Cascadia Cup: Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders recap

As for as preseason matches go this was more like the Supporter's shield was on the line. Both teams pushed, clawed and gave hard tackles in the effort to win this game. In the end taking care of the chances they did get the Portland Timbers came out on top and boy did the Timbers make us sweat through a tough 47 minutes of play.

This game was a tale of two halves. The first half you could really see how John Spencer wants this team to play. He wants them to attack and quickly down the sides, if this gets closed off work it back and try again. The Timbers may play through the middle but only after going down the wings to draw the defense out and open up passing lanes. Sal Zizzo and Steve Purdy showed how well this attacking style can work. On the other side Jeremy Hall and Rodney Wallace really struggled getting into the attacking flow.

The Sounders had great defensive shape every except for their right outside players, which were consistently beat by the crisp passing of Zizzo and Purdy. Once the Sounders won the ball they really put pressure on the Timbers central backs Kevin Goldthwaite and Eric Brunner. Glodthwaite and Brunner really played well and denied Freddy Montero the space and time on the ball to really impose his will on the game. As the Half went on you really could see Freddy get frustrated and start to foul.

The Timbers goal in the first halve was set up by a great combination on the right side with Zizzo and Purdy again exposing the left side of the Sounders. Purdy's cross was perfect and Kenny Cooper was able to direct his shot on goal, Kasey Keller spilled the shot straight to the feet of Jorge Perlaza. Jorge buried the ball into the back of the net.

The second half of play really started with the Timbers' back line coming under fire. The Sounders players held the ball effectively and kept the pressure on for the first 20 minutes of the half. At some points the Timbers looked to give up the equalizer but through sheer luck and the lack of finishing from Seattle kept the Timbers in the lead. About the 75th minute you could see the game start to get scrappy, players were tired and had dead legs. From here on to the end of the game it was more evenly matched of a game with the Timbers able to counter after finally regaining possession of the ball. The counter attack rarely led to a chance but it did kill off the game and did not allow the Sounders to press as much as they would have liked. Kenny Cooper's goal was a great strike from a great forward, the ball was set up perfectly for him and he was able to finish.

The story of this game was one team was able to finish the chances given to them while the other struggled to finish theirs.  

Game Observations:

  • Sal Zizzo terrorized the sounders left side and really turned the game in the Timbers favor early, Man of the Match in my book.
  • Steve Purdy is really looking like a great signing from the USL team.
  • Despite playing a sloppy second half the Timbers showed resiliency and heart to pull this game out of the fire and come away with a win.
  • Perkins looked shaky on one corner tonight but did what was needed to secure the win, albeit most of the shots the sounders had were off target
  • Our defense looked shaky at times but still recorded their fourth shutout of the preseason, which hopefully is a sign of how the season plays out.
  • Jack Jewsbury was all over the place and really did well to stifle the central midfielders of the Sounders.
  • I expected more from Wallace and Hall. Wallace did have some nice defensive stops but really looked shaky moving forward.
  • Sounders fans it is a preseason game why are you throwing things at the Timbers goalkeeper in the 85th minute when you are down 1-0? Frustrated at the game take it out on your players for not putting it in the back of the net.
  • I like the result but we still have more to build on.
  • I am interested to see how we respond to getting a good preseason win and who will play against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Lineup:
Portland Timbers

GK - Troy Perkins
RD - Steve Purdy
CD - Kevin Goldthwaite
CD - Eric Brunner
LD - Rodney Wallace
RM - Sal Zizzo
CM - Peter Lowry
CM - Jack Jewsbury 
LM - Jeremy Hall
F   -  Jorge Perlaza
F   - Kenny Cooper    

Subs:
75th min: Brian Urmony in for Perlaza
80th Min: Adam Moffat in for Lowry
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