One of the league’s greatest feuds continued on Sunday afternoon as the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders renewed their Cascadia rivalry at Providence Park.
A pair of Diego Valeri finishes gave the Timbers a 3-1 win over the Sounders, propelling the home side up to sixth in the Western Conference standings with 29 points through 21 matches.
Following a long ball that was gathered by Lucas Melano, the Argentine attacker worked a give-and-go with Valeri, before the latter notched his eighth goal of the season off of a curling effort in the 44th minute.
Valeri doubled the Timbers lead five minutes after halftime in spectacular fashion from a tight angle after battling off Sounders defender Joevin Jones.
With 11 corner kicks over the first hour of the match, the Sounders needed a lift from one of their set pieces. Sigi Schmid’s side got a lifeline in the 59th minute when Chad Marshall headed home Andreas Ivanschitz’s corner kick, pulling the score back to 2-1.
Any momentum the Sounders built was quickly halted five minutes later when Fanendo Adi capped off a well-executed counterattack for the home side. Melano added his second assist on the afternoon, however, Adi appeared to be a step offsides when he received the pass inside the penalty area.
The Timbers had managed another dangerous chance with just minutes remaining in the first half, when Darlington Nagbe’s curler from outside the box was cleared off the line by Brad Evans. The defender was perfectly positioned to head the ball away from danger after Valeri’s free kick was punched away by Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
After a physical and nervy opening 10 minutes, Lucas Melano found himself in behind the Sounders backline, but the Argentine attacker blasted his close-range effort well over the crossbar.
Jordan Morris nearly put the Sounders in front seven minutes later, however, like Melano, the young forward squandered his chance in front of Jake Gleeson and the Timbers goal. The Sounders failed to manage any shots on target during the opening 45 minutes.
Jake Gleeson was active in net throughout the afternoon for the Timbers, making four important saves to keep the home side in front against their bitter rival.
The Sounders will resume action on Wednesday night against the LA Galaxy in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals, while the Timbers take on the Galaxy three days later in MLS play.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Diego Valeri remains one of the league’s most dangerous attackers, even challenging teammate Fanendo Adi for the team’s goalscoring lead.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
The Sounders appeared to get themselves back into the match inside of an hour, but Fanendo Adi’s questionable finish in the 64th minute gave the Timbers another two-goal advantage, which the side wouldn’t surrender.
MATCH TO FORGET
Three goals were far too many for the Sounders to concede, and Stefan Frei could only watch as his backline struggled on Sunday afternoon.