None of the Seattle Sounders even hinted that they played a beautiful game Sunday at CenturyLink Field, and not one of them seemed to care.
The Sounders scored two goals to Portland’s one and were rewarded with three points in the Major League Soccer standings. And as they desperately race down the stretch of this regular-season, that seemed enough.
The game was played before a crowd of 64,358 -- the fourth largest in Sounders FC history.
Seattle jumped to a 2-0 first half lead on an Obafemi Martins goal in the sixth minute and a Brad Evans penalty kick in the 42nd.
That – and five saves by goalkeeper Stefan Frei -- allowed them to survive Jack Jewsbury goal off a Timbers corner kick in the 58th minute.
The win sent the Sounders (12-13-2) back into a tie for the sixth and final playoff position in the Western Conference. Portland dropped to 11-9-7.
The result also sent Seattle to the top of the Cascadia Cup standings, one point ahead of Vancouver. Those teams will settle the Northwest championship Sept. 19 in British Columbia. The Timbers were eliminated.
This match also marked the return of Marco Pappa to the starting lineup, while Osvaldo Alonso subbed on in the 66th minute.
Coach Sigi Schmid said forward Clint Dempsey was close this week and could return Saturday when Toronto FC visits.