2005 Apr 30

Seattle Sounders  1 - 2  Portland Timbers
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

Seattle: Robby Fulton; Taylor Graham, Zach Scott, Billy Sleeth, Ryan Edwards (Brett Wiesner 90'); Kevin Sakuda (Chad Brown 80'), CJ Klaas, Scott Jenkins, Brent Whitfield (Ben Somoza 75'); Roger Levesque, Welton. Substitutes not used: James Ward, Gabe Sturm, Josh Hansen, Jake Besagno.

Portland: Josh Saunders; Scot Thompson, Gavin Wilkinson (Lee Morrison 80'), Edwin Miranda, Aaron Heinzen; Brian Winters, Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (Jarrod Weis 88'), Shaun Higgins (Scott Benedetti 85'), Tom Poltl; Byron Alvarez, Aaran Lines. Substitutes not used: Sam Reynolds, David Henning, Fadi Afash, Memo Arzate.

51' POR - Alvarez (Lines)
54' POR - Poltl (Alvarez)
73' SEA - Welton (Klaas)

Additional match reports: Seattle Times, Sounders.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

In their season opener at home, the Seattle Sounders lost to the Portland Timbers 2-1 despite outshooting Portland 18-4. The Timbers didn't take a shot in the first half, but netted their first two shots of the match in the second half, with Byron Alvarez and Tom Poltl bagging the goals. Seattle's Welton brought Seattle back within a goal with 17 minutes left, but the hosts couldn't manage an equalizer. Portland goalkeeper Josh Saunders had 9 saves to earn the win.

Seattle started 3 rookies, CJ Klaas and Brent Whitfield in the midfield and Robby Fulton in goal. Fulton was on short-term loan from the San Jose Earthquakes, filling in for Preston Burpo, who is still sidelined by an injury. Scott Jenkins wore the captain's armband.

First Half

Seattle outshot Portland 8-0 in the first half, but couldn't get a goal. The best chance was the first, when Scott Jenkins crossed past goal to Welton, open 15 yards out with only Saunders to beat, but Welton's shot went right to the 'keeper.

The Sounders had three good chances in the final 15 minutes of the half. Jenkins got a 15-yard shot on goal from the left after Portland couldn't clear the ball from their area, but Saunders parried the ball overhead and Miranda cleared the rebound. Billy Sleeth carried the ball into the area for a 15-yarder from the right, but Saunders made the save. A long Klaas free kick up the middle was headed at the top near corner by Taylor Graham, and Saunders saved nicely.

Halftime: Seattle 0-0 Portland

Seattle had the first chance in the second half when Whitfield centered for Roger Levesque, but Saunders was out to stuff the shot and the put-back shot by Whitfield was sent out for a corner.

51' Alvarez (Lines). On a Portland counterattack on the left side, Aaran Lines sprung Alvarez from just over the halfway line and he was all alone. Fulton started to come out, then tried to retreat, and Alvarez put a low shot around Fulton and in. 1-0 Portland on their first shot of the match.

54' Poltl (Alvarez). A forward pass to Alvarez in the middle was passed diagonally forward in front of Poltl on a run at goal from the right. Poltl got the ball unmarked and curled an 18-yard shot around Fulton and inside the far post. 2-0 Portland on their second shot of the match.

Whitfield soon gave the Sounders a couple of chances. He held the ball nicely in the penalty area and fed Klaas in the arc for an 18-yard shot that flashed just wide of the post. 6 minutes later Whitfield's quick shot in the area was block-saved by Saunders and the rebound was crossed to the far post by Jenkins for a Welton header at an open goal, but the shot missed wide.

Zach Scott had chances in the 64th and 65th minutes, heading a long Klaas free kick over the bar, then getting off a shot as he slid down in the area, but Saunders had it covered.

Portland's third shot came in the 65th when Alvarez was open for a cross 15 yards out, but Fulton was there for his only save of the match.

73' Welton (Klaas). Klaas took off with the ball from the center spot, going at 3 defenders, and passed diagonally left for Welton as a defender tripped Klaas. Advantage was allowed, as Welton got the ball alone on the left and put a low shot inside the far post from 15 yards. 2-1 Portland.

A Jenkins corner kick was headed wide by a leaping Graham in the 76th, and Portland would deny the Sounders any good shots after that.

Portland managed their 4th shot of the match when Lines tried from the corner of the penalty area, sending it 2 yards over the bar at 82'.

The scoring chances were done for the night, but not the cards. 80th minute substitute Chad Brown got his first yellow in the 84th minute for a harsh foul and a yellow/red seconds before the final whistle when he slid in late under Lines.

Final: Seattle 1-2 Portland

          Seattle  Portland
Shots:      18         4
Saves:       1         9
Corners:     6         1
Fouls:      15        14
Offsides:    7         1

6' SEA - Sleeth cautioned for a tactical foul
20' SEA - Edwards cautioned for a foul on Alvarez
24' POR - Higgins cautioned for tripping Klaas 25 yards from goal
52' SEA - Scott cautioned for taking down Alcaraz-Cuellar at the halfway line
84' SEA - Brown cautioned for a foul in Portland's half
89' POR - Alvarez cautioned for persistent infringement
90' SEA - Brown cautioned for sliding late under Lines and sent off for his second caution

Referees: Fotis Bazakos; Mark Matthews, Robert Mauws; David Rowe

Attendance: 6,351