A brace from Brian Fernández gave Portland the 2-1 win over Seattle on Sunday
The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers Cascadia rivalry is one of, if not the best rivalry in American soccer. The two clubs have history dating back 40 years when they both played in the North American Soccer League (NASL), and the passion has just grown since then. Sunday’s matchup between the two foes was no different.
In typical derby fashion, the clash between the I-5 rivals never had a break from action. The Sounders nearly took the lead in the very first minute when a careless Timber turnover lead to a Raúl Ruidíaz breakaway. Due to a heavy first touch though, the chance was squashed by Portland keeper Steve Clark.
The Timbers did draw first blood in the 20th minute. As their big time signing Brian Fernández rocketed a rebound off the cross bar back into the goal. Portland would take that 1-0 lead into halftime.
Goals came fast entering the second half. Raúl Ruidíaz continued his hot streak as he walked in a goal in the 50th minute, it was his 8th goal in 12 games for the rave green. The Timbers didn’t allow the home faithful much time to celebrate their equalizer though. Brian Fernández secured the brace and win as he fired home a pass from teammate Sebastián Blanco. It was the designated player’s 8th goal on the season since joining the team this year.
The game began to get very chippy as the second half went on. Both sides started to play more physical and official Drew Fischer allowed for the aggressive play to continue without stoppage. This led to both sides getting hot under the collar.
This carried over passed the final whistle. Several different groups of players were engaged in extracurricular bickering on the pitch. Most notably was Sounders defender Roman Torres and Timber keeper Steve Clark. Clark had an amazing game in goal for Portland as he had seven saves on the day. However, many Seattle players were upset with his clearance of some shots and crosses. Clark punched away many of the shots, in doing so, ran into a few players including his own. This was not received well by the Sounders. This caused a mosh pit to form on the way to the tunnels, with the keeper in the center.
Players were surly more frustrated due to the magnitude of the game. This wasn’t the first, nor will it be the last between these bitter rivals.
With the loss the Sounders fall to 10-5-6 (35 points) but remain in 3rd in the west. The Timbers 8-4-8 (28 points) on the other hand, continue their rise back into a playoff spot as they currently sit at 9th out west.
Seattle @ Houston 7/27
LA Galaxy @ Portland 7/27