Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers: Live Score, Analysis, Recap
While the eyes of the soccer world are turned (as usual) to Europe, the best rivalry in North American soccer also takes place today, and we're coming to you live from Portland to cover the action the best we can.
Portland and Seattle are geographical and cultural rivals, with the most passionate fans in the MLS. And instead of the European superstars invoked at the top, today you'll be hearing about Kris Boyd of Portland and David Estrada and Fredy Montero of Seattle.
Seattle comes into the day in fourth place in the MLS Western Conference, with Portland sitting dead last in ninth. But this is the sort of game where you can throw the stats and the form sheets out the window and more than the season standings are on the line.
This the third time these teams have met. This is Portland's first win in the series, and Seattle's first loss. A historic day for the Timbers, if you will.
That's it for live updates. Thanks for reading along! We'll have more material on this game in the coming days.
Game Over! Portland Beats Seattle 2-1.
Portland players embrace in the center circle; Seattle players reluctantly shake hands with the refereeing crew; green smoke rises from the crowd and the sun comes out again at Jeld-Wen Field.
There are a lot of happy Portlanders right now.
Seattle lines up a free kick on the far side of the field. and it's cleared easily. That might have been their last chance.
On the other end, Sal Zizzo goes scampering down the sideline and wastes some valuable time. He's been very impressive since coming on. His speed and willingness to take on defenders created a lot of good things for Portland here in the second half.
Red cards! Seattle's Freddy Montero is out of the game early! This was coming. Little player skirmishes had been building until a full-on scuffle broke out at the edge of the Portland box.
In the ensuing confusion, pushing and shoving, Portland's Lovel Palmer also gets a red card. He just came on a few minutes ago!
Both teams will finish with 10 men and we'll play 6 minutes of added time.
Seattle skipper Mauro Rosales with a speculative effort from midway between mid-field and the penalty area. Perkins tracks it carefully and eventually watches it drift over the bar without having to help it over.
Seattle in desperation time now as the clock continues to tick up towards 90!
And now Seattle's Freddy Montero and Portland's Jack Jewsbury get into it and have to be separated by the referee. In the end it's Jewsbury who gets the yellow card, much to the chagrin of the crowd.
Portland announce that today is the 25th consecutive sellout at Jeld-Wen Field. Seriously impressive.
We've had a somewhat listless five minutes as the coaches make their final moves, but the teams seem to be getting into a rhythm again and we might be in for a frantic final ten minutes.
Portland Sub. Lovel Palmer comes in for Franck Songo'o. That's the last move Portland can make today.
Seattle Sub. Cordell Cato is in for Alex Caskey. This is a forward on for a midfielder.
Interesting bit of gamesmanship from Portland keeper Troy Perkins. He collects a corner and then as both teams run back he drops it at his feet and wastes about a minute of game time dribbling it around the corner of the box. He doesn't pick it up and get the game going again until Seattle's Eddie Johnson comes in to offer a token challenge.
Portland! They'll win by any means necessary.
Photos from the first half of the game from the Timber's official Facebook account.
Info on Mwanga. He's a local product, and this is is first action in a Timbers uniform at home, according to the team's official twitter account:
This is Danny Mwanga's first action at JELD-WEN Field since coming over to the Timbers. Big applause for him from home crowd. #RCTID— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) June 24, 2012
Portland Sub. Forward Danny Mwanga comes on for Mike Fucito.
And Mwanga almost gets involved right away as a cross very nearly finds him crashing the Seattle goal. What an entrance that would have been!
Meanwhile they announce that Alhassan left with a strained hamstring. I hope you didn't have him on your MLS fantasy team.
Portland with a nice spell of possession. They were able to link up on several passes and settle down from the goal. In the end, all the passing didn't amount to a chance, but it's a good sign for the home team that they could recover so quickly and play some methodical soccer.
Goal for Seattle! Eddie Johnson with a fantastic finish! It's now 2-1 Portland.
Johnson had his back to the goal in Portland's penalty area and was able to spin around his defender and bend a shot around Perkins into the top corner of the goal. Real quality play by any standards.
Just moments before Portland has a chance as Zizzo went running down the sideline with the ball, then managed to pick out the right pass, finding the trailing forward. But Portland couldn't control the ball and it was cleared.
Seattle Shot! Alonso rips another one from the edge of the Portland box and Perkins has to stretch to clear it again. He's getting closer! Portland would do well to close him out sooner and not let him set up his shot.
And now Alhassan does come off, replaced by Sal Zizzo. A coaching decision that results in loud 'zzzzz' noises from the crowd.
Portland's Kalif Alhassan is injured at the edge of the Seattle box and has to come off the field for treatment.
He refuses the stretcher and 30 seconds later runs back in looking not much worse for the wear. Ah, soccer injuries.
And we're off in the second half! Andy Rose is on for Seattle in place of Brad Evans. The Timbers' side is unchanged.
Seattle came out early for the second half and moved around menacingly for a few minutes as the Timbers milled around on the other side of the pitch. Seattle looks up for it, at least.
Osvaldo Alonso -- he of the first-half near-goal -- is booked for a late tackle on the Portland player. It's yellow and the crowd seems angrier about the tackle than any of the players.
Here's video of David Horst's goal in the first half, courtesy of the MLS.
And another shot of the fans before the game from Elliott.
End of first half
Well that was exciting. Open play from both sides results in a scoreline that Portland could hardly be happier with.
If the Timbers are honest with themselves, they'll no they almost conceded a couple time in the beginning of the game, and again at the end of the half.
Once Seattle tightened up it's back line around the 35 minute mark, Portland didn't create many chances. Will the Timbers decide two is enough and sit back and defend in the second half, or will we see more open play?
Sometimes trying to 'park the bus' against a more talented team (and you'd have to say Seattle is the better team on paper here) only allows those talented attacking players more chances deep in your territory. Portland might decide their best defense is an active offense.
Another chance for Seattle! Osvaldo Alonso shoots from 10 yards outside the box and Perkins is at full stretch to tip it over the bar. That was closer than it had any right to be.
Chance for Seattle! Danger man Freddy Montero shoots from just outside the box. It sends Portland's Troy Perkins at full stretch to his left, but the shot goes just wide for a Timbers goal kick.
The trainer is looking after Seattle defender Jeff Parke. Something seems to have happened to his hand and he strolls off the field. The Sounders send in Patrick Ianni to replace him.
That's a defensive substitution in a game where Seattle may well want to make offensive changes in the second half. The injury could prove costly ... we'll see.
After the substitution, Portland's Franck Songo'o send in a free kick that's easily cleared.
More probing from Seattle that doesn't amount to much. The emphasis from Seattle's sideline over the last few minutes appears to have been organization as coach Sigi Schmid tries to get out of the first half with a manageable deficit.
A couple times in the last couple minutes they've passed the ball around the back. As much to mentally recover as to set up an attack, you'd have to expect.
On the last few Portland attacks, Seattle has looked more confident at the back. So there's that.
If I'm reading my media guide correctly, that was Horst's first goal of the season. Nice time to do it.
Portland has capitalized on really shoddy marking in the box by Seattle, and now the press box is literally shaking as the fans here jump up and down and shout 'Timbers!'
The air is filled with green smoke and the smell of sulfer from the smoke bombs exploded after the goal.
Goal for Porland! Off a corner! It's now 2-0 for the home team.
David Horst came up from his defensive position to score on a header right off the corner.
Portland's Kalif Alhassan makes a mess of a clearance and Seattle has a corner. It's put over the bar harmlessly by Seattle's Brad Evans.
Alhassan has been interesting to watch so far. He's provided some creativity going down the flank, but none of his runs has actually come to anything productive for the Timbers so far.
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