The Portland Timbers brought eleven T2 players, seven first team players, and no starters to Starfire Sports Complex on Tuesday night and it showed in the side’s 2-1 loss to a marginally less piecemeal Seattle Sounders.
The Sounders opened the scoring early in the match, striking in just the 3rd minute of play. With the ball wide on the Timbers’ right, Seattle’s Nouhou Tolo played a curling cross into the box, dropping just behind the visitor’s back line and finding the back post run of Aaron Kovar. With the ball served to him on a platter, Kovar hit a first time strike that gave Timbers keeper Jeff Attinella no chance and rippled the back of the net as the Sounders went up 1-0.
The Timbers would answer back before the half was out, capitalizing on a 38th minute corner kick to even things up. Ben Zemanski, captaining the side and taking the Timbers’ free kicks, sent in a high corner that dropped quickly at the back post, finding center back Rennico Clarke for a header back across the face of goal. With the Seattle defense scrambling toward Clarke, only loaned-up striker Augustine Williams could put a head to the ball, flicking it just inside the far post, vacated just a split second earlier by its defender.
The Sounders would pull ahead again early in the second half. After striking Timbers full back Harold Hanson in the face on the left flank, Irvin Parra found himself free to drive into the Timbers’ box along the end line before cutting a pass back toward the penalty spot. Felix Chenkam got on the ball and fired off a quick shot, only to see it blocked away by the arm of Andre Lewis. Referee Alan Chapman quickly pointed to the spot and Zach Mathers stepped up to the spot for the penalty. As Attinella dove one way, Mathers hit a simple penalty the other, converting and putting the Sounders up 2-1.
Now up a goal, the Sounders turned up the possession and worked the ball around the pitch, running the Timbers down. Although the Timbers would manage a handful of half chances, the patchwork side could never exert themselves on the match and the Sounders remained ahead at the final whistle.
The Timbers are back in action on Saturday as they travel to take on the Colorado Rapids