TACOMA – The Sounders switched competitions but couldn’t shake their losing skid.
Seattle entered U.S. Open Cup play against rival Portland on Wednesday night and it was the Timbers who dominated, collecting a 2-1 win to advance to the Round of 16.
The 106-year-old tournament began in May with 84 teams ranging from amateurs to MLS across the country. Wednesday was the first meeting between Portland and Seattle at Cheney Stadium, which features a natural grass field.
The match was a display of Portland’s latest talent, forward Brian Fernandez. The Argentinian was signed in May from Liga MX and made an immediate impact.
Fernandez scored the opening goal in the eighth minute and nailed the game-winner in the 50th minute off a cross from Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse.
The Sounders increased their pressure after Fernandez’s first goal but Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark was able to manage most attempts in the opening half. He had three saves before Sounders midfielder Victor Rodriguez lined up for a free kick in the 44th minute.
The Spaniard lobbed the ball over Portland’s defense and a deflection from Fernandez helped redirect the ball to bounce into the net.
Seattle was missing 10 players due to call-ups for either international competitions or training camps. The Sounders signed six from the Tacoma Defiance to fill out its roster and started Danny Leyva, a 16-year-old midfielder signed to the first team in April.
Portland only had four players called to other duties and didn’t sign any USL players for the match. It started a similar lineup its uses in MLS play.
Seattle was upset in the fourth round of last season’s Open Cup by the Sacramento Republic. The Sounders won their last U.S. Open Cup meeting with Portland.
The Sounders wanted to use the Open Cup as a pseudo reset for their season. MLS is on a two-week FIFA break, Seattle entering on a three-game losing streak.
Source:: Daily times