Sounders score 4 straight goals to beat Timbers 6-2
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Raul Ruidiaz scored the go-ahead goal directly off a free kick and the Seattle Sounders went on to beat the rival Portland Timbers 6-2 in a Cascadia Cup match Sunday night.
Ruidiaz and Fredy Montero each scored twice.
“Six goals is unbelievable. You’re not going to lose many games when you score six goals,” said Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland, who made seven saves.
With the win, the Sounders (10-3-6) moved into second in the Western Conference behind Sporting Kansas City. Seattle has conceded just 16 goals this season, fewest in the league.
It was the first time that the Timbers (7-9-2) had allowed six goals at home during the regular season.
“Portland put us under pressure in moments, but the class of our team, the quality of our team showed through tonight to get us a victory and three points,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said.
The game’s starting time was pushed back two hours Wednesday because of expected excessive heat, with the temperature Sunday reaching the mid-90s.
The match marked the return of the Cascadia Cup, the three-way competition between the Sounders, Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps. The supporter-created award, decided on points from head-to-head matchups, was suspended last season because the coronavirus prevented capacity crowds from attending matches.
Seattle was coming off a 3-0 victory over Tigres UANL in a Leagues Cup quarterfinal match on Wednesday night. But the Sounders were winless in their previous three MLS matches.
The Sounders struck early in the 13th minute with a second-chance finish from Colombian forward Montero, his fifth goal of the season.
Montero scored his second goal in the 29th minute, giving the Sounders a 2-0 lead. It was Montero’s ninth career goal against the Timbers, matching Clint Dempsey’s record against the rival club.
Sebastian Blanco scored in the 32nd minute for the Timbers after making his first start for the club since suffering an ACL injury last year.
The Timbers tied it early in the second half when George Fochive scored his first career MLS goal in the 52nd minute.
The Sounders were quick to respond with a 55th-minute goal off a free kick from Ruidiaz. He scored again in the 72nd, giving him a league-leading 13 goals.
“It’s not just how many goals he scores, it’s when he scores them,” Schmetzer said. “He’s a showman and he pulls out the highlight-reel goals on a week-to-week basis.”
Jimmy Medranda added a goal in the 77th minute, and Nicolas Benezet, who was recently acquired from the Colorado Rapids, scored in stoppage time.
“It’s difficult because when you play so well the way we did in the first half and part of the second half and then you see the score — it’s not good enough. Has to be much better. Has to be much better from every player, has to be much better from every staff member, has to be better from everyone, starting from me,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said.
On Friday, Portland signed Rodney Wallace to a one-day contract so that he could retire as a Timber. Wallace played five years in Portland, starting the club’s inaugural year in 2011. He was honored in a pregame ceremony.
“Thinking back on my career, I realized that retiring as a Timber was the best way for me to respect what the organization has done for me and what I was able to do for the club, the city, and the fans,” Wallace said. “Winning an MLS Cup is my biggest accomplishment to date, and I’m proud to have been a part of that.”