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Ruidiaz scores go-ahead goal as Sounders beat Timbers

Raul Ruidiaz scored the go-ahead goal early in the second half and the Seattle Sounders snapped Portland’s six-game undefeated streak in their rivalry series with a 2-1 Cascadia Cup victory over the Timbers on Sunday

By ANNE M. PETERSON, Associated Press
Published: May 12, 2024, 7:11pm

PORTLAND — Raul Ruidiaz scored the go-ahead goal early in the second half and the Seattle Sounders snapped Portland’s six-game undefeated streak in their rivalry series with a 2-1 Cascadia Cup victory over the Timbers on Sunday.

Cristian Roldan scored a first-half goal and the Sounders secured just their third win in the regular season’s first 12 matches.

Felipe Mora scored for the Timbers, who have not won since beating NYCFC 2-1 on March 9. Since then, they’ve lost six and had three draws and they’ve tumbled to last place in the Western Conference standings.

“For us to not only win on the road but to put that type of performance, of grittiness, of belief, to defend our lead, was something we’ve been needing,” Roldan said.

Mora scored in the 15th minute to give Portland (2-6-4) the early lead at home. It was Mora’s team-leading fifth goal of the season.

Roldan answered in the 19th with a goal blasted from outside the penalty area that Timbers goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau appeared to get a hand on but couldn’t stop.

Ruidiaz gave the Sounders (3-5-4) the lead with another shot from distance in the 50th minute that Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer called “highlight reel stuff.” Ruidiaz leads all Sounders with 10 regular-season goals against the Timbers, and 13 overall.

Portland Timbers coach Phil Neville said he was “massively disappointed” by the loss and took full responsibility for it.

“The results have to change very very quickly, if I was a supporter I wouldn’t be happy today,” said Neville, in his first season with Portland.

Both the Timbers and the Sounders have had frustrating seasons and went into the match with just two wins after 11 games and identical 2-5-4 records.

Portland had a six-match unbeaten streak in the series (4-0-2) going into Sunday’s match, the longest unbeaten run in the history of the series.

“Going into the match, we realized what kind of game it was going to be. The loser of the game was going to be in last place. So there was added emphasis to win the game, the motivation was definitely there,” Roldan said.

Diego Chara started for the Timbers after serving a one-game suspension against Charlotte last weekend. The week before, Chara set the all-time MLS record for appearances with one team with 377. Chara, who was honored for the home crowd before the game, is in his 14th season with Portland.

The Timbers also announced new jersey sponsor Tillamook before the game. The company is a dairy and cheesemaker located in the Oregon town of the same name.

The Cascadia Cup is a competition created by supporters of the Timbers, Sounders and the Vancouver Whitecaps, dating back before the teams joined MLS. The winner of the trophy each year is determined by points in the three-way rivalry.

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