The Seattle Sounders took crucial points off the Portland Timbers with a rematch looming, as Clint Dempsey's brace -- and a goal and an assist from Cristian Roldan -- lifted Seattle to a resounding 3-1 victory against their Cascadia rivals at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.
An astonishing turnaround continues for Seattle, which now rests only two points behind Portland for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Since Nicolas Lodeiro debuted on July 31st, the Sounders have taken 10 of 12 available points, riding a 4-game unbeaten streak after not having done so at any point prior in 2016; they won consecutive games only once.
Seattle, which was pressuring Portland 'keeper Jake Gleeson throughout, racked up 17 shots (6 on target) and finally broke through when Roldan drew a penalty from Vytautas Andriuskevicius along the right side of the box. Dempsey converted from the spot in the 62nd minute, and followed with an open-play strike in the 80th, when Roldan set him up on the left side and his grass-cutter beat Gleeson far post. Roldan picked up his own minutes later, when Brad Evans nodded a header toward Roldan's noggin off a corner kick by Nicolas Lodeiro.
- 62' - Clint Dempsey (PK)
- 80' - Clint Dempsey (Cristian Roldan)
- 83' - Cristian Roldan (Brad Evans, Nicolas Lodeiro)
- 90'+3' - Fanendo Adi
- Full box score
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- THE RISING TIDE: There's no question Nicolas Lodeiro has energized, and completely altered, the Seattle Sounders. Deuce is out here on fire. Jordan Morris is bull rushing multiple defenders. And Cristian Roldan seems to be seeing the Matrix. This lay up to Dempsey was poised, bruh:
- DO OR DO NOT: Portland continues to struggle on the road – they're now 0-7-6 in with just four games to log their first three-pointer. It wasn't for lack of trying – they ripped 16 shots (7 on-target), with several coming pretty, pretty close. Credit to Stefan Frei, but Jack McInernery probably wishes he had a do-over on this one.
- THAT RED LINE THO: With the playoffs fast approaching, the Timbers and Whitecaps are fading as Seattle hits full steam ahead with a defensive-minded mid-week minnow in Houston leading into Sunday's rivalry rematch at Providence Park. If the Sounders pick up that fourth straight win, the Timbers are going to be sweating before that one starts – a loss and they're looking in from the outside.
They Said It
I need to do better with my finishing but all that matters is the 3 points! Big time win. Thanks to all the fans. You guys were amazing!— Jordan Morris (@JmoSmooth13) August 22, 2016