With a chance to redeem themselves and break a six game winless streak the Seattle Sounders traveled south to face arch rivals, Portland Timbers. After weeks of banter between fans and players, the day finally arrived. The Sounders form however, did not. Seattle fell to Portland 2-1 and gave the Sounders a seventh straight winless match.
The first few minutes of the match actually looked bright for Seattle as it appeared that the team had the intensity and desire to take points away from the Timbers. Osvaldo Alonso was in exquisite form consistently stripping Portland of the ball and initiating offensive flow. But his efforts were undermined by ill communication at the back as Boyd scored in the 16th minute and Horst in the 25th. Both goals came about as a result of poor marking in the back line by Seattle. Hurtado and Burch played decently for Seattle, but Jeff Parke and Zach Scott once again appeared sluggish and subpar often giving Portalnd’s young offense too much space. This is an issue that has plagued Seattle for much of their winless run and hopefully the return of Johanssen and keeper Michael Gspurning will help resolve the lack of communication in the back line.
The one bright spot outside of Alonso’s play came in the 59th minute when Eddie Johnson collected the ball in Portland’s penalty area. In a great piece of individual skill, he beat three defenders before shooting between them and into the goal for the Sounders lone consolation goal. But the joy was short lived. In the 91st minute Fredy Montero was shown a red card for shoving a Portland player out of frustration. Fortunately for the Sounders, Portland’s Palmer was also shown a red for retaliating in the aftermath of the incident. This reveals another issue for Seattle as Seattle has received a late red card in the last two matches showing that frustration is boiling over into a lack of discipline and costing the team valuable players due to suspensions. This loss to Portland will hopefully act as a wake up call for Seattle to regain form in order to make a playoff run.