Cascadia Cup game 1 recap: Portland shows it's mettle

Quick Recap:

The Portland Timbers finally show they can play on the road in a hostile environment. The Seattle Sounders struck first but the Timbers once again score on a set piece to return home with a road point. 1-1 is the final score.

First Half:

The Timbers came out a little shaky in the first 10 minutes of the game but that was mainly due to the lack of possession they had early. Luckily no defensive lapses occurred and Portland did something it hadn't done on the road, make it out of the first 20 minutes without giving up a goal. Once the Timbers settled down they really looked like the more dangerous team.

Portland's midfield looked great, mainly because it looked like Seattle was looking to make the perfect pass, but that pass was easily intercepted. Once the ball was turned over it took 2 or three passes for the ball to put into a dangerous area. Mainly the dangerous area was down the wings to Darlington Nagbe and Kalif Alhassan

Despite looking like the more dangerous team Portland really didn't have a solid chance to score. The other good news was that Seattle really didn't look dangerous either. In reality this wasn't pretty soccer to watch, it was a derby game. However I would say the Referee really let a lot play and that didn't help either team. 

The closest either team came to scoring was a free kick by Freddi Montero that sent the home crowd into a frenzy because it grazed the outside of the net. Looking at the replay it looked like Perkins may have had it covered if it was on frame.

The key first half stat:

Seattle Sounders FC

 

Portland Timbers

5

Attempts on Goal

4

0

Shots on Target

3

5

Shots off Target

1

Second Half:

The second half had all the action. It looked as if Sigi Schmid tried gave a through tongue lashing to his midfield as they really looked more composed and dangerous. Portland had their first scare in the 46' minute as Nate Jaqua was passed to but Eric Brunner got a foot on the ball to kick it out for a corner. On the ensuing corner Montero had an open header but once again hit the side of the net. 

Portland really had a poor first five minutes giving up another corner which Troy Perkins almost spilled in front of a Seattle player. After that corner the Timbers finally settled down and looked to gain some possession but Seattle was really pushing for the first goal and they got it in the 52nd minute. An ambitious ball was played into Montero and Eric Brunner and Jeremy Hall tried to win the header. This left Alvaro Fernandez open for the flick and he put the ball past Troy Perkins. Again all it takes is one defensive mistake by Hall and Portland gets scored on.

Portland didn't put loose faith and just kept working. Their effort paid off in the 65th minute as Sal Zizzo created a free kick with his pace. Captain Jack Jewsbury set up over the ball and again hit a beautiful ball into the box. Mamadou "Futty" Danso was wide open and headed the ball past the oncoming Kasey Keller

Seattle really tried to get the goal a head goal for the next 25 minutes and Portland increasingly ceded possession to Seattle. The bunker mentality paid off as Portland walked away from Qwest field with a point from a road game.

Observations:

 

  • I know it most likely is the mics they have for the broadcast but at points you could hear the Timbers Army over the Seattle Fans.
  • Portland looked great but it still looks as if they are still getting used to playing together. 
  • Chara did not have as much impact on the possession this game and if Portland wants to win they need him to help keep possession
  • Futty is fast becoming the most clutch Timber
  • Nagbe looked out of sorts, I think he has a knock that is bothering him
  • Seattle really didn't look as good as they did last year.
  • What is up with the field up there? It really didn't look good at all
  • For how much money they are paying Montero they should expect more than 7 shots and only 1 on goal. In fact Seattle had 12 shots and only 2 on goal. 
  • Win at home and Draw on the road!
  • I know Seattle fans are good and all but the "you suck" chant is so classless. Get rid of it and you earn some more respect from me.
  • John Harkes Quote of the night "the North Pacific West", great work there John. Oh and learn to the names of the players, Perlazo? Ahassan? Come on now.
Was this draw as satisfying to you as it was to me?
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