2006 Jun 2

Seattle Sounders  0 - 0  Portland Timbers
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

Seattle: Chris Eylander; Danny Jackson, Jake Besagno, Zach Scott, Seyi Abolaji (Craig Tomlinson 84'); Kevin Sakuda, CJ Klaas, Leighton O'Brien (Jamal Sutton 46'), Andrew Gregor; Roger Levesque, Cam Weaver. Substitutes not used: David Mahoney, Santa Maria Rivera, Gabe Sturm, Nate Boyden, Noah Merl.

Portland: Josh Saunders; Jacobi Goodfellow, Scot Thompson, Michael Nsien (Josh Brown 44'), Michael Randolph; Lee Morrison, Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar, Luke Kreamalmeyer, Mamba Chisoni; Byron Alvarez (Tom Poltl 81'), Drew McAthy (Oral Bullen 87'). Substitutes not used: Elfvin Bayard, Salim Bullen, Sergio Iniguez, Alejandro Gutierrez.


Additional match reports: Sounder Central (with photos), Sounders, Seattle Times, King County Journal, Seattle P-I, Timbers.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

In their first meeting of the year, the visiting Portland Timbers and the Seattle Sounders played to a nil-nil draw. Both sides had their chances, but the finishing was lacking. Seattle goalkeeper Chris Eylander had to make more good saves than his counterpart Josh Saunders as they both were credited with shutouts.

Seattle midfielder Leighton O'Brien returned to action, starting the match and looking good, but he is still not 100% healthy and left the match at halftime.

First Half

The match was open at the beginning, with both sides missing early golden opportunities. For Seattle just a half minute after kickoff, Andrew Gregor saw Saunders off his line and tried to bend one over the backpedaling keeper but the ball hit the top of the crossbar and rebounded back into play. For Portland in the 4th minute, Byron Alvarez controlled the ball on the 18-yard line and dished a nice diagonal pass forward to the right for Drew McAthy, whose 15-yard low shot was collapsed on by Eylander as he made his first save a good one.

Seattle looked ready to score in the 9th when Gregor was served wide open on the left, and his 15-yard shot was block-saved by Saunders. A rebound was conceded into the middle of the penalty area, and Roger Levesque managed a shot under pressure, on goal but cleared by Scot Thompson on the goal line.

For Portland at 14', Luke Kreamalmeyer tried to bend one from 30 yards over Eylander and the shot cleared the keeper and the bar by inches.

The 20s belonged to Seattle rookie forward Cam Weaver. First he shot from wide left, past a diving Saunders and just missing the far post. Weaver was served wide open for another try from the left and his shot/cross went between Levesque and the far post. A nice left-footed cross from CJ Klaas past goal gave Weaver a header, but he sent it just wide of the near post.

Seattle kept the momentum until halftime. At 35', Levesque was sprung on goal from 30 yards and was steps free as he approached the penalty area, but Saunders played it well and came out to the 18 to hide the goal, claiming the ball on the save.

After 25 minutes with no good chances for Portland, a ball cleared up the middle gave Lee Morrison a shot from 30 yards, aimed at the left post, and Eylander leaped sideways for an acrobatic one-handed save, pushing it wide.

Shortly before halftime two Nigerians, Portland's Michael Nsien and Seattle's Seyi Abolaji, battled for the ball at the right flag in Portland's end, and Nsien injured himself and was replaced by Josh Brown.

Seattle outshot Portland 7-4 in the half.

Halftime: Seattle 0-0 Portland

As in the first half, both teams had an early chance in the second. Portland was first in the 48th when Kreamalmeyer was open at the top left corner of the penalty area on a corner kick, and his shot to the top far corner was denied only by a brilliant one-handed save by a fully stretched Eylander. For Seattle in the 49th, second half substitute Jamal Sutton won a ball served to the front line and he got around his marker for a shot from 15 yards with only Saunders to beat, but the shot rose inches over the bar.

It was 14 minutes to the next chance, and Seattle's Levesque won a cross over the crowd for a chance in close, and he tried to serve it for Cam Weaver on a far-post run in close, but the pass had too much pace and rolled harmlessly between Weaver and the post.

A minute later it was Portland's turn as Mamba Chisoni carried the ball up the left side into the area for a shot with only Eylander to beat, but he sent the shot just wide of the near post.

Then back to Seattle in the 68th, when Gregor's 20-yard shot from a throw-in play missed the far post by a half yard.

Then Portland's turn in the 73rd when McAthy won a loose ball and found himself surprisingly open in the arc, and Eylander came out strongly to cut down the angle, forcing McAthy to shoot wide when he ought to have done better.

A tactical foul gave Seattle a free kick from 25 yards in the 76th, but Gregor missed the top near corner by two yards.

At 84' Seattle removed right back Abolaji and inserted a third forward, Craig Tomlinson, but the move almost cost them the match. Tomlinson got one chance from a pass near goal from Weaver, but he wasted the shot. Then from the 89th minute through added time Portland had three good chances from the left side that Abolaji had been defending. Chisoni got close on the left for a shot that forced a save by Eylander. Then a cross from substitute Oral Bullen to the left side gave Tom Poltl a great chance from 12 yards and Eylander had to make a great leg save, the rebound loose for a few seconds before Eylander corralled it. Finally, Chisoni crossed to the near post nicely for substitute Oral Bullen, whose header with Eylander coming out cleared the bar by a half yard.

Those last three shots gave Portland a 7-6 edge in shots in the second half, but for both sides the finishing was wanting the whole evening.

Final: Seattle 0-0 Portland

          Seattle   Portland
Shots:       13        11
Saves:        5         2
Corners:      5         3
Fouls:       18        16
Offsides:     4         5

15' POR - Alcaraz-Cuellar cautioned for taking Abolaji down at the halfway line
19' SEA - Besagno cautioned for what he said after being called for a marginal foul
36' SEA - O'Brien cautioned
38' SEA - Gregor cautioned after for retaliating after Chisoni fouled
38' POR - Chisoni cautioned for the foul on Gregor that led to the retaliation
76' POR - Randolph cautioned for a tactical foul on Sutton 25 yards from goal

Referees: Andres Pfefferkorn; Cory Dean, Jesse Scrimsher; Will Niccolls

Attendance: 2,251