Monday, September 17, 2012

Sounders and Timbers each come away with a point after a 1-1 draw in Portland

By Money Mike

The Seattle Sounders will have to wait another week to clinch a spot in the playoffs for the fourth straight year. On Saturday, the Sounders made their second trip to Jeld-Wen Field this season and came away with a valuable point as they drew 1-1 with their arch rivals the Portland Timbers. As for the Cascadia Cup, the Sounders do retain the Cup for now. Had the Sounders lost the match, then the Timbers would've won the Cup and a couple members of the Emerald City Supporters would've had to walk across the field and hand the Cup over to the Timbers Army (I wonder how that would feel. Surrendering the Cup on their ground).

There wasn't much action early on in the match. In the 10th minute, Fredy Montero got through Rodney Wallace and Kosuke Kimura after juggling the ball a few times and chipped the ball the far post for Eddie Johnson but Hayner Mosquera got in the way. Portland struggled to clear the danger. Ozzie Alonso found Andy Rose on the far side. Rose tried to play the ball to the near post for Steve Zakuani but Mosquera got in the way again. The ball fell to Alonso for a half volley, but he didn't strike it cleanly and it went wide left.

We're gonna fast forward to the 38th minute now. Rodney Wallace fed the ball to Franck Songo'o who has been a pain in the ass for the Sounders back line all game long, here's one of the reasons why. Songo'o cut inside to his right foot and gave a rip from outside the area and it was parried away by Michael Gspurning. That was the first time that the Timbers tested the Austrian goalkeeper in this match. The Sounders can't let Franck Songo'o cut inside to his right foot because that's where he's dangerous.

In the 44th minute, Sal Zizzo had a shot blocked by Jeff Parke and cleared out of the box by Brad Evans. However, the clearance fell right to Jack Jewsbury who gave it a go but the ball bounced wide of Gspurning's right hand post.

In the 51st minute, the Timbers suffered a big blow. Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who was acquired last month by the Timbers from the Montreal Impact in exchange for Troy Perkins, collided in the box with Eddie Johnson as he was challenging for the ball. Here's what happened, Zakuani fed Andy Rose who then sent in a low cross toward the near post for Fredy Montero who just missed getting a head on it, otherwise it probably would've been a goal. Ricketts came off his line and punch the ball away and while doing so, he collides with EJ. Ricketts has been dealing with injurys since he joined MLS in 2009. Of course in the 2009 MLS Cup final against Real Salt Lake here in Seattle, he was subbed out after suffering a right hand injury. He missed half of last season with a broken wrist. Now in this match, I remember in the first half intermittently he was holding on to his left arm. He did stay in the match for a few more minutes, but all signs showed that he had to come out and he was replaced by Joe Bendik in the 57th minute.

Seconds later, Bendik was tested immediately and beaten. On the restart, goalkeeper Michael Gspurning booted the ball long down field. The ball found Fredy Montero who chested the ball down, turned and struck it beautifully over the head of Joe Bendik and into the net for his 12th of the season and the Sounders took a 1-0 lead at Jeld-Wen Field.

In the 78th minute, I don't know what happened on this play but the bottomline is the Portland Timbers leveled this match at one. Jack Jewsbury curled the ball out toward the near post and found Rodney Wallace unmarked. Now again, I'm trying to figure out what the hell happened here. I've been looking at this over and over again. From what I saw, the header bounced off Leo Gonzalez who was covering the far post. Michael Gspurning was trying to pounce on it, but Gonzalez just as he was trying to clear the ball just kicked the ball into his own net. This could've been ruled an own goal on Leo and MLS can still go back and change the scoring on that. The only thing that matters though is that the goal counted and the Timbers leveled this match at one.

Now onto the second minute of stoppage time, the Timbers nearly stole one late. Jack Jewsbury took the corner again, this time an inswinger. This one was intended for David Horst, who scored against Seattle in the last meeting between these two, but the ball fell to Bright Dike and he struck the ball off the post and Adam Johansson alertly cleared the ball out of danger. Everybody thought that was in. Michael Gspurning had no chance at that one, but the post saved the Sounders on that one and the game ends in a 1-1 draw.

The Sounders head to Honduras to take on Marathon on Wednesday knowing that a win will earn them a spot in the Champions League Quarterfinal. Eddie Johnson is suspended for Saturdays home match against the San Jose Earthquakes for Yellow Card accumulations so he will make the trip to Honduras. Mauro Rosales and Christian Tiffert will not make the trip to Honduras however because they are dealing with injuries. However, there's a chance that they'll recover in time for the San Jose match. We need those guys out there, we're getting to a point where we can't afford to lose a key player to injury that could potentially rule them out for the playoffs.

Scoring summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Fredy Montero 12 (Michael Gspurning 1) 57'

Portland Timbers - Rodney Wallace 1 (Jack Jewsbury 4) 78'

Misconduct summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Eddie Johnson (caution; foul) 26'

Seattle Sounders FC - Mario Martinez (caution; foul) 79'


Seattle Sounders FC - Michael Gspurning; Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leonardo Gonzalez; Brad Evans (Marc Burch 78'), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose, Steve Zakuani (Mario Martinez 70'); Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero

Portland Timbers - Donovan Ricketts (Joe Bendik 57'); Kosuke Kimura, Hayner Mosquera, David Horst, Rodney Wallace; Darlington Nagbe, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara; Sal Zizzo (Kalif Alhassan 83'), Bright Dike, Franck Songo'o (Danny Mwanga 72')

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