The Portland Timbers came to Washington in search of points, but leave empty handed after dropping a 1-0 result to the Seattle Sounders. After conceding an early goal to the home side, the Timbers could not find an answer to the packed in Seattle defense and were shut out despite a nineteen to eight advantage in shots.
The Timbers got off to a poor start, giving up the first goal for the fourth match in row. The Sounders opened the scoring in just the fourth minute after Jake Gleeson pushed a hard Nicolas Lodeiro shot wide of goal and out for a corner kick. Off the ensuing restart, Lodeiro sent a strong corner into the box that found the head of Sounders center back Chad Marshall for the flick on, then Cristian Roldan — wrapped up in a bear hug from Zarek Valentin — to redirect the ball past Gleeson and into the back of the net.
The goal jolted the Timbers back to life and the as the match progressed the majority of chances went to the visitors. Pinning Seattle back in their own end, the Timbers took shot after shot, but could not break through the packed in Sounders back line.
Things got contentious as the Timbers pushed for the equalizer, and as always it was Sounders talisman Clint Dempsey who was at the center of things, putting a finger in the eye of David Guzman while going to ground and elbowing Roy Miller in the face while contesting a header.
The jab to the eye of Guzman would prove to be a major blow to the Timbers as the midfielder was forced off at the half to receive further treatment and was substituted out of the match.
The Timbers were still in the match, though, and thought they had a shout for a penalty in the 54th minute. Darlington Nagbe got on the ball on the top of the Seattle box and snapped off a strong shot on the volley, only for it to carom off the outstretched arm of Marshall. The Timbers immediately protested, asking for the penalty, but referee Mark Geiger waved play on.
The chances, however, were much more even in the second half and it was Gleeson who was forced into action repeatedly even as the Timbers pressed forward. With the Sounders looking to exploit the Timbers high position on the field, it was forward Jordan Morris who was repeatedly played in behind, forcing Gleeson to come off his line under pressure and dive on the ball or make a save.
The Timbers are back in action on Friday, June 2nd at Providence Park when they host the San Jose Earthquakes.