Sounders surge into playoff position with 7th straight win
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An own goal in the 76th minute gave Seattle a 1-0 victory over Cascadia Cup rival Portland on Sunday night, extending the Sounders' club-record winning streak to seven games.
Seattle also pushed its unbeaten streak to 10. The Sounders (11-9-5) have won five straight on the road.
The Timbers (10-7-7) have lost four straight after a 15-game unbeaten streak.
It was the third and final meeting between the teams this season. The Timbers won the previous two, but because of the unbalanced schedule, the first meeting (a 1-0 Portland victory) won't count toward the three-way rivalry with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The Cascadia Cup was started in 2004 by the supporters of the three teams. The winner is determined on by points at the end of the season, and the Timbers are the defending champs.
Portland had the best chances in the first half, but Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei saved a shot from Andy Polo in the 10th minute and another from Sebastian Blanco in the 24th.
The Timbers made 14 shots in the half (compared to Seattle's two) but couldn't manage to score. In the end, the Timbers had 22 shots to Seattle's six.
The two sides tussled a bit in the 64th minute with Blanco and Seattle's Brad Smith both handed yellow cards.
The Timbers again threatened in the 71st minute, but Samuel Armenteros' header floated just over the net.
The lone goal came when Timbers defender Julio Cascante tried to clear a cross from Kim Kee-hee but instead it deflected into the net.
Clint Dempsey, last season's Comeback Player of the Year, missed his fifth straight game because of back problems. Dempsey is one goal shy of Fredy Montero's career record of 47 goals with Seattle.
The Sounders were also without Victor Rodriguez with a hamstring injury.
Portland defender Larrys Mabiala did not play because of a thigh injury. Liam Ridgewell returned to the starting lineup for the first time since May 19. He had a quad injury and also missed time with the team after the birth of his daughter.
The Sounders were coming off a decisive 5-0 victory over the LA Galaxy. Portland fell 3-0 at Sporting Kansas City.