Seattle Sounders FC (14-7-3 45pts) rode down main street in Portland kicked some backside and took names on there way to a convincing 4-2 victory over Cascadia Cup rivals Portland Timbers (7-8-10,31pts). After going 1-3-1 in there last five games and loud chatter of what's wrong with Seattle running rampant on social media, Seattle needed to right a ship that was dangerously drifting into shallow waters.
With a strategy to push midfielders Marco Pappa and Brad Evans to the touch line to create space for Obefami Martins and Clint Dempsey to roam. Seattle produced one it's best games of the season. With Gonzalo Pineda and Osvaldo Alonso controlling possession, Martins and Dempsey looked like a Peaches and Herbs concert, reunited and feeling good about it. Going into the Portland game, Martins and Demspey had zero goals in the last five games.
After a Portland corner kick, Seattle's Brad Evans received a pass from DeAndre Yedlin, darted down the right side of the field and slid a square pass across the Portland goal that Martins tapped into the back of the Portland net to give the Sounders a one nil lead. Seattle made it two nil when Martins turned server when he sped down the right side of the field with the ball after a corner kick and fed a through ball to Dempsey who was wide open in front of the Portland net after an 80 yard sprint. Dempsey one timed the pass into the back of the Timbers net and the Sounders had a 2 nil they took into the break.
“It’s hard to believe that at halftime we were down 2-0 with the way we played,” Portland Coach Caleb Porter said after the game. “I thought we came out well. … It seemed like every chance they got today was in the back of the net, and somehow we couldn’t find the frame, so it was a bit of a strange game.”
Portland pushed five into the middle of the field to start the second and the tactical move shifted the momentum to the home side but the move beared no fruit on the score board and eventually backfired. With five in the middle Portland played with three players in the back and Seattle took advantage of the undermanned back line when Dempsey fed a wide open Chad Barrett who scored his 7th goal of the season to give Sounders FC a 3 nil lead after 70 minutes of play.
Portland halftime sub Fanendo Adi brought hope and life when he turned a Rodney Wallace pass into a goal in the 73rd minute to cut the Seattle lead to 3-1. Martins turned hope into dispair three minutes later when he executed a brilliant give and go play that ended with his second goal of the game and give Seattle a 4-1 lead thanks to his partner in crime Clint Dempsey.
Fanendo Adi added a consolation goal in stoppage time to make the final score line 4-2 but by then the damage had been done and Seattle Sounders FC had the much sought after swagger returning win." It's a long season and in big games you want to play well and I hope that we did that today, but it's about being consistent and not just doing it here and there, " Clint Dempsey said after the game.