2007 Aug 1
Seattle Sounders 2 - 0 Portland Timbers
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA
Seattle: Chris Eylander; Taylor Graham (Danny Jackson 70'), Noah Merl, Zach Scott; Kevin Sakuda, Kenji Treschuk, Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar, Josh Gardner (Santa Maria Rivera 83'); Greg Howes, Sebastien Le Toux, Roger Levesque (Gabe Sturm 81'). Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Jake Besagno, Nathan Knox, Craig Tomlinson.
Portland: Josh Wicks; Cameron Knowles, Justin Thompson, Shaun Higgins, Leonard Griffin; Neil Dombrowski, Andrew Gregor, Luke Kreamalmeyer, Kiki Lara (David Hague 64'); Matt Taylor (Lawrence Olum 84'), Bryan Jordan (Troy Ready 81'). Substitutes not used: Elfvin Bayard, Lee Morrison, Kevin Meissner, Tom Taylor.
31' SEA: Gardner
68' SEA: Le Toux (Levesque)
Additional match reports: GOALSeattle.com, Shotgun Prose, Seattle Times, Seattle P-I, Sounders, Timbers, Oregonian, Shotgun Prose.
Match report by Ron Stickney:
In a match between the teams at the top of the table, the Seattle Sounders took care of business at home to defeat the Portland Timbers 2-0. The Sounders netted a goal in each half, first from Josh Gardner, then from Sebastien Le Toux. Seattle's defense allowed Portland few chances, giving goalkeeper Chris Eylander one of his easier shutouts. Coach Brian Schmetzer has to be happy with the whole team for this match.
The win locks up the 2007 Cascadia Cup for the Sounders, who will keep the hardware, having also won it last year. In the cup matches, the Sounders won at home and drew away against both Portland and Vancouver. While Portland and Vancouver have two cup matches left against each other, both are sitting on one cup point and cannot catch the Sounders.
The officials contributed to this match, as referee Fotis Bazakos did a nice job of letting the players play but meting out justice when it was needed.
Sitting out the match due to yellow card accumulation were Portland's Tom Poltl and Scot Thompson.
Seattle had the first chance at 5' as Le Toux was almost put free up the middle, but from behind a defender got a touch on the ball to force Le Toux to play it too far ahead. Portland came back with a chance when Bryan Jordan was fed in the middle of the penalty area after a nice string of passes, but a defender got there to bang the ball off Jordan's leg and out for a goal kick.
In the 10th minute Le Toux's cross went to Gardner 15 yards from goal, and his header seemed like it was intended for Roger Levesque but instead it went right to goalkeeper Josh Wicks for an easy first save of the match. Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar's 35-yard free kick went right to Wicks for another easy save. At 19' Gardner's free kick bounced in front of goal and gave Taylor Graham a header at the far post, but he did't get it aimed down.
Seattle finally had a worthy shot in the 25th when Alcaraz-Cuellar's free kick up the middle was shot hard at the top left corner, and Wicks did well to get there to palm it wide.
Portland's first shot did not come until the 27th, when Gregor's long free kick from the left was a yard wide of the far post.
At 30' for Seattle, Gardner's cross to the far side was headed in front of goal by Levesque for Greg Howes to volley from 8 yards, but the shot went right to Wicks.
31' SEA: Gardner. From the middle third of the pitch, Gardner dribbled straight at goal. He stutter-stepped a few times to back up the defender, then saw an opening and fired a hard, low shot with his left foot, beating the sprawling Wicks to the far corner. 1-0 Seattle. It was Gardner's first league goal as a Sounder.
For Portland in the 35th, Matt Taylor chipped a shot at the top far corner from 20 yards, but it was just wide and Eylander got there to take it anyway.
At 40' for Seattle, it was Le Toux, then Howes with hard shots straight up the middle, both blocked halfway to goal by defenders. Then Howes sent a 20-yarder through the crowd but right to Wicks.
In the final minute of the half Portland had a good opportunity when Seattle committed an unnecessary foul 23 yards from goal. Gregor wasted the shot into the middle of the wall, and he must have been frustrated because within the minute he unnecessarily tripped an opponent from behind to earn a yellow card.
Halftime: Seattle 1 - 0 Portland
The next quarter of the match was dominated by Portland, but the Sounders defense limited the Timbers to several corner kicks and no good chances. At 65' Gregor did get a quick shot from 18 yards when a loose ball in the penalty area found him, but his shot cleared the bar by a couple of yards.
68' SEA: Le Toux (Levesque). The play started with Levesque working a wall pass with Howes on a run up the middle. Levesque muscled his way around the left corner past Shaun Higgins to earn a cross from just wide of the goal area, and the cross was a beauty, past Wicks to the center of the 6-yard line. Le Toux got to the ball just before his marker and finished it to give the Sounders an insurance goal. 2-0 Seattle.
The next 15 minutes produced Seattle shots by Howes from 18 and from Levesque near the touch line, both about a yard over the bar. Meanwhile, Portland's chances came only from a pair of Gregor free kicks, the first sent to the far post and tracked down by Eylander and the second headed out by the wall for a corner kick. Gregor took the corner kick and bent it to the center of the goal area, where Eylander rose to claim it.
Seattle was doing mostly time killing from 85' on, but at 90' Gardner fed Alcaraz-Cuellar running unmarked at goal for a hard shot, but right at Wicks. In added time it was two more chances for Seattle. Howes stole the ball near the halfway line and sent Le Toux off to the races. Wicks got to the ball 2 yards outside of the penalty area and played it, but the ball bounced over Wicks to give Le Toux a chance. With a defender arriving to pressure, Le Toux's shot went yards wide. The final shot was a long free kick by Alcaraz-Cuellar, just over the bar.
Final: Seattle 2 - 0 Portland
Shots: 15 6
Saves: 2 6
Corners: 3 5
Fouls: 13 22
Offsides: 3 1
25' POR: Dombrowski cautioned for kicking Alcaraz-Cuellar in the ankle
45' POR: Gregor cautioned for tripping from behind
49' POR: Griffin cautioned for holding Le Toux to prevent a breakaway
50' SEA: Scott cautioned for a foul while heading a shot
81' SEA: Treschuk cautioned for a late trip of Kreamalmeyer
Referees: Fotis Bazakos; Cory Dean, Mark Matthews; Kevin O'Daniel