SEATTLE – There's something about playing against the Portland Timbers that seems to bring out the best in Eddie Johnson.
The Seattle Sounders forward scored his fourth career goal in just his fifth career game against the Timbers, paving the way for a 1-0 win in front a raucous sell-out crowd at CenturyLink Field on Sunday evening.
"It's awesome," Sounders midfielder Brad Evans told MLSsoccer.com about Johnson. "He rises to the occasion and he's done that for us in a number of games, a number of circumstances.
"That's what you want. You what your forwards scoring goals and creating chances and that's what they did tonight. You always know you're going to get chances with Eddie in the lineup."
Johnson's goal came in the 60th minute and proved to be a turning point, and not just because of the scoreline. The Timbers controlled the run of play for much of the first half and Johnson was particularly unhappy with his own performance. After Johnson's goal, the Sounders were able to create several more chances and start turning the tide.
"It's a case of him saying when he came in here that he didn't have the best first half," Evans said. "Credit to him, he came out in the second half, buckled down, won every single header and got himself a goal."
Aside from scoring the goal, Johnson was also instrumental in setting it up. It was his run that forced Pa Madou Kah to make a hard tackle, which earned the Timbers defender a yellow card and set up the free kick.
Mauro Rosales hit the free kick just around the top of the six-yard box and Johnson's glancing header snuck inside the far post. It was the eighth time that Rosales has assisted on a Johnson goal, but just the second time this season.
“It was a difficult game," Johnson said. "The beginning of the game they made it difficult for me. They did a good job of making me play with my back to the goal and capitalizing on too many touches.
"The game opened up in the second half and we got Mauro on the field, who is a good crosser of the ball, and we’ve had a good relationship since last year. It shows how important he is to the team. For me, I did what I get paid to do – score goals in the box."