Portland (6-7-6, 24pts) continued its domination over Seattle (9-4-8, 35pts) in league play, winning seven of the last nine matches dating back to 2003, while getting its first win since June 16 vs. Puerto Rico.
Conway, a second-half substitute, took advantage of the Seattle defense and finished off a Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar cross with a low drive in the box past Sounders ‘keeper Preston Burpo in the 77th minute. The goal came as a result of Alcaraz-Cuellar’s penetrating moves past a bevy of Seattle defenders in the box, landing the midfielder his league-leading seventh assist of the season.
In the first half, the Sounders (9-3-9 36 pts) were inches from a goal until a spectacular bicycle-kick save off the goal line from Lee Morrison dashed the visitors’ hopes. A shot from Roger Levesque on a bouncing ball in the box forced the acrobatic clear in the 18th minute.
Alcaraz-Cuellar proved pesky on the wing for the northern guests; he nearly struck twice in the 8th and 23rd minutes, but his first shot fell wide and his second was blocked by Burpo.
Things turned bloody in the 35th minute when a mid-air collision in the Seattle box between Scot Thompson and Billy Sleeth left both players down. Sleeth received a cut over his left eye, but both remained in the game.
In the second half, Portland dominated play and out-shot the side from the Evergreen State, 6-2, and 14-5 overall.
The Timbers’ itinerary includes two stops on their upcoming road trip, starting with a visit to Montreal for a match Wednesday, Aug. 10, and ending Saturday, Aug. 13, in St. Paul, Minn., for a match versus the Minnesota Thunder.
TIMBERS NOTES: Timbers midfielders Aaran Lines and Jarrod Weis sat out tonight’s contest with injuries … Weis is out for at least two weeks with a MCL sprain he suffered versus the Minnesota Thunder on Friday night and Lines is still nursing a groin injury … Portland’s next home match is Aug. 20 vs. Seattle, featuring the Timbers’ 30th Anniversary Celebration and the fifth-annual OYSA Night.
SCORING SUMMARY: Conway, 77’ (Alcaraz-Cuellar).
MISCONDUCT SUMMARY: SEA Graham, YC (43’), Levesque, YC (88’), Gregor, YC (90’).
LINEUPS: SEATTLE (9-4-8) Burpo GK, Sleeth D, Graham D, Edwards D, Sturm D (Melo 81’), Klaas M (Whitfield 64’), Sakuda M, O’Brien M, Sagare M (Somoza 57’), Levesque F, Gregor F; PORTLAND (6-7-6) Saunders GK, Goldthwaite D, Thompson D, Morrison D, Marcum D, Poltl M, Miranda M, Alcaraz-Cuellar M, Winters M (Higgins 64’), Alvarez F (Conway 66’), Antoniuk F.