Tuesday brought a double dose of bad news for the Seattle Sounders, as they were eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup by arch rival Portland after watching star forward Obafemi Martins wheeled off the field after suffering an undisclosed injury.
Martins’ injury combined with the earlier ejection of Brad Evans to put the Sounders two men down at the time of the winning goal. In the closing minutes, Micheal Azira was sent off for a tough tackle and Clint Dempsey for dissent, leaving the Sounders four men down at the end.
Still, they survived into extra time, before a Rodney Wallace rebound from in front of the goal put them behind to stay and Maximiliano Urruti added a late capper that ended it, 3-1.
The result dethroned the four-time and defending Open Cup champions in their first match of the 2015 tournament.
It was the Sounders first loss in 17 U.S. Open Cup games at Starfire since joining MLS in 2009.
Portland took its first lead in the 48th minute, when Diego Valeri slipped between Chad Marshall and Leo Gonzalez, getting his foot to the ball before Gonzalez could head it away.
Seattle’s offense responded almost instantly, with dangerous chances coming from Aaron Kovar and Obafemi Martins.
The breakthrough came from Martins in the 79th minute, touching in a ball that had pinballed among legs in front of the goal before being sent back in.
By then, the Sounders had been playing shorthanded for about eight minutes, Evans was sent off with his second yellow card. That grew to two men down in the 88th minute, when Martins went down after a collision and never got back to his feet.
Timbers coach Caleb Porter went with mostly a first-11 lineup. The Sounders went with more of a mix: goalkeeper Troy Perkins starting, Stefan Frei in reserve; forward Martins starting, Clint Dempsey on the bench; defenders Evans and Chad Marshall starting in the middle, Dylan Remick and Tyrone Mears on the bench. In the second half, Dempsey, Remick and Mears appeared.
The Sounders 2 USL team also was eliminated from the Open Cup on Tuesday as Real Salt Lake came from behind for a 2-1 win in Utah.
Sounders FC returns to Major League Soccer regular-season play at 1 p.m. Saturday, when the San Jose Earthquakes visit CenturyLink Field.