Portland Timbers 3, Seattle Sounders 1 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
Diego Valeri and a dose of counterattacks. That is what the Portland Timbers used to defeat the Seattle Sounders on Sunday.
A brace from Valeri led the way as the Timbers defeated the Sounders, 3-1, in a Cascadia Cup clash at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday afternoon. Valeri scored on each side of halftime, and Fanendo Adi added a third goal to topple a Seattle side that had trouble defending counters and finishing off plays in the final third.
The Sounders made things interesting momentarily when Chad Marshall hit a thunderous header home just before the hour-mark to make the score 2-1, but Adi put the intense game out of reach in the 64th minute on a play in transition.
Sunday's triumph improved the Timbers to 7-6-8 while dropping the Sounders to 6-11-2. Portland are in sixth place in the Western Conference with 29 points and Seattle are in ninth with 20.
- 44' -- POR -- Diego Valeri (Lucas Melano)
- 50' -- POR -- Diego Valeri (Jermaine Taylor)
- 59' -- SEA -- Chad Marshall (Andreas Ivanschitz)
- 64' -- POR -- Fanendo Adi (Lucas Melano)
- Full box score
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- EFFECTIVE ON THE COUNTER: The Seattle Sounders surely knew beforehand that the Portland Timbers were dangerous in transition, but were unable to stop the hosts nonetheless. The Timbers had their best moments in the attack when they hit on the counter, and two of their goals, Diego Valeri's first and Fanendo Adi's strike, were a direct result of that. The Sounders should have done a better job of getting numbers behind the ball when they lost it, but failed to do so and paid the price as a result.
- MELANO DELIVERS: A key piece in Portland's lethal counters was Lucas Melano, the oft-criticized attacker who had arguably his best performance since joining the club. Melano was active in receiving the ball down the left, and both surged forward on his own or fed Valeri and other teammates in dangerous spots. Melano finished with two assists on the day, and should gain plenty of confidence from this strong outing.
- BACK TO REALITY: The Sounders may have thought that their finishing woes had come to an end after routing FC Dallas, 5-0, this past Wednesday, but this game proved that wasn't the case. As has been the norm for much of the season, Seattle were wasteful in the attack for much of the 90 minutes. Portland goalkeeper Jake Gleeson did his part in making things difficult for the Sounders with five saves, but Jordan Morris and Nelson Haedo Valdez also missed on some good-looking opportunities that could have changed the course of the match.
- POR: Saturday, July 23 vs. LA Galaxy (3:30 pm ET, ESPN)
- SEA: Sunday, July 24 at Sporting Kansas City (3 pm ET, ESPN)