Final. Timbers escape with a 2-0 win after absorbing pressure most the 2nd half, Cooper with the late goal.
90+3′ GOAL PORTLAND: Kenny Cooper with a high-powered shot at the death!
90′: Writing duties starting to take over in this one. Any late magic? Fucito?
85′: Noonan in for Evans, and goes to the right. Friberg back to the middle.
84′: Bad touch by White ruins some build-up. Fans getting anxious now.
80′: I’m very surprised Sounders FC hasn’t scored a goal. Complete domination in the second half. Fucito and White come on for Nkfuo and Jaqua.
75′: Portland sub: Brian Umony in for Jorge Perlaza.
71′: Another dangerous moment for Seattle but it can’t capitalize. Nkufo can’t connect on a cross and Zakuani can’t get a clean shot off. Perkins and Brunner might’ve collided there. They get attention.
69′: Fernandez replaced by Friberg. Looks like the Swede will play on the right.
68′: Attendance: 3,100
63′: Nice combo by Perlaza, Hall and Cooper, but it’s eventually cleared.
61′: Seattle dominating the game now. Zakuani blasted a hard shot over the goal. Just before Fernandez burned Goldthwaite and crossed to Nkufo, but the shot was blocked by Purdy.
58′: A little bit ago the Sounders FC bench was wildly pleading for a hand-ball call in the box, but nothing doing. I didn’t have the best angle, probably a ball-to-hand.
55′: MISS! Fernandez with a wide-open shot from a couple yards out that misses the goal completely. Looks like there might have been a foul call.
54′: Hurtado booked in the 54th minute after losing the ball to Zizzo and dragging him down.
52′: Moments after Zakuani flubbed a good set-up by Nkufo, Alonso fires a 25-yard rocket over the diving Perkins that settles in the top netting. Looked like it was in to some.
50′: Good work by Flaco to earn a corner kick. Looked like either Brunner or Goldthwaite cleared it out. Portland heads out the first one for another corner. On the second Alonso offering Perkins comes off his line to punch it clear.
48′: Zakuani with a huge speed advantage on Purdy. Seattle needs to find a way to take advantage of that.
46′: And we’re off in the second half, no changes for either team from what I can see.
Halftime. Here are some stats: shots (7-4 SEA), shots on goal (3-1 SEA), corner kicks (2-2), saves (3-1 POR), fouls (7-3 POR), offsides (3-3).
Halftime. Portland leads 1-0: Surprisingly even half between Sounders FC and their expansion rivals from the south. Both teams’ attacks have come down their respective right side, so far that’s been better for the Timbers with (M Zizzo/D Purdy) than Seattle (M Flaco/D Riley).
45’+1: Flaco with a decent cross from the right. Looks like a Sounder got the last touch as it goes out for a goal kick. Montero maybe?
44′: Zakuani turns on the jets to burn Purdy on the left, but his cross is poor and cleared. Later it looks like Cooper smacked Parke in the face, didn’t look intentional.
42′: Purdy earns a corner kick, showing off some wheels in the process. Zizzo’s cross is well long.
40′: Zakuani not really involved at all.
37′: Montero looks dangerous in the box, makes a couple moves and fires a shot deflected out for a corner kick. Alonso takes it. Out for a goal kick.
35′: Alonso with a low hard shot on a free kick. Not much trouble for Perkins in the end.
32′: Flaco gets clear on the right, not a great cross though. Moments later he’s open on a cross to the far post, but he heads it wide.
29′: Another great run by Zizzo on the right side, he’s been very impressive so far. He’s cross sets up Perlaza beautifully, but the shot skies over the goal.
25′: Seattle earns a corner kick on Nkufo’s work. Parke’s header is snapped well on goal, but right at Perkins.
21′: GOAL PORTLAND: Timbers go up 1-0 on a rebound tap-in by Jorge Perlaza. Kasey Keller saved a shot by Kenny Cooper, but it deflected right to the Portland forward in front of a wide open net. Easiest goal he’s ever scored. Defensive breakdown let Zizzo get behind on the right.
20′: Portland’s got some players with good MLS experience in the middle (Jewsbury, Lowry, Brunner, Goldthwaite) and that’s showing so far.
17′: The Timbers aren’t overwhelmed by any stretch. Sounders with a lot of the ball, but having a hard time breaking past the backline.
13′: Seattle earns a dangerous free kick and on the service Brunner has a fist full of Hurtado’s jersey in the box, takes him down, but there’s no call. Could’ve gone either way. Later Flaco is fouled hard and wants a card. It’s getting chippy.
11′: Nkufo gets behind the defense to get the crowd excited. His cross is deflected and Flaco’s header is out for a goal kick.
9′: Portland controlling more of the ball now. Earns a corner kick, but it’s long and out for a corner kick.
5′: Alonso catches Jewsbury with a sliding tackle. Hard foul earns a booking. A late booking.
2′: First game in front of a crowd. New stadium. On the road. I’d expect Seattle to have the better of it early. That’s been the case so far.
1′: And we’re off!
Pregame: Seattle comes out in the green-blue-green combo. Portland in a white-green-white (a training kit, not an official jersey). Timbers captain: Jack Jewsbury.
Pregame: Lineups being announced. Predictably boos for the Timbers. Hurtado gets a loud cheer from the fans. Portland fans cheering through to the boom-boom-clap, but that’s what it’s all about!
Pregame: The Sound Wave providing a soundtrack so far. Obviously the Sounders support is larger and louder but Portland is showing well. The beer gardens remain a popular place.
Pregame: We’re about 40 minute from kickoff and the lineups have been announced. I’ll throw all the previous stuff after the jump and get going with the game thread. Lineups below:
Sounders FC starting lineup: GK Kasey Keller, RB James Riley, CB Jeff Parke, CB Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, LB Leo Gonzalez, RM Alvaro Fernandez, CM Brad Evans, CM Osvaldo Alonso, RM Steve Zakuani, F Fredy Montero, F Blaise Nkufo
Portland Timbers starting lineup: GK Troy Perkins, RB Steve Purdy, CB Kevin Goldthwaite, CB Eric Brunner, LB Rodney Wallace, RM Sal Zizzo, CM Peter Lowry, CM Jack Jewsbury, LM Jeremy Hall, F Kenny Cooper, F Jorge Perlaza
Sounders FC reserves: Mike Fucito, Patrick Ianni, Erik Friberg, O’Brian White, Michael Tetteh, David Estrada, Zach Scott, Servando Carrasco, Pat Noonan, Taylor Graham, Terry Boss
Portland Timbers reserves: Eddie Johnson, Kalif Alhassan, David Horst, James Marcelin, Adam Moffat, Jake Gleeson, Ryan Pore, Adin Brown, Brian Umony, Chris Taylor, Freddie Braun, Spencer Thompson, Bim Ogunyemi, Rodrigo Lopez, Quavas Kirk, Taylor Mueller, Jake Gibson, Mamadou Danso
* * *
We’re still about 10 days from the start of the regular season, but there’s a lot of anticipation for the start of the Cascadia Summit. We’ll see how things go. No there’s TV or radio, but there will be streaming (we’ve been told) on SoundersFC.com.
I’ll keep this thread open for the night, including a live blog of the game. Kickoff between Sounders FC and Portland is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., a half hour after the opening ceremonies.
One of the three teams has already produced some news this evening. Despite not playing a game Vancouver grabbed some headlines by signing its first designated player, French forward Eric Hassli, who played previously at FC Zurich in the Swiss Super League.
I’ll add more pictures of the scene below:
* * *