PORTLAND, OR— (Sounders release) Despite a second-half effort that included goals from Andreas Ivanschitz and Jordan Morris, Seattle Sounders FC (9-13-4, 31 points) fell 4-2 to the Portland Timbers (9-10-8, 35 points) Sunday afternoon at Providence Park. The Timbers found the net four times before the halftime whistle, snapping Seattle’s five-match unbeaten streak (3-0-2) and giving the club its first loss under Interim Head Coach Brian Schmetzer.
Portland got off the starting blocks via a set-piece goal from Vytas Andriuskevicius, with the Lithuanian getting on the end of a Jack Jewsbury corner-kick to give the home side a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute of play. Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei managed to get a hand to the snap-header at his near post, but Andriuskevicius got his attempt just over the goal-line to count for the first tally of the match.
Five minutes later the Timbers doubled their advantage, as Argentine playmaker Diego Valeri weaved through traffic inside Seattle’s area, firing a low, driven shot that Frei was able to save. However, Portland forward Fanendo Adi was waiting to pounce on the rebound, slamming a follow-up attempt into the back of Seattle’s net to make the scoreline 2-0.
Portland added two insurance tallies before the halftime whistle, first via Lucas Melano in the 29th minute following some one-touch passing between Diego Chara and Valeri. Melano capped the build-up play with a smooth finish following Chara’s final ball. Steven Taylor added the fourth goal of the half for the home side with a header in the 44th minute via a Valeri free-kick.
Seattle’s energy changed following the halftime break, with the Rave Green bagging two goals inside the first six minutes of the second half. First, Ivanschitz swerved a shot past Portland netminder Jake Gleeson following a deft pass from attacking midfielder Nico Loderio. Ivanschitz’s shot careened into the back of Portland’s net after taking a slight deflection off of Taylor in the 47th minute.
A second Sounders goal came in the 51st minute, with Ivanschitz initiating the attack before laying the ball off to Lodeiro. The Uruguayan delivered an over-the-top through ball to a streaking Morris, who buried a header for his team-leading ninth goal of his 2016 rookie campaign. Lodeiro has now scored or assisted in each of the past five games, totaling two goals and six assists since signing with Seattle on July 27.
Román Torres made his return to the pitch Sunday with a halftime substitute appearance for defender Tyrone Mears. The Panamanian international was activated from the Disabled List last week after suffering a torn ACL on September 12 of last season.
The Rave Green now head into a bye week during the upcoming FIFA window, with six Sounders being called into their respective national teams for international duty. Brian Schmetzer’s side returns to MLS play on Saturday, September 10 with a road match at San Jose (7:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Univision-Seattle, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM). Like Sounders FC, the Earthquakes are battling to climb above the red line in the race for the 2016 MLS Cup playoffs, with San Jose currently occupying seventh place in the Western Conference table, one point above Seattle with 32 points.