February 23, 2024


Like All Trades

It’s a mystery how year after year the Timbers walk away from Lumen Field with smiles on their faces

THE 503 — They continue to keep claiming these game titles acquire place in Seattle, dwelling of the most completed MLS workforce of the earlier 6 yrs, but that can’t be genuine.

Tv set broadcasts will present b-roll of the Space Needle and Puget Audio main up to every match, but I just can’t think about all those pictures are anyplace in close proximity to the pitch. 

Possibly it is the Illuminati, or the Freemasons, or some other mystery society — but somebody’s tricking the Emerald Town into thinking the Sounders are “hosting” the Timbers every single season.

These games can’t be occurring on their house field. Good teams defeat their rivals on their house subject. The Sounders hardly ever do, even though. 

But seriously —  not because May well of 2017 have the Sounders taken on Portland at Lumen Industry and walked absent triumphant. They’ve won an MLS Cup and a CONCACAF Champions League title in that span — not to point out a few Western Conference championships — but they haven’t been capable to stick it to their main adversary in the 206. 

The Timbers’ 3- victory more than Seattle Saturday prolonged their standard-season unbeaten streak at Lumen Discipline to 7 online games, five of which have been wins. Technically, the Sounders beat Portland 3-2 in a playoff activity in 2018, but that was the 2nd 50 percent of a two-game series in which the Timbers won on combination. 

The total ordeal has been infuriating for a franchise that is been unable knock off its Northwest nemesis in front of its property admirers. The drought goes over and above baffling — it is downright strange. 

“This is a single of the strangest storylines that I’ve been all-around in a prolonged time the place they come up in this article and have our variety, in which we go down there and have their quantity … I never have an reply for that, I seriously do not,” Sounders mentor Brian Schmetzer reported. “Why have we been thriving over the decades? It’s for the reason that I imagine we have a very good bunch of players, competent individuals doing the job for the club, men often struggle, their connection to the enthusiasts — but all of individuals good issues does not make this even a single iota less painful.” 

The scene ahead of Saturday’s match stood in stark distinction to the a person afterward. In advance of kickoff, the Sounders unfurled the banner for their 2022 Champions League title, arguably the club’s greatest accomplishment. This ceremony was not marked by subtlety, however. It was as an alternative underscored by Sounders co-operator Drew Carey telling the enthusiasts that “there’s one factor to do, apart from sending Portland and their classless enthusiasts again residence (and which is unveil the banner) we gained and they didn’t!” 

Regardless of whether there was any link in between Carey’s words and Portland’s win can never be identified. But there was a collection of regrettable gatherings that undid the Sounders and dropped them to 8-8-2 on the calendar year. 

Initial, Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco curved a picturesque cross to ahead Jaroslaw Niezgoda, who headed the ball into the net in the 24th moment. Then, Sounders defender Jackson Ragen bought a yellow card through stoppage time in the to start with 50 percent, adopted by a red card in the opening moment of the second 50 %, which pressured Seattle to participate in with 10 guys the relaxation of the recreation. 

At last, Portland scored two ambitions in the match’s ultimate 10 minutes — a single by Santiago Moreno and the other by Dairon Asprilla — which sealed the victory and prolonged the maddening, saddening streak. 

Like Schmetzer, Sounders goalie Stefan Frei had no answer as to why his club cannot break via at home vs. Portland, contacting it a “mystery.” To be honest, the Sounders have dominated the Timbers down south lately, winning four of their previous 5 at Providence Park. 

Frei also was requested about whether the pregame festivities may possibly have “poured gasoline” on the rivalry in a not-so-productive way. And while he was not about to condemn the club’s co-operator, he didn’t condone anything at all, possibly. 

“We will go over internally in which our feelings had been and where they must have been and it’s possible a minor little bit different, or could have been distinctive, or what led to the end result right now,” Frei reported. “I do not even know if (the entrance business) asked for a assembly in phrases of what we were seeking for.” 

But the actuality of the make any difference is that these guys are execs. They are created to cope with a pregame distraction, if that is even what it was. The Sounders only dropped. To Portland. At house. Yet again. 

The annoyance on Schmetzer’s deal with immediately after the match was conspicuous. You can tell he is as drained of this skid as the diehards in the stands.

“To tumble flat on our faces like that actually sucks,” Schmetzer stated. “This a lot I can guarantee you, we’re heading to test and fix it so that the subsequent time they arrive up listed here, we won’t have this storyline any even more.”

No person can argue with the Sounders’ achievements recently. They’ve been a product franchise that has provided people these as Carey good motive to gloat.

No question the comedian experienced the supporters laughing Saturday. But as has long been the circumstance when the Timbers appear to Seattle, they did not giggle past.