The FC Seattle Sounders—the darlings of MLS last season—were thoroughly and completely dominated by the Portland Timbers tonight at Qwest Field in Seattle.
Ian Joy and Mamadou Dansu anchored a Timber defense that continually shut down the Seattle offense throughout the night.
Steve Cronin played brilliantly in goal for the Timbers.
The Timbers' goal was made on an excellent pass from Ryan Pore to Gabriel Obatol, just out of the outstretched hands of Kasey Keller. Pore had stolen the ball from bumbling Seattle defender Tyrone Marshall, who gave away the ball just outside the Seattle 18-yard box.
The loss was especially embarrassing for the Sounders, considering they play in the MLS, a league—on paper anyway—that is thought to be superior to the United Soccer League (USL) where the Timbers play.
The Sounders, already reeling from a tumultuous offseason that saw their star player, Freddie Ljungberg, pining for a way out of town, didn't look like a top tier MLS team.
In fact, if the Sounders played the way they did tonight during the regular season, they'll be lucky to win a game.
No heart, no chemistry, and no teamwork seem to be the Sounders' motto these days.
I have to wonder if they were simply a johnny-come-lately squad their first season that will now languish at the bottom of the MLS tables?
Seattle is notorious for their fair-weather fans, and attendance will surely suffer if the Sounders can't keep their winning ways. It will be interesting to see how long the Seattle ownership suffers along with low attendance before they move the team?
Just ask the Sonic ownership, who were forced to move the NBA team when they couldn't draw fans to fill the mostly empty arena.
The Timbers, on the other hand, looked sharp and together all night long playing in front of their fans who ventured to Seattle to root them on. Most of the night, the Timbers' fans chanting and yelling drowned out the mostly subdued, and sober Seattle crowd.
In fact, a visitor could have easily mistaken the Timbers for the home team.
Another interesting footnote in the rivalry between the two Northwest cities.
This one clearly went in favor of the Portland Timbers.