The Portland Timbers are the kings of Cascadia. They are also headed to the Western Conference final thanks to a 3-2 win over the Seattle Sounders, good for a 5-3 aggregate win and ultimate bragging rights over their bitter rivals.
Portland entered the second leg as heavy favorites after taking the first leg 2-1 in Seattle. That they were also the league's best home side in the regular season only increased the belief that Thursday's contest was nothing more than a coronation for the Timbers and the end of an era for the Sounders, who look set to fire Sigi Schmid after a horrendous end to their season.
It was clear right from the start that the Timbers were too much for the Sounders to handle and they could have been ahead inside of three minutes. A beautiful exchange through the Portland midfield freed up Diego Valeri, who played Rodney Wallace in on the left, but Wallace missed the wide open goal.
The Timbers continued to pressure and in the 29th minute, they were finally rewarded. Djimi Traore was whistled for a handball in the box and Will Johnson coolly converted it to ignite JELD-WEN Field. The fans who had showed up hours early for the Timbers' first ever home MLS playoffs match and filled it with songs and chants from warmups had been rewarded and the party was underway.
Just before halftime, Valeri doubled the Timbers' lead on yet another good play from the Portland midfield. Johnson won the ball before playing the ball to the right, where the play opened up. Eventually, it found Valeri, who played a gorgeous give-and-go with Wallace before sliding to hit the ball across Michael Gspurning and just inside the near post to make it 2-0.
The Timbers didn't shut things down coming out of the break, though. Not two minutes into the second half, Portland took a quick free kick that caught the Sounders off guard, allowing Futty Danso to run in from deep unimpeded. Wallace's cross found the wide open Danso and a simple header later, the Timbers had themselves a three-goal lead.
With a 3-0 lead, and four-goal advantage on aggregate, the Timbers turned off and the Sounders did their best to get back into the match. First DeAndre Yedlin jumped on a ball at the back post and knocked it into the open net then Eddie Johnson skied high to nod home a cross, but those two tallies weren't nearly enough to derail the Timbers.
As time ticked down, the Timbers Army only sang louder. They had camped out for tickets, sat in the rain and chanted for their team an hour before the kick. This was their night and when the final whistle went, Cascadia and a spot in the Western Conference final was theirs too.
Portland Timbers: Ricketts, Harrington, Kah, Danso, Jewsbury, Johnson, Valeri (Alhassan 61'), Chara, Nagbe, Johnson (Urruti 69'), Wallace.
Goals: Johnson 29', Valeri 44', Danso 47'
Seattle Sounders: Gspurning; Yedlin, Traore, Hurtado, Burch; Evans, Alonso (Rose 84'), Dempsey, Moffat (Rosales 58'); Joseph, EJ
Goals: Yedlin 74', Johnson 76'