Portland Seattle rivalry
Getty Images

Timbers' Spencer pans dust-up, addresses job speculation

PORTLAND, Ore. – Any good rivalry is going to have a few dust-ups.

And the latest chapter of the Portland Timbers-Seattle Sounders derby provided just that, an extra-time melee that resulted in two red cards and plenty of shoving and trash-talking in the Timbers' 2-1 victory Sunday at JELD-WEN Field.

Portland head coach John Spencer, however, wasn’t too impressed, likening the ruckus to a group of old ladies swinging their handbags at a pickpocket.

“You’d like somebody to put one on somebody’s chin and get on with it,” Spencer said.

HIGHLIGHTS: POR vs. SEA

As for whether Spencer was able to knock out speculation over his job security after leading the Timbers to their first MLS victory against the Sounders, he felt Sunday’s result spoke for itself. A report in the local media on Sunday suggested – without attributing a source – that Spencer would be fired if the Timbers lost to Seattle.

“There were a lot of things wrote this week, a lot of things said,” Spencer said. “And for me actions speak louder than words. And you tell me that players are not playing for me, well I didn’t see anybody not playing for.”

Along those lines, the importance of defeating their primary rival was certainly not lost on Spencer's players.

“We came into the game knowing that we needed to get the three points,” said striker Kris Boyd, who scored Portland's first goal. “That was the most important thing. To get the fans back on our side, to get everybody off our backs and prove to people that we can play.”

And while the Timbers have some work to do in the Western Conference standings, they are right where they want to be in the Cascadia Cup table – first place with four points. The Timbers have two matches left against both Seattle and Vancouver to decide the fan-based derby contested by the three Pacific Northwest clubs.

Alhassan status uncertain

The Timbers returned to training Monday without Kalif Alhassan, who left Sunday’s match in the 54tg minute after pulling up lame on a run into the box.

Spencer said Monday that the midfielder suffered a hamstring strain, the same injury that cost him five games earlier this season, and would be evaluated by the team’s medical staff.

Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at dcitel@hotmail.com.

Topics: 

MLS Summer Beat

This week, we're celebrating the connection between music and MLS in advance of the inaugural MLS Summer Beat, a concert series over Memorial Day weekend, coming this year to Atlanta, San Jose, and Seattle. Learn more on how to attend a Summer Beat concert.

Stay connected: The official MLS app keeps you connected with the latest news, highlights, scores, standings, and analysis all for FREE. Download for iOS (Apple) or Download for Android