also led to Eric Brunner being shown a red card.

The Timbers took a 1-0 lead when Kalif Alhassan sent a cross into the box toward an onrushing Jorge Perlaza. The ball deflected off Sounders defender Jeff Parke's heel and past Kasey Keller. After Montero equalized on a perfectly placed free kick from about 30 yards out, Perlaza grabbed the lead back in the 69th minute when his shot caromed off Sounders defender Tyson Wahl. Once again, Montero equalized, this time off a feed from Mauro Rosales.

The Sounders have now gone unbeaten in their past eight and have the second most points in MLS, four fewer than the Los Angeles Galaxy, who they will play in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday. The Timbers are now winless in their past seven and have the worst goal-difference (-10) in the Western Conference.

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Seattle Sounders Vs. Portland Timbers: Osvaldo Alonso Gives Sounders Lead

About 10 minutes after Fredy Montero brought the Seattle Sounders level with his second goal of the match, Osvaldo Alonso converted a penalty to put the Sounders ahead 3-2 on Saturday in their Cascadia Cup match against the Portland Timbers. The penalty came after Eric Brunner fouled Lamar Neagle while trying to kick the ball from behind in the penalty area. Brunner was shown a red card, leaving the Timbers with 10 men for the final eight minutes of the match.

About eight minutes earlier, Fredy Montero had brought the score level with his second goal of the game. Montero was left unmarked at the far post and easily beat Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins off a perfectly placed cross from Mauro Rosales. Montero nearly scored a hat trick when he once again was left unmarked in front of the goal, but his header was saved by Perkins, who then grabbed the rebound just before it crossed the goal line.

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Portland Timbers Vs. Seattle Sounders: Jorge Perlaza Grabs Back Lead

Whatever the first half lacked in excitement, the second half has more than made up for. Jorge Perlaza's 71st minute goal, which deflected off Sounders defender Tyson Wahl, gave the Timbers a 2-1 lead in their Cascadia Cup match with the Seattle Sounders.

As it was with the Timbers' first goal, Wahl's defending was largely to blame. Perlaza received the ball after getting behind the Sounders defense. Wahl, who's not exactly the fleetest of foot, tried to cut off Perlaza's angle by collapsing into the middle of the penalty area. But Perlaza took a hard shot that deflected off Wahl's thigh and gave goalkeeper Kasey Keller no chance to adjust.

The goal was Perlaza's fourth of the season, but his first since May 29, a span of five matches. It was also just his second since the April 14 match in which he scored two goals against the Chicago Fire. All four of his goals have been scored at home.

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Portland Timbers Vs. Seattle Sounders: Fredy Montero Equalizes

Within the span of a few minutes, the Seattle Sounders' fortunes took a dramatic turn. Just a few minutes after the Portland Timbers scored to take a 1-0 lead, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado went down with what initially looked to be a serious knee injury. Hurtado, though, was able to walk off the field under his own power. Just a few more minutes after that, Fredy Montero scored on a free kick from about 30 yards out to bring the score level in the 57th minute.

Montero nearly gave the Sounders the lead about four minutes later. The Sounders forward, who has been in a season-long scoring drought, broke through the Timbers defense and was one-on-one with goalkeeper Troy Perkins, who was able to make a sliding stop, his second save in a one-on-one situation in the game.

The goal was Montero's fourth of the season and his second in five matches, both of which came on very similar free kicks.

Patrick Ianni was brought in as a substitute for Hurtado, who is still recovering from a knee injury that cost him the bulk of the 2010 season.

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Portland Timbers Vs. Seattle Sounders: Own Goal Gives Timbers 1-0 Lead

The Seattle Sounders may have had the better first-half opportunities, but it was the Portland Timbers who struck first, scoring an own-goal in the 46th minute to take a 1-0 lead on Saturday. While the goal may have deflected off Sounders defender Jeff Parke, it was created by the work of Kalif Alhassan. The speed right winger blew past Sounders left back Tyson Wahl, entered the penalty area essentially unmarked and sent a cross toward the goal mouth. The ball deflected off Parke's heal and past goalkeeper Kasey Keller inside the near post.

The play started at about midfield when Wahl took a bad angle on a ball and allowed Alhassan to get behind him. Alhassan then took the ball down the right side with Jorge Perlaza making the near post run. Parke never appeared to see the ball.

Shortly after, the Timbers had another quality chance, but the ball was just ouf of Perlaza's reach.

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Portland Timbers Vs. Seattle Sounders: Scoreless At Halftime

Rivalries don't always breed the best soccer, but the Cascadia Cup match between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders is certainly exciting despite it being scoreless at halftime. The Sounders have created several very good scoring chances, the best of which came in the 44th minute when Alvaro Fernandez was fed a beautiful throughball from Erik Friberg and was one-on-one with Timbers keeper Troy Perkins. Fernandez appeared to try to hit it over a sliding Perkins, but the goalkeeper came up with the save of the match.

Most of the danger the Timbers have been able to create has been off the set piece. The Timbers have had four corner kicks, three of them coming in about a four-minute span starting in the 35th minute. They have only put one shot on goal, though, as Kasey Keller has been limited to mostly grabbing stray crosses.

The Sounders have controlled a good deal of the match, outshooting the Timbers 9-7 and forcing Perkins into two saves.  

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Portland Timbers Vs. Seattle Sounders: Teams Settling In For Defensive Battle

After a flurry of activity in the first 20 or so minutes, the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders seem to be settling in, and from the look of it we have a defensive battle on our hands with lots of clutching, grabbing and not enough whistles. 

The Sounders, so far, have had the best chances. Twice Fredy Montero got the ball near the top of the penalty area. On the first his shot went just wide. On the second chance, his shot was blocked after receiving the ball on a pass from Roger Levesque, who had broken free behind the Timbers defense.

Montero also helped create a chance when he found Mauro Rosales on the right side. But Rosales unable to settle the ball and sent his shot well over the goal.

Around the 36th minute, the Timbers were able to get a few chances after earning three corners in a span of about two minutes.

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Portland Timbers Vs. Seattle Sounders: The Supporters Play For Keeps

Heading to Jeld-Wen Field for the renewal of the Cascadia Cup, my expectations were pretty high. I had seen the Timbers Army on TV and caught a glimpse of what they can do at CenturyLink Field when the Portland Timbers visited the Seattle Sounders, but experiencing them in their native environment is really something you need to experience.

An hour before the game, several thousand of them were in the North End in full chant, singing and banging drums with tremendous energy. It really was a sight and sound to behold.

On the other end of the stadium, Seattle's Emerald City Supporters were doing their best to match the decibel level of their biggest rivals. While their numbers are not nearly as impressive -- this is a road game after all -- they are loud enough to be easily heard.

As lineups are being announced, the names can not be heard over the cheers and boos for both sides.

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Portland Timbers Vs. Seattle Sounders: Lineups

Looks like John Spencer has decided to go with a new look for the Portland Timbers derby against the Seattle Sounders. Kaliff Alhassan is listed as the second forward, next to Jorge Perlaza. But really, it looks more like the Timbers will be in more of a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Perlaza as a lone striker and Alhassan and Darlington Nagbe as the more attack-minded midfielders. Diego Chara and James Marcelin appear set to play as dual holding mids, while Jack Jewsbury will likely play the more attack-minded central midfielder.

The Sounders will be using a lineup that has become pretty familiar, with Roger Levesque starting at forward as the only thing that approaches a surprise. Erik Friberg gets his fourth straight start as a center midfielder in place of Brad Evans, who did not even make the 18-man roster.

Timbers starters: Perkins, Purdy, Brunner, Danso, Wallace, Marcelin, Chara, Jewsbury, Nagbe, Alhassan, Perlaza. Bench: Brown, Goldthwaite, Hall, Moffat, Zizzo, Cooper, Johnson.

Sounders starters: keller, Riley, Parke, Hurtado, Wahl, Rosales, Alonso, Friberg, Fernandez, Levesque, Montero. Bench: Boss, Ianni, Scott, Carrasco, Neagle, Jaqua, Noonan.

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Cascadia Cup: Seattle Sounders-Portland Timbers Renew Rivalry

In the annals of North American soccer history, no rivalry quite has the history of Portland Timbers-Seattle Sounders. Now part of the three-team Cascadia Cup, the two Pacific Northwest teams can draw a direct line to the NASL. That line has stretched over several leagues and was renewed at the MLS level earlier this year when the two teams played to a 1-1 tie.

Since then, the Sounders and Timbers have been heading in completely opposite directions. The Sounders have just one loss (5-1-3), while the Timbers have won just once (1-5-1) in that time.

As they say, though, you can throw out the records when it comes to rivalry games. The two sides' supporters have been trading barbs over the Internet during the last week. Nearly 19,000 fans will be packed into Jeld-Wen Field, at least 500 of whom will be supporting the Sounders. The atmosphere will be electric and filled with raw emotions.

As bad as it's gone for the Timbers lately, this is still the same team that won five straight at home and one that is as dangerous as any on the set piece. Head coach John Spencer should have no problem rallying the troops. Expect Jack Jewsbury to once again play a key role on their attack. The big question remains how well their defense will hold up. The Timbers have allowed 14 goals in their past six, including nine goals in their past four at home.

The key to the Sounders' turnaround has also been tied to their defense. The Sounders have allowed seven goals in the nine matches since the last meeting with Portland, including four shutouts. They've also become quite dangerous on set pieces, with 11 goals on dead-ball situations this season. Mauro Rosales has emerged as an offensive leader, partially helping make up for the lack of production they are getting from Designated Player Fredy Montero.

A national TV audience will be on hand. One way or another, it should be interesting.

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