The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers played gritty in Sodo Sunday night. Renewing their rivalry for the 2015 season, the two teams played a match that was the polar opposite of last season’s barn-burning spectacles. Dempsey’s tap in off a sloppy cover from the Portland keeper totaled the scoring in a 1-nil Seattle win.
It was not pretty soccer. When your opponent is perfecting the art of the square pass while trying his damndest to get a nil-nil draw, it’s tough to hail hydra. Consider: in the 62nd minute Timbers midfielder Dairon Asprilla gave way to Gaston Fernandez for Portland’s first sub of the night. Asprilla (and I need to consult my thesaurus here) trickled off the field. The pace at which Asprilla left is typically suited for a team protecting a lead in the 88th minute, not nursing a draw in the 62nd MINUTE!
Lots of narratives to take away from this game (the steady progress of Captain Brad Evans at centerback; the Yin and Yang of Stefan Frei, great shot stopper, horrible distributor), but the biggest was the apotheosis of Caleb Porter’s cynicism.
What ever happened to playing the right way Porter? Whatever happened to the beautiful game and yadda, yadda, yadda? Caleb Porter used to sneer at long throw-ins, parking the bus, and the 4-4-2. That is all gone, as Porter will do anything for a result these days. Not that there is anything wrong that, professional sports is a results-based business. It just tickles me pink to see him sell-out. Especially when he still loses. Especially when he loses to us.
We are Seattle. We beat Portland.