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Danso goal earns Timbers point in Seattle

TimbersSounders (Getty)


Playing in front of an electric Qwest Field crowd, the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers slugged out a 1-1 draw that had to leave the home team disappointed and the visitors happy with a road point against their arch-rivals.

Mamadou 'Futty" Danso's header cancelled out an Alvaro Fernandez striker to help give Portland bragging rights in the first MLS installment of one of the best soccer rivalries in the United States.

Portland captain Jack Jewsbury played the role of provider again, delivering the pass that Danso beat Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller to for his second goal of the season.

“We showed a lot of character,” said Portland head coach John Spencer. “We go down a goal and I bet there’s a lot of people sitting at home thinking, ‘Here we go. Portland’s going to lose by three or four.'”

The draw was a letdown for a Sounders team that saw some early chances wasted at the start of the second half, and saw some late-game search for a winner unanswered.

Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid spoke for most Sounders players and fans when he stated he wasn't happy with the result. 

"We had the lead, we gave them a goal back," Schmid said. "Their game is predicated around free kicks and set-pieces, that's what they live for.

"The referee gave them quite a few, you know, it seemed like our fouls were happening in our end of the field, and their fouls were happening in theirs.  But, at the end of the day, you gotta defend those things and take care of business."

After a highly-anticipated buildup to the match in Seattle, it was Portland that took early control of the game, focusing its pressure down the wings with Khalif Alhassan and Darlington Nagbe and looking to find Kenny Cooper and Jorge Perlaza in the middle.

Seattle started the match with Montero and Jaqua up top with Brad Evans coming in for the injured Eric Friberg, who was out with a left lateral ankle sprain. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado replaced Jeff Parke in the starting lineup to combat the offensive threats of Kenny Cooper and Jorge Perlaza.

It was Nagbe who looked threatening from the whistle and was challenging Tyson Wahl and the Sounders back line throughout the first half. Nothing came of his pressure and Wahl, as well as the Sounders, grew into the match-up as the half went on.

The Timbers did well to get forward and apply pressure to Kasey Keller's goal early on and send out a message that they weren't in Seattle to play for a draw.

In the 27th minute, Cooper niftily worked some space on the edge of the box and had a crack on target, but Keller was up to the challenge and collected.

The intensity was upped at Qwest after a physical elbow from Brad Evans found the head of Diego Chara. The Portland midfielder went down for a minute or so before getting up to resume play, much to the displeasure of the Sounders faithful.

Just before the break, Seattle found itself in a great position for a free kick with DP Fredy Montero standing over it, but the Colombian striker could only put his effort into the side netting as the first half came to a close.

The Sounders came out swinging in the second half with Nate Jaqua going close twice within the opening two minutes of the half.  

The Sounders made their early pressure pay off after Montero was found at the edge of the penalty area and laid off a pass for Fernandez to smash home past Perkins.  

Fernandez had himself in quite a bit of space after Jeremy Hall was sucked in on Montero, and Steve Zakuani's replacement on the left wing found himself on the score sheet yet again.

Montero had a chance punched away by Perkins only minutes later after being laid off by Nate Jaqua inside the area, and the Sounders looked ready to make the score 2-0 against a shell-shocked Timbers team.

The second Sounders goal never came, and Portland showed that it was well up for the task as Jorge Perlaza nearly nipped behind Hurtado and chipped Keller but Patrick Ianni was on hand to clear the line.

Portland found its equalizer in the 65th minute when Danso rose well to a Jack Jewsbury cross, beating Keller.

The Sounders applied heavy pressure late in the match, but Portland's defense held firm and earned a valuable road point against its arch rival.


  1. Yeah, 35500 lame “customers” standing in the pouring rain for 90+ minutes. BTW, the TA section was just as empty at 46′. Getting beer; lines are long.

  2. Conditions had a lot to do with quality of play. Timbers won’t lose their base, have you seen their home games?

    Timbers played a good away game in front of a hostile crowd. I would rather see their midfield and defense play in tighter space in these game and come away with at least 1 point, rather than see them open up and maybe lose big.

    It wasn’t pretty, but if you’re Timbers you’ll take it. Just like any away team would.

  3. Nobody builds a team to play long-ball/crap soccer. That’s just the way their young defenders were playing yesterday. That will change with time and if not, Timbers will find better players. Jeez.


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