Match Recap

The Timbers stun the Sounders 4-1 at home

Portland nets its 4 straight win against Seattle—a first for either team.
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The intensity was palpable on Saturday evening, even before Providence Park opened its gates to the public. As fans took their seats and the Timbers Army burst into song, it was evident that the night would deliver rivalry ferocity. Upon the end of the national anthem, the Timbers Army again demonstrated why they're among the best supporters group in the league with a spine-chilling TIFO in honor of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

Portland and Seattle faced off for the 35th time in MLS regular season action. On paper it seemed a tale of two different stories. Seattle atop the Western Conference, leading the pack, while Portland was adrift in a challenging start to the season.

Come kick-off however, all the talk about standings and form went out the door.

Head coach Giovanni Savarese opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation, and introduced some fresh names to the starting eleven. David Ayala and Franck Boli got their first starts of 2023, while Claudio Bravo and Evander returned to the starting selection.

The first half provided a balanced match, with both Portland and Seattle fighting fiercely for every ball. Defense was the name of the game for the first 45 minutes. Stefan Frei and Aljaz Ivacic were tested throughout, but each looked in their element as they secured ball after ball.

Claudio Bravo was the MVP of the first half for his six-yard box heroics. In a play that looked like Sounders forward and golden boot leader Jordan Morris would capitalize, Bravo entered the scene in a sliding tackle and parried the ball out of danger. A 0-0 scoreline heading into the half left all to be played for in the second.


When it rains, it pours... goals that is. The second half provided a burst of green and gold smoke unlike anything seen so far this season.

To add to the drama, Seattle would score first in the 59th minute. Ruidiaz celebrated towards the Timbers Army making an "I can't hear you" motion... but he and his squad would hear them soon enough.

As Portland recovered from the shocking opener, the offense began to brew up something special. In the 71st minute, all heck broke loose. Dairon Asprilla went touring and mounted his bicycle in a strike worthy of goal of the month candidacy. After receiving a cross from Santiago Moreno just outside the six-yard box, Asprilla volleyed a right footed bicycle kick that left Stefan Frei glued to his line, becoming yet another spectator to his masterpiece. The match was tied 1-1.

With momentum completely in their favor, the Timbers pushed for a turnaround. Four minutes later, second-half substitute Nathan Fogaça delivered. Pushing on a brilliant lofted ball from Moreno, Fogaça controlled possession with an exceptional first touch. As he was muscled into the box by a Sounders defender, he unleashed a shot that Frei could only get his hands on yet not stop from going into the back of the net. The euphoria at Providence Park was real, the comeback was real. Timbers had turned the scoreline around, 2-1 in their favor.

Portland didn't hesitate to inflict more damage. Jaroslaw Niezgoda added his name to the scoresheet in the 81st minute. He cleaned up a Santiago Moreno rebound following a Stefan Frei blunder stemming from a Fogaça shot from the left corner of the box. As Niezgoda ran and celebrated in the corner facing the traveling support, the Timbers made it clear who was in control.

As the match neared the final minutes of action, Juan David Mosquera added the cherry-on-top. On a quick offensive push in the 89th, Mosquera received the ball from Cristhian Paredes in the final third, and confidently pushed it into the box where he cannoned a right footed blast past Frei, channeling his inner Shaolin Soccer, nearly burning through the keeper and net. Gold smoke filled Providence Park. The Timbers went fishing, and netted four good ones.

Santiago Moreno's two assists on the night helped proper Portland's victory. The dub brings them to four straight wins against their rivals, dating back to August of 2021. The Timbers have now matched the all-time MLS regular season series with Seattle at 14 wins.

Bonfire built, and fish gutted.