Cascadia Clash ends with the Timbers on Top

by Michael Martinez

It was another beautiful Pacific Northwest night as the Seattle Sounders took on the Portland Timbers again in another Cascadia Cup clash. Last time out, fans saw an absolute beating from the Sounders as they topped their rivals 6-2 at Providence Park. Every match between these two is always a fun battle, so it was interesting to see who would come out on top this time.

Unfortunately for Sounders fans, the Timbers would get their revenge in the end. Thanks to horrible luck, poor finishing, and the post, the score would end 0-2 favor the visiting Timbers. So while the Sounders are still at the top of the table, things are potentially looking problematic for the would-be champions.


Seattle Sounders: 5-2-2-1

Portland Timbers: 4-3-2-1

Match Report

We are going to try and push past it. We have to. The team is not going to sit back and dwell on that.”

The setting was beautiful for this Cascadia Cup clash with the Portland Timbers. The prematch festivities were grand; Reign beat the Thorns, tributes for Jimi Hendrix and his family, and record-setting crowds in the stadium. Everything was setting up a potential Sounders win. So, what happened? 

The match started with the usual intensity you would expect with a Cascadia rivalry game. However, it looked like it could have gone either way. The Timbers began with the match’s first chance six minutes in as Dairon Asprilla lets off a wicked shot off the crossbar but ultimately leads to nothing. 

Only minutes later, tragedy struck the Timbers as defender Eryk Williamson suffered an ACL tear after getting his feet caught in the turf. From there, there was not much else that happened the rest of the half. A couple of decent chances for either team, but it was far from a dull fest. 

The second half was a bit of a different story. The Sounders came out ready to fight, but the Timbers came out wanting it. 

Overall, the Sounder’s defense, especially Xavi, was playing well. That was until the Timbers got their first goal after a disastrous back-pass from Yeimar. After that, Cleveland had no good choices to make as Blanco finished off a pass from Mora into an empty net to give Portland the lead in the 58th minute. 

That was when the Sounders turned it on. Seattle took control of the half and had a couple of great chances courtesy of Shane O’Neil and Raul in the 61st and 86th minutes. Unfortunately, O’Neil’s header hit off the post, and Clark stopped Raul’s rocket of a shot. Things were not going their way all night. 

Caught sleeping once again, the defense and Yeimar left Clevland alone with Mora. Cleveland came out to win a ball in the air but misjudged the bounce. As a result, Mora was able to gain control and chip the goalkeeper to double Portland’s lead in the dying minutes of the game. 

Post Match Thoughts

Sounders centerback, Yeimar, clears the ball despite a Timbers push in the first half of this Cascadia Cup clash.

Image via Max Aquino

While the Sounders created decent chances, their overall performance was relatively poor for significant game stretches. Considering their usual standard, this was a poor result. Seattle struggled to connect passes, and players seemed to show an uncharacteristic lack of familiarity. 

This loss feels like quite the letdown after coming off of an exceptional three games away from home. To add to the frustration, Lumen Field was the fullest it’s been since Seattle hosted the 2019 MLS Cup Final, and the stadium played host to an OL Reign 2-1 win over the Portland Thorns earlier in the day with over 27,000 in attendance to make history and set an NWSL record.

The Sounders won the Cascadia Cup series thanks to two wins earlier in the season at Providence Park, but the loss tonight continues a strange trend. You have to go back to May  2017 to find Seattle’s last regular-season win at home against the rags. They’ve had five such successes at Providence Park in that time. It almost certainly doesn’t mean anything, but that won’t make anyone feel better about it. For now, it’s just an oddity.

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