Dempsey does Portland (again)

Seattle_Sounders_FC.svgPORTLAND, OR— (Sounders release) Seattle Sounders FC (5-7-6, 21 points) stunned the Portland Timbers (7-7-4, 25 points) in a 2-2 draw on Sunday evening at Providence Park, with Clint Dempsey’s equalizer coming in second-half stoppage time. Joevin Jones found the back of the net for Seattle in the first half, with Fanendo Adi and Dairon Asprilla providing goals for the home side, before Dempsey headed in a cross from Román Torres in the match’s final moments. Sounders FC improves to 2-0-1 against Portland across all competitions this season, with Seattle earning a 1-0 win on May 27 in MLS play at CenturyLink Field, followed by a 2-1 victory on June 13 in the Fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

(Cover photo: Seattle Sounders / Charis Wilson)

Sounders FC got on the board first in the 27th minute of play, as Jones made a knifing run from the left flank before firing a hard shot on-frame at the edge of Portland’s area. The initial shot forced Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson into a reactionary save, and it was Jones that pounced on his own rebound, burying his second attempt at Gleeson’s far post. The strike was Jones’ first of the 2017 campaign, accompanying his five assists (tied with Nico Lodeiro for the club lead).

Portland came roaring back to close the first half with two goals just minutes apart. In the 44th minute, Seattle defender Brad Evans was sent off for a challenge on Portland’s Darlington Nagbe, paving the way for an Adi penalty-kick strike. The Timbers doubled their lead deep into stoppage time, as Asprilla headed home David Guzman’s corner-kick service moments before the first half whistle.

Despite playing with 10 men for the entire second half, Seattle’s defense kept Portland’s attack at bay. Four minutes into second-half stoppage time, captain Osvaldo Alonso played a ball to the right flank for a surging Torres, who had bursted up the wing. The Panamanian defender took a soft touch before drifting a cross into the center of the area, where Dempsey leaped above his marker and delivered a low header into the left side of the net. It was one of nine goals in club history to be scored in the 94th minute or later in MLS play, including Will Bruin’s equalizer against Montreal in March. Dempsey now has five goals this season, matching Will Bruin for the team lead, and nine goals against the Timbers (his most versus any MLS opponent).

Seattle concludes a busy month of June in three days, as the Rave Green travel to Avaya Stadium for a Fifth Round Lamar Hunt U.S. Open contest against San Jose on Wednesday, June 28. Kickoff for that contest is slated for 7:30 p.m. PT, with SoundersFC.com carrying a live-stream of the match, and KIRO Radio 97.3. FM and El Rey 1360 AM providing local radio coverage. Brian Schmetzer’s side returns to MLS action with an Independence Day clash at Colorado on July 4 (6:00 p.m. PT / Q13 FOX, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).

MATCH NOTES

  • Sounders FC is now 5-7-6 in the 2017 MLS regular season. With 21 points, the Rave Green are tied for seventh place in the Western Conference alongside Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
  • Seattle is now 9-5-5 against Portland in MLS regular-season action, including a 2-5-3 mark at Providence Park. Sunday’s meeting marked the 98th all-time meeting between the two rivals since 1975, with Seattle holding a 50-35-13 advantage. After the result, Seattle is tied with Portland for the 2017 Cascadia Cup with four points apiece.
  • Clint Dempsey now has nine goals in nine appearances against Portland, which is his most against any team in the league. The equalizer marked the ninth time in club history that Sounders FC has scored in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time or later in league play, including the second time in 2017 (2-2 draw vs. MTL, 3/17/2017). His five goals this season match Will Bruin for the team lead.
  • Defender Brad Evans recorded a red card just before halftime, resulting in his fourth career ejection in MLS play (Last: 2-1 win at VAN, 10/2/2016)
  • Defender Joevin Jones scored his first goal of the season in the first half. He is also tied for the team lead with five assists. In addition, defender Román Torres recorded his first assist of the season, and the second assist of his MLS career, on Dempsey’s goal.
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