What a fun match, well, a fun second-half at least. This Sounders FC team is really rolling, eh? And the score might’ve been worse had it not been for a standout performance by Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins. The Timbers had never lost after scoring first.
Fredy Montero and Osvaldo Alonso led the way for Seattle, but there were solid showings from all areas of the field. Lamar Neagle brought some great energy off the bench and Patrick Ianni deputized well for the injured Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.
Six games unbeaten on the road (3-0-3). Eight games unbeaten overall (5-0-3). Expect some high ratings again. Let’s get to it.
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GK Kasey Keller — One of those games where the goals were nearly impossible to stop and the saves were fairly routine. Can’t take any blame for the own goal and deflection. Otherwise was comfortable on shots, crosses and clearances. Did well on a late Chara header. 6
D James Riley — Extremely active. Had a team-high 126 touches; no other teammate had more than 89. Got up and down the field. Limited the danger from his side of the field. Conceded too many fouls for a team that thrives on set pieces, even though some of the calls were soft. Did well with the ball and played a part in the buildup to the second goal. 6.5
D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (off 56) — Was on track for a special performance before leaving early with a knee injury. Phenomenal with headers, tackles and all aspects of defending. Frustrated his cousin Perlaza immensely. Still waiting for that goal. Minutes play a factor in the ratings, and it would’ve been higher if he played 90, but he was still one of the team’s best. 7
D Jeff Parke — Own goal was a shame and a bit unfortunate. Distribution and defending are becoming pretty consistent. Always makes the safe play when he needs to. Missed clearing a dangerous Wallace cross, but that might’ve been own goal No. 2. Overall he was quite strong. 6.5
D Tyson Wahl — Struggled more than any Sounder on the night. Got beat too many times, including on Alhassan’s run to set up Portland’s first goal. Also had that nasty deflection on Perlaza’s goal. Service was good, but also had some bad giveaways. One to throw away and move on from. 4
M Osvaldo Alonso — Finally getting the national attention he deserves. Was stellar defensively, blocking shots and winning the ball back. Really took his game to a new level offensively. Passing was good, including a long ball that led to Neagle getting fouled in the box. Then calmly finished the PK for the goal. Also made a strong run with the ball earlier, right before Montero was fouled, to help set up the first goal. Did have a couple giveaways, a bad clearance and some poor touches to prove he’s human. Earned another booking, too. But he’s dominating games like he never has. 8.5
M Erik Friberg — More positive impact from him in the middle. I think that’s where he plays best; it highlights his two-way abilities. A key cog in the possession game. Calm on the ball, but did have a few giveaways. Active on offense and defense. Got involved in a little shoving match, which was good to see. Could’ve had an assist with a great pass to Flaco in the first half. Set up Montero for a chance, too. Was second best on a 50-50 ball to Chara on the possession that set up Portland’s second goal. 6.5
M Alvaro Fernandez (off 66) — For my money, he might’ve been Seattle’s best player in the first half. Tucked into the middle and was very involved. Nearly had a goal if not for a Perkins save. Good in possession and very strong in the air. Set up danger with great passes to Levesque and Montero, though he fell over a bit too much for me. Involvement was severely limited in the second half, except on a buildup to another Montero chance, which explains an early exit. 6
M Mauro Rosales — Probably the least involved he’s been in a game in a long time. That said, still had a strong impact. His one-touch cross to set up Montero’s second goal was superb. Would’ve had another assist if Perkins didn’t stop Montero’s late header. Had more bad touches and giveaways than we’re used to. Skied an open shot in the first half, but provided some good service. Overall, it’s quite positive. 6.5
F Fredy Montero (off 89) — A breakthrough game, and a long-awaited one. Free kick for the first goal was pristine. Second goal was exactly what you want from a forward. Probably could’ve had a couple more if not for Perkins. Beyond the goals, he was still very positive. Tracked back to find the ball in midfield well. Hold-up and possession was strong. Aggressive and took shots. Now we’ll see if it continues. 8.5
F Roger Levesque — Positive in his hold-up play. Won some headers and drew some fouls. Chased things down and had a couple chances. Passed up a shot attempt, which you would’ve liked to see him take. Also played a part in the buildup that led to the penalty kick, but otherwise the involvement was a little limited. 5.5
D Patrick Ianni (on 56) — Has had to step in for Parke and Hurtado during games recently and has filled in very well on short notice. Good a couple tackles and clearances. Did lose Danso on a free kick, but it went to Keller. Might’ve slowed up Chara on a counter attack that led the second goal. 6
M Lamar Neagle (on 66) — The definition of an impact sub. Had the cross that led to the second goal and drew the penalty kick on the third goal. Earned a corner kick on his first involvement. Like Ianni, also might’ve disrupted Chara on the counter, but it was nearly all positive in his 24 minutes. 7
M Pat Noonan (on 89) — Allowed Montero a late ovation. Played on the right as Rosales pushed forward. INC
COACH SIGI SCHMID
Another big road win. Lineup went unchanged, which has been uncommon this season. Subs had a great impact. Picked Alonso to take the PK and that was the right call as well. Portland didn’t get much out of its set pieces, which is its bread and butter. Everything worked out well in a road win to remember. 8
REFEREE JORGE GONZALEZ
I thought a couple of his foul calls were a little soft, but he managed the game well. Bookings were fair and he didn’t get out of control with ’em. PK decision and red card were handled well. Stayed out of the action and let the game go, which is what you want to see. 7
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What do you think? Agree or disagree?