Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Clint Dempsey netted a hat trick on Saturday to bring the Seattle Sounders back from a two-goal second-half deficit and earn a point in a wild 4-4 draw with the Portland Timbers at Providence Park.
Portland has gotten off to an uncharacteristically poor start this year with a pair of draws and a pair of defeats from their first four games and things started poorly for the hosts on Saturday.
Seattle opened the scoring after just three minutes when Jalil Anibaba hit a corner kick back across the face of goal where former Timber Kenny Cooper knocked it home at the back post for the early lead.
But Portland authored a quick response as Diego Chara smashed a shot from distance past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei just six minutes later to put the sides on level terms.
Feeding off the momentum from their first goal, the Timbers quickly took the lead as Diego Valeri collected the ball in the box and fired it off the crossbar on the turn and in behind Frei.
Seattle answered back 10 minutes later as Obafemi Martins found Dempsey wide open on the edge of the penalty area and the U.S. captain slotted it home to level the score once again.
Portland seized control in the second half as Chara completed his double with a low drive past the outstretched arm of Frei in the 55th minute and Max Urruti made it 4-2 for Portland just two minutes later.
But Seattle came surging back late on as Dempsey smashed one home with five minutes to play and then completed his hat trick with a penalty kick two minutes later to save a point for the Sounders.
The result sees Seattle bounce back from a 2-1 home loss to Columbus last week, while Portland remains winless through the first five games of the campaign.