TUKWILA, Wash. — If Friday night was any indication, the Cascadia rivalry is going to be even more fun than anyone could imagine.
The Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders renewed their rivalry at the MLS level for the first time Friday night in a preseason friendly, and it was Timbers who emerged victorious, with Jorge Perlaza’s goal the difference in the 2-0 victory in front of 3,100 fans at Starfire Sports Stadium.
Kenny Cooper added another tally in second-half stoppage time to seal the result in front of a raucous crowd of both team’s supporters.
Playing in cold, wet weather befitting the Pacific Northwest, Seattle fielded what most consider will be their opening day starting XI. Defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado’s inclusion in the starting unit could be taken as proof he is fully recovered from a torn ACL last season.
[inline_node:329877]Portland’s lineup had a few more question marks. Entering their first season, the Timbers gave the captain’s armband to new acquisition Jack Jewsbury, while unsigned trialist Perlaza partnered with Cooper up top.
Seattle’s Ozzie Alonso added the first bit of spice into the rivalry, spiking Jewsbury in the fifth minute to earn a yellow card.
But it was Sal Zizzo, who spent part of last season with Chivas USA, who created the first goal. His crafty interchange with Steve Purdy led to a Zizzo cross and a Cooper shot. Kasey Keller made the initial save, but Perlaza was stalking the box and poked in the rebound.
The unsigned Colombian could have made it two, but he mis-hit a shot off a Purdy cross in the 29th minute.
Seattle had a few chances of their own in the first half. Uruguayan midfielder Álvaro Fernández attempted to level terms for Seattle in the 33rd, but his header was off target.
With neither side making any changes for the second half, Seattle emerged as the early aggressors, with Steve Zakuani combining nicely with Blaise Nkufo and Alonso buzzing the crossbar seconds later.
Seattle’s best chance to equalize came off the feet of Fernández, who missed a sitter after some excellent buildup play from Zakuani.
Both teams made a handful of substitutions as the match moved into its final stages, but it was Cooper, who went all 90 minutes, that tallied the final goal on a blast from short range to assure the win.
With the victory, Portland improved their preseason record to 2-0-4, while Seattle dropped to 4-3-2.
The Timbers next take the field against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday at 7 pm ET (streamed live at www.portlandtimbers.com), while the Sounders have a day off before wrapping up the Cascadia Summit on Sunday at 6 pm ET against Vancouver (streamed live on www.soundersfc.com).
POR - Jorge Perlaza 21'
POR - Kenny Cooper 93'
Seattle Sounders – Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Alvaro Fernandez (Erik Friberg 69), Brad Evans (Pat Noonan 85), Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani, Fredy Montero (Mike Fucito 80), Blaise Nkufo (O'Brian white 89).
Unused subs: Patrick Ianni, Michael Tetteh, David Estrada, Zach Scott, Servando Carrasco, Taylor Graham, Terry Boss.
Portland Timbers – Troy Perkins, Steve Purdy, Kevin Goldthwaite, Eric Brunner, Rodney Wallace, Sal Zizzo, Peter Lowry (Adam Moffat 80), Jack Jewsbury, Jeremy Hall, Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza (Brian Umony 75)
Unused subs: Eddie Johnson, Kalif Alhassan, David Horst, James Marcelin, Jake Gleeson, Ryan Pore, Adin Brown, Chris Taylor, Freddie Braun, Spencer Thompson, Bim Ogunyemi, Rodrigo Lopez, Quavas Kirk, Taylor Mueller, Jake Gibson, Mamadou Danso.
Referee: Dave Gantar
Referee's Assistants: Darren Clark, Cameron Blair
4th Official: Drew Fischer
Weather: 40 degrees and light rain