Montero shows Timbers he's tough to stop

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

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PORTLAND — The Portland Timbers defense did a passable job of denying Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson room to work on Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field.

But, Montero showed he doesn't need much space to produce.

The goal that put the Seattle Sounders ahead in their 1-1 draw with the Timbers Montero's 12th of the MLS season, and a vivid example of why Montero is one of the most dangerous young forwards in the league.

"I thought it was a great goal," Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. "At first when he hit it, I thought it had gone over the goal. The individual ability to turn and hit that and volley it takes a lot of skill."

The Timbers' mistake was letting the ball bounce in the first place, Bendik said. But he didn't see the shot until it was a few feet in front of him, and he had no chance to block it.

"I was lucky that it was an extremely good shot, and not one that bobbled off my hands," Bendik said, explaining that the goal did not impact his confidence or concentration the rest of the match.

Bendik was on the field because Donovan Ricketts injured his left shoulder as he punched the ball away from Seattle forward Eddie Johnson in the goalmouth. Both players crashed to the turf, but the goalkeeper stayed there several minutes longer.

"I got there first and (Johnson) came right through me," Ricketts said.

Johnson said he thought he was going to score.

"I just tried to make a hard run in the box and I was already celebrating," the Sounders forward said. "Andy (Rose) crossed the perfect ball, but (Ricketts) came late and I tried to avoid the contact. By that time it was too late, my momentum was going toward the goal and his ribs hit my bicep."

Ricketts, who expects to miss this week's road games at San Jose and Real Salt Lake, wasn't the only Timbers player to depart with an injury. In the 72nd minute, Franck Songo'o, who played another strong match on the left wing, was forced off with a sore hamstring. In the 89th minute, midfielder Diego Chara went down with an injured abductor muscle and couldn't continue. Portland had made its three substitutions, so had to play the six minutes of stoppage time with 10 men.

"For them it was a very emotional game," Schmid said of the Timbers. "You saw by all their players that went out that were injured, cramping up and little niggling muscle injuries toward the end that they spent everything that they had. So from that standpoint I'm pleased that we were able to keep them at bay for the majority of the game."