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Atlanta comes back to draw 10-man Seattle (video)

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A scrappy if not downright venomous affair between the lowly Seattle Sounders and high-flying Atlanta United ended in a 1-1 draw in Georgia on Sunday.

The Sounders went ahead through a Nicolas Lodeiro penalty kick, awarded via VAR a la this morning’s World Cup Final, but Atlanta leveled the score with a highlight which show every bit of the game story.

[ MORE: FIFA awards Golden Ball, Golden Glove ]

Just check Josef Martinez’s barking at Stefan Frei, who made an uncharacteristic error on the play, after his 19th goal of the season (Nice cross, Julian Gressel).

Martinez needs nine more goals to break the MLS single season record, and he has 13 games to score them.

Jordan McCrary was sent off for Seattle in the 63rd minute for a second yellow, but Seattle navigated the final half hour or so to scoop up an unlikely point.

Atlanta still sits first with its earned point but opens the door for New York City FC to reach the top of the table when it plays its match-in-hand, while Seattle is now 11 points back of the West’s final playoff spot.

Timbers get 1st win in Seattle, extend unbeaten run to 10

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SEATTLE (AP) — Larrys Mabiala scored off of two corner kicks, the second the winner in the 74th minute, in the Portland Timbers’ 3-2 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.

Samuel Armenteros also scored, and Diego Valeri assisted on all three goals to help the Timbers (7-3-5) extend their unbeaten streak to 10 games (7-0-3). That is the longest unbeaten run in MLS this season. Portland’s last loss was at Orlando on April 8.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Mabiala put Portland up 1-0 in the 48th minute when he headed in a Valeri corner kick that came from the attacking right side. His winning goal came on a corner from the right. Mabiala has four goals for the year.

Armenteros scored in the 57th minute on a long through ball from Valeri. That was his fourth goal of the year.

The Sounders (3-9-3) came from behind twice to tie it.

Victor Rodriguez made it 1-1 when he ran onto a cross from Nicolas Lodeiro and headed it past goalkeeper Jeff Attinella in the 60th minute for his first of the year. In the 68th, Chad Marshall made it 2-2 when he headed in Lodeiro’s corner kick for his first.

Sounders make Raul Ruidiaz signing official

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It’s been a season from hell for the Seattle Sounders, as they’ve been without the likes of Jordan Morris, Nicolas Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey, Roman Torres, Osvaldo Alonso and Victor Rodriguez — six players who’ll take home a combined $5.8 million in 2018 — for 50 of a possible 84 appearances this season.

[ MORE: Orlando City hires USL title-winning coach James O’Connor ]

It’s little wonder they’ve won just 12 points from their first 14 games and find themselves with yet another massive mountain to climb in order to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs, given their seemingly never-ending injury crisis (Morris is out for the year with a torn ACL; Rodriguez and Torres have made just four and five appearances, respectively; and Dempsey and Lodeiro have combined for just two goals and three assists) and availability lost due to international call-ups (Torres, when not injured, as well as Gustav Svensson).

Chief among their problems? They’ve scored just 11 goals in 14 games — eight fewer than any other team in MLS. When Morris went down in late February and it became clear that Rodriguez might never be reliably fit, general manager Garth Lagerwey’s top task became exceedingly clear: sign a star striker who’ll have the kind of immediate, overwhelming impact that Obafemi Martins had upon his arrival in 2013.

[ MORE: Zlatan, Valeri, Almiron headline 2018 MLS All-Star squad ]

Enter: Raul Ruidiaz, who’s 27 years old, fresh off a trip to the World Cup with Peru (31 career caps) and back-to-back 20-goal seasons for Liga MX side Morelia. Seattle will reportedly pay a hefty transfer fee in exchange for Ruidiaz’s services.

Ruidiaz moved to Mexico, where he scored 40 goals in two seasons and won back-to-back scoring titles, in the summer of 2016.

The gap between Seattle, who currently sit 10th in the Western Conference, and the sixth-place Vancouver Whitecaps is 11 points.

Dempsey scores first goal of season, Sounders tie Fire

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SEATTLE (AP) Clint Dempsey scored his first goal of the season to match the Seattle regular-season career goals record, helping the Sounders tie the Chicago Fire 1-1 on Saturday night.

Dempsey tied the club record for regular-season goals with 47 set by Fredy Montero from 2009-12. It was Dempsey’s 57th goal across all competitions for the Sounders, three away from Montero’s overall mark.

Harry Shipp started the scoring play for the Sounders (3-8-3) midway through the first half, taking the ball up the attacking right side. He sent it ahead to Will Bruin, who took it to the top right corner of the 6-yard box. Bruin tapped the ball across, and Dempsey slid into it, sending his shot into the upper left side.

It was Dempsey’s first goal since last Nov. 30, when he scored in a 3-0 win over Houston in the second leg of the Western Conference final. His last regular-season tally was last Sept. 27 in a 3-0 victory over Vancouver in Seattle.

Chicago (5-7-5) went up 1-0 in the ninth minute. Brandt Bronico backheeled a pass to Aleksander Katai, who took control about 35 yards up from the goal. He dribbled up to the top left of the penalty area restraining arc and fired a shot past Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei to the back right corner for his sixth of the year.

FOLLOW LIVE – MLS: Portland, Seattle renew rivalry for 100th time

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For the 100th time in the history of their storied rivalry which began in NASL back in 1975, the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders, two sides currently heading in completely opposite directions, will do battle on Sunday (4 p.m. ET) at Providence Park.

[ FOLLOW: Surging Timbers host wounded Sounders ]

Portland enter Sunday’s milestone clash winners of three straight (their only wins of the season) for the first time since their first three games of 2017, while the Sounders, bruised and battered as they are, sit bottom of the Western Conference with just two wins on the still-semi-young campaign.

Hit the link above to follow along throughout the afternoon, and check back with PST for coverage after the final whistle.

Among the injured and unavailable for Seattle are Nicolas Lodeiro, Osvaldo Alonso, Roman Torres, Will Bruin and Victor Rodriguez.

[ MORE: Other MLS Things — The Archive ]

Seattle holds the advantage in all-time meetings between the sides (50W-14D-35L) after going unbeaten against Portland in 2017 (one win, two draws in league play; victory in the U.S. Open Cup), though they haven’t won in Portland since August 2014 (three losses, one draw).