Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei leaps to tip a ball over the cross bar during the first half of the Sounders’ MLS match against the Portland Timbers on Saturday in Seattle. The Sounders won 1-0. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei leaps to tip a ball over the cross bar during the first half of the Sounders’ MLS match against the Portland Timbers on Saturday in Seattle. The Sounders won 1-0. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Cristian Roldan scores early, Sounders beat Timbers 1-0

  • By TIM BOOTH AP Sports Writer
  • Saturday, May 27, 2017 4:28pm
  • SportsSounders

By Tim Booth

Associated Press

SEATTLE — Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer will occasionally drop reminders to his club about last year and the qualities that eventually led to the Sounders winning the MLS Cup title.

Those reminders can be very specific, or in the case of Seattle’s 1-0 victory over rival Portland on Saturday, a simple message that getting a successful result is all that matters.

“Today what I wanted to remind them of wasn’t those particular words but the fact they’ve been able to figure out ways how to win games,” Schmetzer said. “I think that’s the broader message that I want to get to them. Sometimes this is going to happen — it was hot, the turf was sticky, the soccer wasn’t going to be great — but they played like champs.”

Seattle bested its rivals to the south in the first matchup of the season between the last two MLS Cup champions thanks to Cristian Roldan’s goal in the fourth minute off a header. Seattle (4-5-4) made the early goal stand and won its second straight match thanks to a strong defensive performance.

“We might not have played our prettiest soccer the last couple of games but they’ve figured out ways how to win,” Schmetzer said.

The rivalry match landed on a sun splashed afternoon where the quality of the weather exceeded the soccer. There were chances on both ends, but only Roldan was able to find the back of the net even as he was being hugged from behind by Portland defender Zarek Valentin.

Roldan’s first goal of the season was a reactionary flick after Chad Marshall initially directed Nicolas Lodeiro’s corner kick toward the goal. Portland goalkeeper Jake Gleeson was frozen by the redirection from Roldan.

“It wasn’t the nicest game but we managed to score the goal extremely early and the game changes from there,” Roldan said.

While Seattle may be finding its stride, the Timbers (5-5-3) are struggling. After a strong start to the season, the Timbers are winless in their past five matches and missed an opportunity to quite their northern neighbors. Winning the title in 2015 was a point of pride the Timbers held over their Cascadia rivals for one year, but Seattle has gladly pointed out in the months since beating Toronto last December that advantage is no more.

“We played extremely well. It’s undeniable to me we were the better team on the game,” Portland coach Caleb Porter said. “You look at every category in terms of chances in terms of possession, in terms of everything, every metric you want to measure, we were the better team. I thought the guys deserved to get something out of the game and it didn’t happen.”

Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei was rarely tested despite Portland taking 19 shots, but only three of the shots were on goal. Frei posted his 31st shutout since joining Seattle, bettering Kasey Keller’s franchise record. The Sounders beleaguered defense that has struggled for most of the season was outstanding in never letting Portland striker Fanendo Adi or midfielders Darlington Nagbe and Diego Valeri have clean looks at goal.

Seattle’s best defensive sequence came midway through the first half when a trio of attempts inside the penalty area never reached Frei after being blocked by Gustav Svensson, Marshall and Osvaldo Alonso.

Portland was left begging for a possible handball in the box against Marshall early in the second half but referee Mark Geiger said after the match it didn’t appear Marshall moved his arm toward the shot.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Lake Stevens’ Cole Becker celebrates a touchdown with teammates after putting his team up against Kennedy Catholic in the WIAA 4A State Football Championship game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
2022-23 Herald Athletic Cup: Lake Stevens captures 1st place

The Vikings win the competition, which rewards local high schools for their overall athletic success, for the second straight year.

Jackson's Ben Lee poses with his first-place medal after winning the 4A boys singles state tennis tournament on May 27, 2023, in Kennewick. (WIAA photo)
Winning state tennis title ‘special feeling’ for Jackson’s Lee

The sophomore sensation took home the 4A boys singles crown at the state tennis tournament over Memorial Day weekend.

Jimmy Joyce
Joyce’s return gives AquaSox’s rotation big boost

The 24-year-old, who led the Northwest League in strikeouts last season, hadn’t pitched all season due to a forearm strain.

Spring 2023 All-Wesco teams

Note: All-Wesco teams are chosen by the league’s coaches. For any misspellings… Continue reading

Everett Community College has hired longtime assistant coach Daniel Thompson (middle) as its new head men's basketball coach. (EvCC Athletics photo)
EvCC names Thompson new men’s basketball head coach

Thompson, 35, has been an assistant with the Trojans for 9 seasons and takes over for Mike Trautman, who stepped down in April.

Hammer throw.
Local trio shines in high school hammer throw finals

Adrianna Coleman and Kimberly Beard place 1-2 in the women’s portion, and Calvin Gutierrez takes 2nd in the men’s championship.

Washington celebrates a home run by Rylee Holtorf (3) at home plate during the second inning of an NCAA softball Women's College World Series game against Utah Friday, June 2, 2023, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Nate Billings)
UW opens Women’s College World Series with key win over Utah

After being rained out on Thursday, Washington beats Utah 4-1 to advance into the winner’s bracket.

Hops rally in 9th inning to sink AquaSox

Reid VanScoter turns in an impressive outing, but Everett’s bullpen falters late in a 4-3 defeat.

Rangers shortstop Corey Seager (left) reaches down to tag out the Mariners’ Teoscar Hernande, who was trying to stretch a single into a double during the third inning of a game Friday in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Mariners’ bats silent in shutout by Rangers

Seattle’s offense musters just three hits in the 2-0 defeat.

AquaSox can’t make huge rally hold, lose to Hops

Everett takes the lead with six runs in the eighth, but allows two runs back in the ninth and falls 13-12 to Hillsboro.

The Everett Elite Flag Football 14-under team practices Sunday morning at Harbour Pointe Middle School in Mukilteo, Washington on January 16, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Community roundup: 3 Jackson grads to D-I baseball tournament

Plus, Jayden White is headed back to the NCAA track and field nationals, the Silvertips sign their first-round picks and more.

The Mariners’ Cal Raleigh smiles as a teammate throws bubblegum at him during an interview after Raleigh hit a single to drive in the winning run against the Yankees during the 10th inning of a game Wednesday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Raleigh’s RBI single in 10th gives M’s 1-0 win over Yankees

George Kirby pitches one of the best games of his young career with eight shutout innings in Seattle’s 1-0 win.