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Portland Timbers Dominate First Half, Beat Seattle Sounders 4-2

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MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers started strong in today’s Cascadia Cup match against the Seattle Sounders, jumping out to a 4-0 lead before finish 4-2. From the opening whistle, the Timbers were bossing the match. Defending deep and hitting the Sounders on the counter, it was not long before Portland would get on the board.

In the 17th minute, Jack Jewsbury served in a corner kick that dropped perfectly for the run of Vytas Andriuskevicious at the near post. The Timbers’ left back rose up and connected with his head sending the ball on a laser-straight trajectory to goal. Sounders keeper Stefan Frei was able to get a hand to the ball, but he could only push it off the underside of the bar, where it deflected down and over the goal line to put the Timbers up 1-0.

The Timbers would strike again just four minutes later as they burst down the pitch on the counter in the 21st minute. With Diego Valeri driving at the Sounders back line, some fancy footwork put the Maestro through on goal. Valeri hit a quick shot toward the far post, only to see Frei parry it away. Luckily, Adi was on hand for the follow up and, after one shot off Frei’s prone form, Adi was able to bundle the ball home.

In the 29th minute the Timbers again found themselves on the break with Valeri carrying the ball. This time, however, he dished the ball out wide to Diego Chara on the flank. With space out wide, Chara hit a low cross through the box, finding the run of Lucas Melano at the back post where the Timbers’ designated player slide in to knock the ball home, giving the Timbers a 3-0 lead.

The frantic action of the first half would be finished off in the 43rd minute with yet another Timbers goal. After Adi was taken down wide on the right, Diego Valeri stepped up to the ensuing free kick and sent a curling cross to Seattle’s far post for Steven Taylor; the Timbers new center back had shaken free of his man and with nobody on him was able to connect with his head, putting a skipping ball just under the dive of Frei.

Despite going into the locker-rooms down 4-0 at the half, the Sounders were not out of the match and came out of the half-time break swinging.

Just two minutes into the second half, the Sounders would pull one back as Andreas Ivanschitz found himself with space on the edge of the Timbers’ box. Ivanschitz fired off a quick shot, only to see Taylor get a head to the ball from inside the box. The contact would not be enough to send the ball wide, however, and instead only sent the ball deflecting around Jake Gleeson to put the score at 4-1.

With the Timbers reeling after their concession, the Sounders poured on the pressure, getting their second of the match in the 51st minute. With Nicolas Lodeiro on the ball wide on the left wing, the Sounders were able to get off a cross into the box, connecting with the run of Jordan Morris. The Sounders’ homegrown striker was able to get inside his defender and get a solid head on the ball, thumping the ball past Gleeson for the Sounders’ second.

With their lead down to two, the Timbers seemed to shake out of their funk, getting their back line organized once more. Although the buccaneering counter attacks of the first half would not come for the home side, the Timbers were able to stop the bleeding and finish out the match with the score at 4-2.

The win cements the Timbers’ position at 6th place in the Western Conference, giving them a three point buffer over the San Jose Earthquakes. The Timbers go on the road for their next match, playing at FC Dallas on Saturday.