The Seattle Sounders suffered their worst lost to the Portland Timbers in the MLS era, 4-1, last night. For the first time in MLS history, the Sounders have lost three straight.
Both teams were hungry to recapture their winning ways, the Timbers after their 5-1 blowout loss to LA and Seattle after losing to two cellar dwellers in San Jose and Philly. It was Portland who started, and ended, the night strong.
My favorite whipping boy, Darlington Nagbe, actually had a goal. A unicorn made love to a sasquatch in the pot of gold at the end of a double rainbow on February 29th and Nagbe’s shot found the back of the net. But the overmatched Sounders fought back and equalized on a Lamar Neagle strike off a Tyrone Mears cross. This was Seattle’s first goal with a DP-less lineup, and I hoped the Sounders were finally flipping the script from underachieving losers to gritty survivors. The 1-1 score line at the half was well earned, and everything was going great until around the 65th minute.
I hate to say this, but hats off to Portland. They hustled and finished their chances well. A top-choice Timbers squad should beat a Sounders team featuring Oneil Fisher, Andy Craven and Darwin Jones. So congrats to Portland for getting the job done. Shortly after Craven came on for Barrett, possession flipped firmly to Portland’s favor. Adi scored to solid goals in less than two minutes, as the Sounders, frankly, lost composure (no comment on Fisher’s contribution to the two goals). Replacing Rose with Roldan, put even more youth on the field, and eventually Wallace added the fourth goal in stoppage time. It probably felt really good to beat the dead horse.
After their putrid run of form, getting blown out of the park in a Cascadia derby wasn’t exactly what Seattle needed. Luckily, this blowout has an asterisk. Portland leveled a tired, vastly undermanned Sounders team. The loss sucks, because Portland sucks, but I can contextualize it within the frame of “we don’t have our DPs. what do you expect?” But after 5 games of this, we can’t keep chalking up putrid offense displays and sloppy defense to our DP-less phase. I am sick of contextualizing. We need the Sounders we have to change this narrative.