PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers defeated Cascadia-rival Seattle Sounders FC 3-1 before a sold-out crowd of 21,144 fans at Providence Park on Sunday afternoon, extending their unbeaten run to nine games in league play.
Midfielder Diego Valeri produced two goals during the match, recording his second brace of the season to propel his 2016 regular-season tally to nine goals in 17 games played, while forward Fanendo Adi notched his 10th goal of the season, which ranks as the third-most in MLS this season. Additionally, midfielder Lucas Melano recorded two assists during the win against Sounders FC, tying Valeri for the most assists (5) on the team in 2016.
The Timbers (7-6-8, 29pts) opened the scoring one minute before halftime when Valeri finished his eighth goal of the season, curling a precise strike into the bottom, right corner from the edge of the box. The goal resulted from combination play from Valeri and Melano on the left wing, with Melano running at the Seattle defense before playing Valeri into space for the finish from just outside the 18-yard box.
Portland doubled its lead in the 50th minute of play as Valeri completed his brace, scoring from a tough angle from the right side of the box to give the Timbers a 2-0 advantage five minutes into the second half. Valeri found the back of the net for a second time after receiving a deep switch from defender Jermaine Taylor, using his chest to control the ball over Sounders FC defender Joevin Jones before lobbing Frei at the far post.
In the 59th minute, Sounders FC (6-11-2, 20pts) cut into Portland’s lead when defender Chad Marshall managed to produce a powerful header from a corner kick, scoring from just outside the six-yard box.
Five minutes later though, Portland extended its advantage when Adi scored his fifth goal against Seattle since joining the Timbers in 2014 to propel the Timbers back to a two-goal lead. Adi found space for the finish after Melano ventured deep into Seattle’s half with the ball, finding Adi inside the 18-yard box. With a clear shot on goal, Adi stuck a first-time effort on target, beating Frei to notching his 10th goal of the season.
Outshooting Seattle 10-4 in the first half, the Timbers opened the game on the strong foot, creating numerous dangerous opportunities in the first half. In the 12th minute of play, a well-placed through ball from Valeri found Melano in behind Seattle’s defense, setting up a clear first-time chance that went high of the target. In the 23rd minute, Valeri led the charge for Portland on the counter attack, setting up a one-time strike inside the box for Melano, whose effort caused difficulties for Frei, while Adi’s low, driven effort from outside the of the box forced Frei to make a difficult fingertip save in the 33rd minute of play.
Next up, the Timbers will play host to the LA Galaxy on Saturday, July 23, at Providence Park; kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. (Pacific). The match will feature a national broadcast on ESPN with local radio broadcasts on 750 AM/102.9 FM The Game (English) and La GranD 1150 AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).
Portland Timbers (7-6-8, 29pts) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (6-11-2, 20pts)
July 17, 2016 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 1 2 3
Seattle Sounders FC 0 1 1
POR: Valeri (Melano), 44
POR: Valeri (Taylor), 50
SEA: Marshall (Ivanschitz), 59
POR: Adi (Melano), 64
POR: Jewsbury (Caution), 11
SEA: Jones (Caution), 37
SEA: Alonso (Caution), 66
Lineups & Stats:
POR: GK Gleeson, D Taylor, D Ridgewell ©, D Borchers, D Powell, M Jewsbury (Zemanski, 65), M Chara, M Nagbe, M Valeri (Barmby, 90), M Melano (Grabavoy, 83), F Adi
Substitutes Not Used: GK Hamilton, D Valentin, D Peay, F McInerney
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Valeri, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Two players tied, 2); FOULS: 12 (Melano, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 5
SEA: GK Frei, D Mears, D Evans ©, D Marshall, D Jones (Remick, 72), M Alonso, M Roldan, M Friberg, M Ivanschitz (Kovar, 72) , F Valdez (Gomez, 77), F Morris
Substitutes Not Used: GK Miller, D Alfaro, D Fisher, F Anderson
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Valdez, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Two players tied, 2); FOULS: 10 (Two players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 12; SAVES: 3
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Jeff Hosking
4th Official: Mark Geiger
Weather: Cloudy, 70 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial