One goal in 100 words: The Seattle Sounders’ squad without Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins clearly lack the offensive firepower that makes them strong MLS Cup contenders, but the real story here was the Sounders’ lack of a cohesive defensive unit. But you could argue that the offensive performance was just top-notch coming from the Portland Timbers, as Darlington Nagbe and Fanendo Adi were really clicking en route to a four-goal tally. The Timbers had never won in Seattle, but in front of their staunch supporters at Providence Park, you could sense the energy in the stadium encouraging the home side. Seattle remains at second place in the Western Conference. Portland has skipped up to third place with the victory.
Portland: Darlington Nagbe 12’, Fanendo Adi 74’, 76’, Rodney Wallace 90’+1’
Seattle: Lamar Neagle 38’
Three moments that mattered
12’ —Nagbe buries it first — Darlington Nagbe took the ball in stride from outside of the box and uncorked a seething endeavor that flew into the upper netting for the first goal of the match. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei, as would be the case with many netminders in this scenario, was unmistakably beat. Nothing special spurred this occurrence except an exceptional individual exertion from Nagbe and a heads-up look by Diego Valeri to feed the Akron product.
74’ — Adi once — Nagbe, who performed very well for his squad in this one, made a rapid run forward that cut right through the Sounders’ defense before he laid off a pass for Fanendo Adi and he, in turn, struck a one-touch half-chipped effort into the top corner over an outstretched Frei. It was a very well-taken goal from Adi and having captured the 2-1 lead, Portland would never look back.
76’ — Adi again — A turnover at midfield led to a quick counterattack, and when Adi had loads of room edging toward the opposition’s penalty area, the Sounders back line didn’t try to close down the dangerous attacker; instead, they backpedaled until the Nigerian found a lane to fire home and put the score further out of reach. The crowd erupted, and the outlook of this competition had changed in a matter of minutes.
Portland: Fanendo Adi; Adam Larsen Kwarasey; Alvas Powell, Nat Borchers, Norberto Paparatto, Jorge Villafana; Diego Chara, Will Johnson, Diego Valeri (Rodney Wallace 66′), Gaston Fernandez (Maximiliano Urruti 82′), Darlington Nagbe (Jack Jewsbury 80′)
Seattle: Lamar Neagle (Darwin Jones 82′), Chad Barrett (Andy Craven 60′); Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Chad Marshall, Brad Evans, Oniel Fisher; Andy Rose (Cristian Roldan 69′), Michael Azira, Gonzalo Pineda, Marco Pappa