In their third match of the season the Portland Timbers got on the scoresheet first, but they could not make the advantage last against the Seattle Sounders and ended the night with a 1-1 draw.
The Timbers started the match with an XI that looked like it would not be out of place in March, missing only Alvas Powell, Darington Nagbe, and and Sebastian Blanco from their current first-choice lineup.
From the start it was clear that the Timbers had seen more of the pitch than their opponents, coming out sharper than the Sounders and looking to break quickly down the pitch.
That sharpness paid off in the 26th minute as Darren Mattocks ran onto a ball on the Sounders end line and looked to turn the corner on rookie full back Dominic Oduro only to be chopped down by a yellow card earning tackle from the youngster.
With a free kick deep in the Sounders end, Diego Valeri stepped up and hit a dipping free kick into the box at the near post where Fanendo Adi was lurking. With defenders at his back, Adi was able to step forward and get his head low, hitting a diving header past the keeper and into the back of the net.
The second half saw the Timbers again make wholesale changes, playing a mixture of reserves, trialists, and T2 players in a patchwork lineup. Included in the lineup was second-time Timbers debutant Lawrence Olum, filling in at center back alongside Amobi Okugo.
With an interesting mix of players on the pitch, things were somewhat choppier for the Timbers in the second half as they looked to spring Victor Arboleda and Freddie Adu down the wings.
The Sounders would make the most of their chances in the second half, slipping Irvin Parra in behind the Timbers’ back line in the 71st minute, only to see him dragged back by Olum. Referee Alan Kelly was quick to point to the spot, despite the Timbers protestations that Parra was offside, and it was a strong, simple finish for Harry Shipp to stroke the penalty home, leveling the score at one apiece.
The Timbers would have a penalty shout of their own in the 80th minute as T2 forward Augustine Williams got in behind the Sounders back line and tried to get off a shot, only to go down under contact. Williams — and the Timbers’ bench — appealed for the penalty, but Kelly was having none of it.
The Timbers fly back to Portland tomorrow and their next match will be the first game of the Rose City Invitational, when they take on Real Salt Lake next Thursday.