Cristian Roldan scored before halftime, Raul Ruidiaz pounced for his 10th goal of the season moments after the restart, and the Seattle Sounders clinched the 2019 Cascadia Cup with a 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers on Friday night at Providence Park.
Jordan Morris picked up his career-high fifth assist and created both goals with his work down the left flank, helping the Sounders snap a four-match winless streak and move into second in the Western Conference standings. He exited the game in the 66th minute, possibly because of a groin or abdominal injury.
Diego Valeri pulled the Timbers back within a goal after a free kick that redirected off Ruidiaz and completely wrongfooted Stefan Frei. Brian Fernandez had an apparent equalizer disallowed for offside, after Frei had saved another Valeri free kick effort.
- 22' - SEA - Cristian Roldan | WATCH
- 47' - SEA - Raul Ruidiaz | WATCH
- 54' - POR - Diego Valeri | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Brian Schmetzer hinted this week that the timing of this particular derby might be ideal for his side, which had been struggling as of later. While it was far from a perfect performance — Portland were unfortunate not to level it late — it appears the Sounders head coach was right. Now it's the Timbers who will could vulnerable sitting just above the Western Conference playoff line after losing consecutive home matches to Seattle and Atlanta, though they still play six of their last seven at Providence Park.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Ruidiaz may have scored in the Sounders' previous match, a 2-2 draw at the LA Galaxy, but the Peruvian forward still came into Friday in need of a confidence boost after scoring just once in his previous 13 shot attempts. He got it two minutes after halftime with this authoritative finish of Morris' service.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Jordan Morris. The United States national team regular now has a career-high five assists as he continues to adjust to life as a wide midfielder. He would have six had Roldan not flubbed his first attempt on his scoring sequence. The question now is whether Morris is healthy enough to figure into the Sounders' second match in three weekends against the Galaxy on Sept. 1 at CenturyLink Field, and a potential USMNT call-up after that.