Timbers earn point with scoreless draw at Seattle

SEATTLE - Josh Saunders recorded his second consecutive shutout and the Portland Timbers tied the Seattle Sounders 0-0 Friday night at Qwest Field.

Saunders, who earned his first clean sheet of the season with a 1-0 victory Saturday at Minnesota, made two crucial saves in the first half to preserve the shutout.

Timbers midfielder Lee Morrison had a great opportunity to open the scoring in the 40th minute after he collected a loose ball in midfield. Morrison approached the ball and blazed a shot from more than 30 yards, but was denied a goal on a diving save by Sounders goalkeeper Chris Eylander.

Portland (3-4-2, 11pts) came close in the 65th minute after midfielder Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar layed a ball off for Mamba Chisoni. Chisoni launched a shot from 15 yards, but his shot rattled off the post and bounced back into play, where the Sounders were able to clear.

Midfielder Oral Bullen almost scored a late winner for the Timbers after Chisoni brought the ball down the left flank. Chisoni’s cross into the box found Bullen at the far post, but Bullen’s diving header sailed up and over the bar.

The Sounders (2-2-3, 9pts) had a chance in the 29th minute when forward Cam Weaver got on the end of a cross in the Timbers penalty area. Midfielder C.J. Klaas put the ball into the box and Weaver managed to get a head on it, but his shot missed the mark and sailed out of bounds.

Sounders forward Roger Levesque missed a clear opportunity in the 62nd minute when he received a cross in the Timbers penalty area. Levesque controlled the ball and launched a shot from five yards, but his effort missed wide of the target.

The Timbers host the second leg of the weekend series Saturday night against the Sounders, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. at PGE Park.

HEAD COACH CHRIS AGNELLO ON THE MATCH:
“We’ve now gotten two shutouts on the road, and I think that’s because everyone on our team played fantastic. We were very lucky to come out of Seattle with a point tonight; it was a tremendous result. Seattle is a great team, and they will come out tomorrow night fired up and trying to get a result, and we have to be ready for them. However, I think that coming back tonight, and giving our guys the opportunity to get a good night’s rest in their own beds will be to our benefit and I think we will be ready to get a great result tomorrow night.”

NOTES: Defender Michael Nsien suffered a knee injury late in the first half and had to be carried off the field … he will have his knee X-rayed tomorrow morning but will likely not participate in tomorrow night’s game … six yellow cards were issued during the game, including five in the first half … the Timbers last posted consecutive road shutouts on July 28 and July 31, 2004, at Calgary and Milwaukee.

SCORING SUMMARY: None.

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY: POR: Alcaraz-Cuellar YC (15’), Chisoni YC (38’), Randolph (75’); SEA: Besagno YC (20’), O’Brien YC (36’), Gregor YC (38’).

LINEUPS: SEATTLE (2-2-3) C. Eylander GK, D. Jackson D, J. Besagno D, S. Abolajl D (Tomlinson 84’), Z. Scott D, K. Sakuda M, L. O’Brien M (Sutton 45’), C. Klaas M, A. Gregor M, R. Levesque F, C. Weaver F.
PORTLAND (3-4-2) J. Saunders GK, J. Goodfellow D, S. Thompson D, M. Nsien D (Brown 44’), M. Randolph D, L. Morrison M, H. Alcaraz-Cuellar M, L. Kreamalmeyer M, M. Chisoni M, B. Alvarez F (Poltl 81’), D. McAthy F (O. Bullen 87’).