PORTLAND, Ore. – Defender Rodney Wallace scored a second-half equalizer to help the Portland Timbers to a comeback 1-1 draw against Cascadia-rival Seattle Sounders FC before a sellout crowd of 20,438 at JELD-WEN Field and a national network television audience on NBC on Saturday afternoon.
In a spirited and physical match between the two Northwest rivals, Seattle struck first on a goal by forward Fredy Montero in the 57th minute. The Timbers were able to pull level late in the match when Wallace headed home the equalizer, and his first goal of the season, in the 78th minute. Portland held firm through the remainder of the match, even through a series of injuries, to preserve the point.
With the draw, the Timbers remain in first place in the standings for the Cascadia Cup, a supporters-based competition between the three Northwest MLS clubs, and are unbeaten in their last four matches at JELD-WEN Field.
The sold-out crowd at JELD-WEN Field marked the Timbers’ 32nd consecutive sellout for a league match since joining Major League Soccer in 2011.
Wallace scored his sixth career MLS goal, midfielder Jack Jewsbury recorded his fourth assist of the season and took a team-high four shots and goalkeeper Joe Bendik came off the bench and made two saves to lead the Timbers (7-14-7, 28pts).
Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and midfielders Diego Chara and Franck Songo’o each left the match in the second half due to injury. The Timbers played the final minute of regulation and six minutes of added time a man short as a result.
Montero scored his 12th goal of the season and took a team-high five shots, midfielder Osvaldo Alonso took three shots and goalkeeper Michael Gspurning was credited with an assist in the draw for Seattle (13-6-9, 48pts).
Montero scored his third career MLS goal against the Timbers to lift Sounders FC to a 1-0 lead in the 57th minute, finding the back of the net moments after Portland’s Bendik entered the match for the injured Ricketts. Gspurning played a long ball over the top and it took a favorable bounce for Montero near the top of the box. Splitting a pair of Timbers defenders, Montero placed a shot from the right side, just beyond the reach of Bendik, into the top left corner of the goal.
The Timbers responded in the 78th minute. A Jewsbury corner kick from the right side was met by an on-rushing Wallace at the near post. Wallace’s header deflected off the leg of Sounders FC defender Leo Gonzalez and rolled over the goal line despite last-second efforts by Gonzalez and Gspurning to clear the ball.
Portland had a chance to steal all three points against Seattle in the 90th minute, when a Jewsbury corner kick worked its way to forward Bright Dike on the right side of the box. Dike rocketed a shot from 10 yards off the base of the right post.
The Timbers embark on a two-match road trip, starting Wednesday, Sept. 19, against the Western Conference-leading San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). Portland then visits Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 5 p.m. (Pacific).