Sounders FC loses to Portland, 1-0, at Qwest Field
18,606 Seattle supporters braved the wind and rain to watch their team lose a preseason exhibition to rival Portland, 1-0 at Qwest Field.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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It was hard to say what was more troubling for Seattle soccer fans Thursday: news that Major League Soccer players will go on strike if the ongoing labor dispute isn't resolved by the season opener, or the sight of Sounders FC's punchless offense, which didn't score a goal in its second-straight preseason game.
Either way, it was a frustrating night for the 18,606 Seattle supporters who braved the wind and rain to watch their team lose an exhibition 1-0 to Portland at Qwest Field.
"That's very disappointing. Very disappointing," said goalkeeper Kasey Keller. "Disappointing for us, disappointing for our fans. But hopefully it's a wake-up call."
Sounders FC controlled most of the action throughout the game but couldn't find a scoring touch, despite creating numerous chances. Nevertheless, coach Sigi Schmid said the offense showed improvement from last Saturday's 0-0 draw against Vancouver.
"I thought we moved the ball pretty much at will," Schmid said. "I thought our possession was good. It was the old bugaboo, not getting enough people in the box."
Portland scored the game's only goal in the 44th minute when a defensive error by Seattle's backline sprung Timbers midfielder Ryan Pore free for a breakaway along the left side. Pore then centered a pass to unmarked forward O.J. Obatola in front of the goal for the tap-in score.
"We learn from our mistakes and it's better making the mistakes now, rather than later on," said Tyrone Marshall of the first goal the Sounders FC defense had allowed in 337 minutes.
The Timbers nearly doubled their lead in the 85th minute, when forward George Josten raced behind the Seattle defense, then beat Keller only to see his shot denied by the post.
Seattle had a great chance to tie the score in the last minute of stoppage time, but Fredy Montero's header in front of the goal was saved by Portland goalkeeper Steve Cronin. The miss symbolized the night and secured a second-straight goalless game.
"That's the biggest disappointment, even more than the defeat, is that we didn't score a goal," said midfielder Steve Zakuani, who missed one of the team's best chances in the 15th minute.
More frustrating news was made known Thursday when a report said MLS players have voted overwhelmingly in support of a strike if a new collective bargaining agreement isn't reached by the league's opener. Seattle is scheduled to kick off the season in two weeks against the Philadelphia Union.
"The tone throughout the league among the players is that we're ready for some change and we feel like now's the time to try achieve that," said defender Taylor Graham, one of the team's player representatives to the union. "And I think you can see through the numbers in the voting that the players are unified and that we're all on the same page, and that's the most important thing."
• The game was called the "Community Shield," with proceeds benefiting the charitable partners of the Sounders FC: Boys & Girls Club of Washington State, Soccer Saves, Seattle SCORES and Washington Youth Soccer. More than $75,000 was raised.
• The team will play a reserve game at 2:30 p.m. Friday against Seattle University at Qwest Field. Seattle's final preseason match is March 19 at Colorado.
• Last year the Sounders FC beat Portland 2-1 in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup in front of a franchise-record crowd of 16,382 at PGE Park.
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|Portland||1 0 — 1|
|Seattle||0 0 — 0|
Lineup — Steve Cronin, Stephen Keel, Ian Joy, Ross Smith, Mamadou Danso, Quavas Kirk (Scot Thompson 73), James Marcelin (Derek Gaudet 89), Rodrigo Lopez (Alex Nimo 54), Ryan Pore, O.J. Obatola (Doug DeMartin 61), George Josten (Josh Cameron 87). Substitutes not used: Matt Pyzdrowski, Brian Farber.
Total shots — 6 (O.J. Obatola 2, Ryan Pore 2). Shots on goal — 1 (O.J. Obatola 1). Fouls — 10 (James Marcelin 2, Ian Joy 2); Offsides — 4 (George Josten 2); Corner kicks — 1 (Rodrigo Lopez 1); Saves — 6 (Steve Cronin 6).
Lineup — Kasey Keller, Brad Evans, Tyrone Marshall (Jeff Parke 46), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez (Tyson Wahl 80), Kevin Souter (David Estrada 60), Peter Vagenas (Stephen King 74), Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani (Patrick Ianni 67), Freddie Ljungberg (Roger Levesque 46), Fredy Montero. Substitutes not used: James Riley, Nathan Sturgis, Sanna Nyassi, Zach Scott, Terry Boss, Lamar Neagle, Jamel Wallace, Ellis McLoughlin.
Total shots — 15 (Fredy Montero 7). Shots on goal — 6 (Fredy Montero 3); Fouls — 6 (Fredy Montero 2). Offsides — 1 (Roger Levesque 1). Corner kicks — 7 (Freddie Ljungberg 4). Saves — 0.
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