The Portland Timbers rescued a point on the road In Seattle on March 16 when Rodney Wallace got away from his defender in front of the goal and powered home a header in the 90 minute. Wallace’s goal leveled the game for the Timbers who went down 1-0 to their Cascadia Cup rivals, the Sounders, on an Eddie Johnson goal in the 13 minute. After falling behind early, the Timbers defense controlled the Seattle attack allowing for Wallace’s late game heroics.
The Timbers are off this week and return to action on March 30 in an away match against the Colorado Rapids at 3:00 PM. The game can be seen on the ROOT Sports Network. The Timbers next home game will be April 6 against the Houston Dynamo at 7:30 PM.
Once again the Timbers outshot their opponents, this time 13-7. The Timbers also controlled Time of Possession, holding the ball for 55% of the game.
This match saw the return of Jack Jewsbury to the starting line up. A fixture in past years, Captain Jack brought a steadying influence to a Timbers squad that has struggled find it’s shape in the first two games. Jewsbury tends to not be spectacular on the field, unless he’s unleashing those long range bombs he’s known for, which is a nice weapon for the Timbers to have on the field. Jewsbury return looked like it was just what the Timbers needed in a big away match and he delivered.
In addition to starting Jewsbury in place of Kalif Alhassan, Coach Caleb Porter made one other change to his starting line up, bringing on Ben Zemanski to replace Ryan Miller at right back.
The Timbers defense finally looks like it is starting to gel. Andrew Jean-Baptiste had a solid game in central defense after an early mistake on the first Seattle goal. After a bad giveaway by Diego Chara on the wing, Seattle’s Steve Zakuani sprinted down the sideline and crossed the ball right in front of the goal. Jean-Baptiste lost track of Johnson who neatly banged the ball past a defenseless Donovan Ricketts in goal. Jean Baptist held his own the rest of the game and earned the assist on the tying goal with nice ball into the goal mouth that found the head of Wallace. Mikael Silvestre also looks to finally be settling nicely into the center of the Timbers back four.
Wallace was obviously the hero on the night for the Timbers. Rodney has struggled during his three years in Portland, finding it difficult to establish his role on the team and earn regular playing time. Twice this season he has come off the bench and effectively helped orchestrate a Timber’s comeback. He is certainly making a case for himself for more playing time in coach Porters roster.
The Timbers Army was in full force as numerous bus loads made the trip to Seattle for MLS rivalry week.
Man of the Match: None of the starters really stood out in this game, so the honor has to go to Rodney Wallace who did what needed to be done, when it needed to be done.