The Seattle Sounders FC freefall that started in mid-September finally hit bottom Thursday.
Seattle’s fifth Major League Soccer season came to an end with a 3-2 loss to arch-rival Portland. The result gave the Timbers a 5-3 aggregate-score win in the two-game series and sends them on to the Western Conference finals against Real Salt Lake, which ousted two-time defending champion Los Angeles on Thursday.
Back on Sept. 13, the Sounders’ 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake sent them to the top of the MLS standings. However, that also proved to be the final win of the regular season for the Sounders, who closed with an 0-4-3 tumble to fourth place in the West.
They opened the postseason with a 2-0 home win over Colorado in the knockout round, but they lost 2-1 at home to the Timbers in the first leg and then gave up the first three goals Thursday at sold out Jeld-Wen Field.
A very interesting off-season has just begun.
I'll be back with notes and quotes from what should be a very unhappy locker room.76' GOAL Sounders, Eddie Johnson header, assisted by Yedlin. Portland leads 3-2 tonigh and 5-3 on aggregate.
74' GOAL Sounders, by DeAndre Yedlin. Portland leads 3-1 tonight and 5-2 on aggregate.
47' GOAL Timbers. This time Mamadou Danso, heading in from close range. 3-0 tonight, 5-1 on aggregate.
Second half: ... is under way. No changes.
Halftime: Timbers up 2-0 tonight and 4-1 on aggregate. They said they were coming to win, not just protect their advantage. They have lived up to their word.
44' GOAL Timbers. PK by Will Johnson. Up 1-0 tonight and 3-1 on aggregate. Came after delayed hand ball call.
28' GOAL Timbers. PK by Will Johnson. Up 1-0 tonight and 3-1 on aggregate. Came after delayed hand ball call.
First 15 minutes: Scoreless, but five best chances all to Timbers.
First kick: ... has been struck. Timbers in green/white; Sounders in cyan/cyan.
Lineup: GK – 1 Michael Gspurning; D DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch; Brad Evans (captian), Osvaldo Alonso, Clint Dempsey, Adam Moffat; F Shalrie Joseph, Eddie Johnson. Reserves: Marcus Hahnemann, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Andy Rose, Mauro Rosales, David Estrada, Obafemi Martins.
For Portland: Ricketts; Harrington, Kah, Danso, Jewsbury; Johnson, Valeri, Chara; Nagbe, Johnson, Wallace. Reserves: Kocic, Zizzo, Alhassan, Zemanski, Valencia, Jean-Baptiste, Urruti.
Pregame: It is drizzly and breezey at Jeld-Went Field about three hours before the first kick of the deciding leg of the Timbers-Sounders conference semifinal series.
Coverage on NBCSN will begin at 8 p.m. The game will be heard on the usual radio outlets. I'll also blog updates here, and updates and comments on Twitter @donruiztnt.Lineups should be released about 45 minutes before the start. Top questions would seem to be the starting keeper (I'd expect Gspurning), the status of left back Leo Gonzalez (I doubt it), and the status of Obafemi Martins (I'd guess in the 18, but not starting.)