2001 May 11

Portland Timbers  2 - 0  Seattle Sounders
PGE Park, Portland, OR

25' POR - Baena (Sawatzky)
38' POR - Sancho (Sawatzky)

Portland: Matt Napoleon; Gavin Wilkinson, Brent Sancho, Matt Chulis; Brian Winters, Vadim Tolstolutsky, Scott Benedetti, Michael O'Neill, Jeff Clarke (Jesus Ochoa 72'); Darren Sawatzky, Mark Baena (Tony McPeak 76').

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Kieran Barton, Scott Jenkins, Mike Casale; Jeremy Sweet (Ryan Edwards 55'), Leighton O'Brien, Jason Farrell, Viet Nguyen; Kyle Smith (Craig Tomlinson 26', Chad Brown 76'), Rees Bettinger, Christer Forsberg (Kei Kinoshita 45').

Match report by Ron Stickney:
The Portland Timbers drew an impressive 12,295 fans in their first home A-League match and sent their fans home happy with a 2-0 win over the Seattle Sounders. Ex-Sounder Mark Baena scored the first home goal for the Timbers, although he was lucky to not be flagged offside. Defender Brent Sancho made the missed offside call moot when he headed in a corner kick. Ex-Sounder Darren Sawatzky assisted on both goals. The match doubled as an A-League match and a US Open Cup qualifier.

Portland started a 3-5-2 lineup against Seattle's 3-4-3. The only change from Seattle's opening-day lineup was rookie Mike Casale as left back in place of Charles Gbeke, who failed to get a visa and was released from the team.

The new Sounders away kits are red/white jerseys with black shorts. With the color red showing up throughout the Sounders club teams, it almost seems like the Sounders bought the color from Vancouver, who have switched from red to blue this year.

First Half

Seattle chances were few and far between this evening, in marked contrast to their play in their home opener. The Sounders find themselves waiting for someone to stake a legitimate claim to a starting position as forward.

Portland had the first few shots. Scott Benedetti fired from 35 yards after a cleared corner kick, and Preston Burpo easily saved. A 35-yard Portland free kick was deflected just a half yard over the top far corner. A wall pass gave Portland a chance in close, but Casale slid in nicely to send the ball out for one of the half's dozen corners.

At 19', Jason Farrell took the first shot for Seattle from 10 yards at a steep angle on the right, firing just over Matt Napoleon's fingertips and off the face of the crossbar.

For Portland, Vadim Tolstolutsky was wide open for a 30-yarder up the middle, but he was yards off target.

25' Baena (Sawatzky). Baena was a full yard offside when Sawatzky chipped over the defense (we were sitting right on the offside line at the time), and he was very fortunate to not be flagged offside by assistant referee Eduardo Irigoyen, who apparently suffered a lapse in attention during what should have been an easy call. Baena just beat a defender to the ball and sent a low shot past the charging and collapsing Burpo to score Portland's first home goal. 1-0 Portland. Seattle defender Scott Jenkins couldn't believe the flag stayed down and was cautioned for the way he complained about the blown call.

A minute later Seattle sent in Craig Tomlinson for the rookie forward Kyle Smith, who had seemed invisible in the match.

Seattle's Jeremy Sweet got in close on the right and tried from a tough angle but couldn't put the shot on goal.

38' Sancho (Sawatzky). After 6 corner kicks by Seattle and 6 by Portland, one was finally finished. Sancho rose 5 yards out from the far post to head in Sawatzky's corner kick from the left side. Sancho aimed nicely, bouncing the ball just in front of the line and into the ceiling of the goal. 2-0 Portland.

The last 5 minutes of the half saw a flurry of chances. Sawatzky beat Jenkins to win a long ball and Burpo slipped and fell, but Jenkins recovered to force the shot wide of the near post. For Seattle, Rees Bettinger's service into the area was headed by Sweet from 8 yards, but too softly to Napoleon. For Portland, Michael O'Neill's header from 6 yards from a cross forced a diving catch by Burpo. Tomlinson carried the ball into the penalty area dangerously, but Sancho won possession with a fair shoulder charge. Sweet headed Jenkins' throw-in on goal but Napoleon had the near post covered for the save. Finally, Bettinger's 30-yarder missed the target.

Halftime: Portland 2 - 0 Seattle

O'Neill lobbed the second-half kickoff on goal, and Burpo made his easiest save of the evening. The opening 25 minutes of the second half saw absolutely no promising attacks by either side.

The first chance of the half came from a long Portland free kick in the 71st minute. The long service was crossed in front of goal for a close shot by Sawatzky, block-saved by Burpo, and Sawatzky's shot from the rebound was deflected just wide of the near post for a corner kick.

The 76th saw an injury when Seattle's Tomlinson arrived late for a ball in the Portland area that Portland Substitute Jesus Ochoa had just headed out for a corner. Tomlinson banged heads with Ochoa and both players went down holding their heads. Ochoa soon recovered and finished the match, but Tomlinson was carried off and seemed to lapse into unconsciousness. Chad Brown replaced Tomlinson, who lay on the ground until the match was over. Tomlinson was put on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital. The word so far is that Tomlinson suffered a concussion and was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

Seattle's only good chance of the half came when Bettinger's free kick from the right side was sent square 25 yards from the goal line, dummied nicely by Viet Nguyen, and shot low and hard by Kieran Barton. The shot went past the diving Napoleon only to hit the far post squarely and rebound to a defender for the clearance.

Seconds before the final whistle, Portland substitute Tony McPeak got an 18-yard shot from a Tolstolutsky cross, but a diving Burpo made the save at the base of the post.

Final: Portland 2 - 0 Seattle

Young referee Cory Dean deserves credit for a fine job in a big A-League match. We can't fault Dean for the missed offside call on the first goal. The rivalry got heated at times, and Dean settled things nicely time and again.

         Portland  Seattle
Shots:      16        8
Saves:       3        7
Corners:     9        9
Fouls:      15       27
Offsides:    1        1

26' SEA - Jenkins cautioned for complaining about a missed offside call that resulted in the first goal.
39' POR - Chulis cautioned for taking Tomlinson down at the halfway line.
43' SEA - Nguyen cautioned for a foul near the halfway line.
89' SEA - Casale cautioned for chopping down Sawatzky in the circle.
90' SEA - Edwards cautioned for tripping Sawatzky.
90' SEA - O'Brien cautioned for an altercation after Edwards' foul.

Referee: Cory Dean; Asst Refs: Daniel Rhee, Eduardo Irigoyen; 4th: Simon Ingham.
Attendance: 12,295!