Rivals meet again as Portland squares off with Seattle
Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC will renew acquaintances at CenturyLink Field on Sunday as the two Cascadia Cup rivals meet for the second time in four days.
On Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup, Seattle claimed a 3-1 win over Portland in extra time after the Timbers scored late to force 30 extra minutes.
However, the Timbers were reduced to 10 men when Diego Chara received a straight red card from referee Chris Penso for what he believed to be a rash challenge.
The Sounders went on to score two goals over the final 10 minutes of the match to advance to the semifinals, but the result did not sit well with Portland head coach Caleb Porter.
"That call turned the game," Porter said of Chara's red card. "It was one of the worst officiating performances I've seen since I've been around the game. And that call was definitely the difference in the game. We're 1-1 and we have them on the ropes. The momentum had turned, we were absolutely the better team up until that call."
Porter's men will have a chance at swift redemption on Sunday in Seattle as the team attempts to claim its first win in league play in four games.
The Timbers enter the weekend in seventh place in the Western Conference, and with just four wins in 18 games this term, Porter's side must find a way to claim three points at a time on a more regular basis.
Seattle has had no such difficulty this season as the Sounders own the best record in MLS and have won three of their last four outings in league play.
The Sounders sit seven points clear at the top of the Western Conference and forward Kenny Cooper is hopeful that the win over Portland on Wednesday will only help Seattle ahead of Sunday's fixture.
"Hopefully it gives us momentum going into the weekend," Cooper said of Wednesday's win. "They obviously have a lot of quality and you have to give them credit for fighting back the way that they did but hopefully we carry some confidence and momentum going into the weekend."
Seattle will also be boosted by the return of United States internationals Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin, with Dempsey tied for leading scorer honors with eight goals in nine appearances while Yedlin has started 11 games for head coach Sigi Schmid's side.
07/11 23:31:04 ET