The Portland Timbers left all three points up north tonight as they lost 1-0 to the Seattle Sounders thanks to a late goal from none other than the Deuce himself, Clint Dempsey. Despite a solid defensive effort and strong possession game, the Timbers could not find a goal to salvage a point.
The first half was fought to a stalemate with both sides trading long spells of possession throughout. The Sounders got on the ball first, pressing forward and menacing the Timbers back line but failing to find an opening in the defense.
Seattle came closest to finding the mark in the 10' as Obafemi Martins received the ball in the Timbers box before spinning off his man and firing a quick shot across the face of goal, but putting his effort just wide of the far post.
From there the Timbers managed to fight their way back into the match, keeping the ball with long strings of passes across the back line before cautiously pushing forward late in the half.
After the break, the game began to open up as both teams pushed forward and looked to open the scoring. Although the Timbers found themselves in increasingly dangerous attacking positions, they could not threaten the Seattle goal and it was the Sounders who would find an opening.
In the 78' the Sounders worked the ball down the Timbers right flank, earning a throw in for the prodigious arm of Dylan Remick. Whipping the ball in, Remick found the head of Clint Dempsey, who barely got a touch on the ball as it skimmed off his head and across the face of the goal.
With the Timbers defense watching the ball, midfielder Andy Rose corralled it and fired off a quick shot from close range. Despite facing a shot from just outside the six yard box, Timbers keeper Adam Kwarasey laid out quickly and managed to get a palm to the ball, stopping the shot but sending the ball spinning toward the goal line. Kwarasey scrambled to stop the bouncing ball but it was Dempsey who would get to it first, knocking the ball home from on top of the goal line.
The Timbers would throw numbers forward for the rest of the match, coming close to pulling one back in the 81' as Fanendo Adi got on the end of a crossed in ball, slamming a header off the woodwork but getting no joy from the chance.
In the end, Dempsey's goal would stand leaving the Timbers with nine points from their first eight matches.
The Timbers play the Vancouver Whitecaps at home next Saturday.