2004 May 15

Seattle Sounders  0 - 1  Portland Timbers
Seahawks Stadium, Seattle, WA

52' POR - Sagare (Alcaraz-Cuellar)

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Danny Jackson, Zach Scott (Darren Sawatzky 57'), Scott Jenkins; Marco Velez, Chad Brown (Ryan Edwards 78'), Jason Farrell, Robbie Aristodemo (Sean Henderson 65'), Viet Nguyen (Welton 62'); Kyle Smith, Roger Levesque. Substitutes not used: Danny Waltman, Kevin Sakuda, Kei Kinoshita.

Portland: Josh Saunders; Lee Morrison, Gavin Wilkinson, Aaron Heinzen; Scott Benedetti, Shawn Saunders, Alex Bengard, Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (Memo Arzate 90'), Jake Sagare; Alan Gordon (Dan Antoniuk 84'), Byron Alvarez. Substitutes not used: Bayard Elfvin, Erik Cronkrite, David Henning, Brian Winters, McKinley Tennyson.

Additional match reports: Seattle Times, Sounders, Timbers.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

The Seattle Sounders peppered the goal in the first half but failed to score, then conceded a second half goal to lose to the visiting Portland Timbers 1-0. Jake Sagare notched the lone goal. Josh Saunders made some fine saves to earn the shutout.

The Timbers qualify for the US Open Cup, winning each leg of the 2-match series by a goal. This is the first time that Portland have qualified for the Cup.

First Half

Seattle had a great attack going the whole first half, but their best chances were stopped by J Saunders or the woodwork. They came the closest in the 9th minute when Viet Nguyen's centering pass was headed by Roger Levesque at the spot and the ball hit the bar, then the inside of the far post, rebounding across the face of the goal where it was sent out for a corner by a defender. Kyle Smith was sprung in the 12th and had only the keeper to beat, but Saunders charged out to block the shot.

Alan Gordon took Portland's first good shot in the 16th, on frame from 25 yards but routinely saved by Preston Burpo.

For Seattle at 20', Jason Farrell's 25-yard rocket from a cleared corner kick hit the crossbar squarely. Nguyen crossed from the right for another Levesque header, aimed sharply at J Saunders' feet and well-saved. A nice turn with the ball let Nguyen feed into the area for Levesque, and another nice turn let Levesque cross from the bye line close to goal, giving Robbie Aristodemo an 8-yard shot that was nicely parried wide by Saunders for a corner kick. In the 29th Aristodemo fed Levesque near the spot for a shot that was deflected wide of the post by a defender near goal.

Portland's turn in the 35th, as Byron Alvarez beat his marker in the right side of the penalty area for a left-footed shot aimed low at the far post, but Burpo dove and stuck out his arm to pop the ball up and a defender cleared it.

Back to Seattle two minutes later as Aristodemo sent a pass in front of Farrell running up the right touch line. Farrell's cross from near the end line gave Smith a 12-yard volley that bounced hard at the bar and was pushed over by Saunders.

Portland nearly scored just before the halftime whistle when Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar juked twice to cross to the far post. Burpo came out for the cross but couldn't reach it, and Gordon on a far-post run managed to beat his defender to get a touch on the ball, but it rolled just wide of the post.

Halftime: Seattle 0 - 0 Portland

Soon after the kickoff an intercepted backpass by Aaron Heinzen towards his goalkeeper led to a Levesque chip shot from 18, but Saunders managed to tip it wide and when a defender deliberately passed the ball to Saunders the keeper picked it up. Surprisingly, there was no whistle -- an indirect free kick seemed warranted. Marco Velez took a 15-yard shot from a cross, and Saunders saved it at the feet. A cleared ball was volleyed by Nguyen a yard over the bar.

52' Sagare (Alcaraz-Cuellar). Alcaraz-Cuellar's long cross from the right went past the goal to Sagare, who beat his marker to earn a 15-yard shot that hit the base of the far post and went in. 1-0 Portland.

Seattle started substituting in the 57th, but would manage only one good shot the rest of the match. In his first minute on the pitch for the Seattle, Welton just past goal received a long cross from Velez and headed it sharply on goal from 5 yards, but Saunders was there for the save. Shortly after that, Smith was seemingly tripped from behind going for a ball 6 yards from goal, but it apparently wasn't enough for a PK.

The last 25 minutes, Seattle would manage only a 25-yard shot by Velez that would easily be saved.

Portland would manage more shots, though, as Seattle pushed numbers forward looking for the equalizer. In the 65th Gordon fired from the 18-yard line on the right, and Burpo dove forward for the catch. Two minutes later Gordon dribbled parallel to the crossbar for a shot from 10 yards, but sent it high and wide of the near corner. Alvarez got loose for a 15-yard chance, but bent it the wrong way. Dan Antoniuk entered in the 84th minute and soon had a shot near the goal from a free-kick play, but a defender managed to block it. Alvarez dribbled in close for the last shot of the match, but Burpo came out to pressure and the ball went wide.

Final: Seattle 0 - 1 Portland

        Seattle  Portland
Shots:      23       11
Saves:       5        9
Corners:    10        3
Fouls:      15       14
Offsides:    2        2

24' POR - Morrison cautioned for taking out Smith's legs after Smith passed the ball.
33' SEA - Scott cautioned for tripping Alvarez 35 yards from goal.
40' POR - Alvarez cautioned for kicking Scott's ankle in a late challenge.
57' POR - S Saunders cautioned for sliding late under Farrell, advantage given at the time.

Referees: Baldomero Toledo; Chuck Locke, Mark Matthews; Jeff Hosking.
Attendance: 3,907