Martins scores 2 in 4-2 Seattle win over Portland
PORTLAND — Obafemi Martins didn’t have an encore backflip for his second goal against the Timbers, partly because it surprised him.
Martins’ goals, along with an assist on another from Clint Dempsey, led the Seattle Sounders to a 4-2 victory Sunday over Portland in a Cascadia Cup rivalry match.
Martins beat Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts in the 18th minute before adding another goal in the 76th.
“I guess I had a little bit of luck, nearly slipping and falling down,” Martins, who shares the team lead with 10 goals, said about his second against Portland. “But with a little bit of luck, I was on my feet and tried to push the ball in front of me.”
Chad Barrett also scored for the Sounders, who showed little fatigue after five matches in the past 15 days. Fanendo Adi scored twice for the Timbers.
The victory moved the Sounders ahead of the Vancouver Whitecaps in the standings for the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadia Cup, the supporter-created rivalry between the three teams. The Timbers were effectively eliminated from the Cup race with the loss.
With just nine games left, the loss also hurts Portland’s bid to return to the MLS playoffs after advancing to the Western Conference finals last year. The Timbers play the Whitecaps next weekend in British Columbia.
The Sounders (14-7-3) are currently in first place in conference, while the Timbers (7-8-10) sit in sixth behind the Whitecaps.
Brad Evans blew past Portland defender Liam Ridgewell and delivered the perfectly-placed cross to Martins in the box for his first goal, putting the Timbers up 1-0. Martins did a backflip — his trademark — in celebration.
Seattle pushed the lead to 2-0 in the 34th minute when Martins broke downfield and passed the ball off to Dempsey, who fooled Ricketts with a roller into the net. Dempsey also has 10 goals for the Sounders this season.
“It was a great ball from Oba,” Dempsey said. “When he’s on the ball, you just gotta make good movement to try to get on it. Not only does he score goals, he creates opportunities for others. I thought he played really well today.”
After Chad Barrett came off the bench to score for the Sounders in the 70th minute, Adi narrowed it by beating Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei in the 73rd off a cross from Rodney Wallace.
Adi added another goal in stoppage time. It was his first goals at home this season.
“I’ve been looking for a goal for a long time here because I’ve had goals on the road but I haven’t been able to give the fans here what they deserve” said Adi, who was acquired by the Timbers from FC Copenhagen in late June.
The rivalry between the teams dates back to 1975 when the trio played in the North Americana Soccer League.
The Cascadia Cup — at least the trophy itself — was introduced in 2004 when the three teams were part of the United Soccer Leagues First Division. Supporters pooled their money to buy a 2-foot tall silver cup that lists the years each team has won.
Sunday’s match was the 88th meeting between the Timbers and the Sounders. Seattle hosted the last one on July 13th and won 2-0, with Dempsey scoring in the 71st minute after returning from World Cup duty.
Dempsey had a hat trick in a 4-all draw at Portland’s Providence Park to kick off Cascadia Cup play in April.
“Our team went out there with an attitude. We wanted to make a statement today,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “We talked about that yesterday and today, that we wanted to make this a statement game.”
The Timbers were coming off a 4-1 win over Alpha United FC Wednesday in Guyana to open CONCACAF Champions League play. The Timbers took a squad consisting mainly of reserves, while the starters stayed home.
Portland’s last league game was a 1-1 draw at New England last Saturday.
“We didn’t play well enough to get a result,” Portland coach Caleb Porter said. “The stats tell a story of a different soccer game, but I’d take less possession, less shots, less corners to get a result.”