The game in 100 words (or less): When the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders get together, they do not disappoint. Sunday’s Cascadia Cup clash, the first of three this season, was no different. The Timbers have the MLS Cup, something their northern neighbors so desperately wish to capture themselves, and now they have the first bragging rights of 2016 following a 3-1 victory over the Clint Dempsey-less (suspension) Sounders, thanks in large part to two Diego Valeri goals and two Lucas Melano assists. Fanendo Adi bagged the third goal for Portland (29 points), who with three points climb over Sporting Kansas City for the sixth and final Western Conference playoff place (with a game in hand). Meanwhile, the Sounders remain ninth in the West, nine points behind their rivals and a playoff place. The two sides will meet again on Aug. 21, in Seattle.
[ MORE: Recapping Saturday night’s MLS action ]
Three Four Five moments that mattered
17′ — Morris misses from 7 yards out — Left foot, Jordan. Left foot. How differently this game could have been…
44′ — Valeri slots home to finish a lethal counter — Lucas Melano does so, so, so well to carry the ball as far as he can, until the very last second, and create just a bit more space for Valeri to run into. Valeri’s finish is simply sublime.
50′ — Valeri defies geometric probabilities to make it 2-0 — An unreal strike from an improbable angle.
59′ — Marshall heads home Ivanschitz’s corner — Big man gets up, makes it a one-goal game again.
64′ — Adi finishes another devastating counter — Melano was absolutely brilliant on Sunday. His 60-yard dribble through the center of the field, the timing of his pass to Fanendo Adi — it was all perfect from the Argentine.
Man of the match: Diego Valeri/Lucas Melano
Goalscorers: Valeri (44′, 50′), Marshall (59′), Adi (64′)