The Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders will bring some long-awaited momentum into Saturday’s match at Lumen Field.
The Timbers (7-11-8, 29 points) snapped a four-match losing streak in all competitions with a 2-1 victory against visiting Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, just after the Sounders (11-9-7, 40 points) put an end to a six-match winless run with a 2-1 decision at Austin FC.
With his mother in attendance, Portland’s Santiago Moreno produced his first goal and team-high eighth assist of the season against RSL.
“A very special moment for myself to score a goal and also do it in front of my mom,” Moreno said in Spanish. “I haven’t been able to score this season, so it’s been rough, but to be able to score in front of my mom just makes it very special. For me, being able to score when we get the three points makes it even better.”
Timbers interim coach Miles Joseph got his first victory after replacing Giovanni Savarese. Portland lost 3-2 to Vancouver in Joseph’s debut despite a late rally.
“I thought it was a good continuation from our last game in the second half,” Joseph said. “That was the message going into the game was to continue on from the second half of last game, and the guys put in a great effort in the first half to start off on the right foot.”
Seattle’s Albert Rusnak scored the winner in the 90th minute at Austin after Jordan Morris netted one early in the second half.
“It’s difficult when you try and try and try and never get rewarded,” Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei said. “It’s demoralizing at times, but you’ve got to keep going. That’s why (Wednesday) is such a good result.
“It was a hard-fought battle. Which is kind of what we’ve been doing throughout the year — fighting and fighting and fighting. For us to finally get to reward ourselves feels really, really good. It feels good for the confidence. It feels good for the unit, for the team.”
Portland is unbeaten in five straight matches against the Sounders (4-0-1), though the last — on June 3 in Seattle — ended in a scoreless draw. The rivals also met April 15 in Portland, with the hosts coming away with a 4-1 victory by scoring four times in the game’s final 20 minutes.
–Field Level Media